OH MAN. I’m just gonna stick to the animated movies that aren’t Pixar because otherwise OH MAN OH MAN.
Gold Era: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Beautifully animated and the music is gorgeous. Also the evil queen used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid and now I LOVE IT.
Silver Era: Sleeping Beauty. Oh my gosh this movie. So many different types of women, from grumpy sassafras Merryweather to sweet Fauna to the deliciously evil Maleficent. Also she turns into a goddamn dragon.
Bronze Era: The Aristocats. This one was actually the toughest for me, since this era also includes The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and talk about childhood. I ended up going with The Aristocats because it’s arguably the Bronze Era film I watch the most as an adult. It’s got its problems - the recycled animation, a shaky plot, the racist caricatures of the alleycats to name a few - but I am still immeasurably fond of this film for how perfectly it portrays kittens. Also the art style is glorious.
Renaissance Era: Beauty and the Beast. This was MY Disney movie as a kid. I watched up to six times a day and wouldn’t watch anything else. I named two fluffy cats Beast because of it. I got to fulfill my dream of dressing up as Belle last year for Halloween. I. Love. This. Movie. I do give major shoutouts to The Great Mouse Detective, Hunchback, and Mulan, though.
Post-Renaissance Era: The Emperor’s New Groove. This movie is TOO DAMN FUNNY FOR ITS OWN GOOD. I love the look of it and the jazzy uptempo music, and YZMA AND KRONK. Ugh, so good. A big loud shoutout to Lilo and Stitch that is arguably a better movie and also broke my tender childhood heart.
Revival Era: Tangled. God, I love Tangled. Alan Menken’s lush score and character designs by Glen Keane and DONNA MURPHY AS MOTHER GOTHEL. I have a thing for female villains, you know, and Mother Gothel was everything I could have hoped for. Tangled swept me off my feet and reminded me why I love Disney movies so dang much.