Yeah, yeah, yeah—we know Pixar has been the G.O.A.T. since it leapt off the screen with Toy Story in 1995, changing the idea of what animated movies could be and ushering in a new era for the genre altogether. And yes, they've introduced us to characters that are as indelible a part of pop culture history as Aladdin and Bambi: Buzz Lightyear, WALL-E, and Dory from Finding Nemo among them. But just because Pixar has dominated so-called kids entertainment for the last 20 years or so doesn't mean we should forget what came before it: the unassailable classics of Disney, which by the way, owns Pixar.
For almost half a century before '95, Disney was the gold standard in animated film. Early installations like Fantasia and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs revolutionized filmmaking, creating endless possibilities for the medium that previously couldn't even be imagined. The innovation continued through the years as computer animation was integrated and big-name starts provided the voices behind unforgettable characters like Robin Williams' Genie and Mufasa voiced by James Earl Jones. By the late '80s and early '90s, Disney had their nearly perfect formula down to a science: Combine lush animation with a new spin on classic stories, throw in some unforgettable songs and some sly jokes for parents in the audience, and you've got an almost-guaranteed hit. They used that recipe to create modern classics like Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King. So, yes, Pixar—and like-minded studios like DreamWorks and Laika—eventually took over, but the uncontested run Disney had with their animated pictures is downright silly in comparison.
Feeling a bit nostalgic, we decided to revisit every non-computer animated Disney movie to see which ones stood tall. It wasn't easy—but that just further speaks to how impressive Disney's catalog really is. Here are the best animated Disney movies.