Picking the best Disney movies is a lot like choosing your favorite ice cream flavor: It’s difficult, and there really is no wrong answer. After all, there’s a reason these films have endured for so many years—a reason that it doesn’t matter whether you were born in 1960 or 2000, you still had a formative screening of Cinderella. Disney movies are the closest thing we have to magic, and their effects transcend gender and generation. They still move you, whether you’re 5 or 45, and they’re constantly evolving.
More advanced technology has blessed us with even more visually dazzling Disney films: Pixar creations like Finding Nemo and Toy Story. In more recent years, stunning live-action retellings of the best Disney movies have dominated the box office. But even with more razzle-dazzle, the crux of the best Disney movies is always the same: Each one centers on the intense desire to be one’s true self, to find love, and to find home.
I think these 35 movies—below, in no particular order—are the best examples of exactly that.
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