All Disney Animated Theatrical Movies Ranked by Tomatometer
Lilo & Stitch celebrates its 20th anniversary!
Remember those shelves and shelves of Disney classics you used to have on VHS – the spines of their spongy plastic cases promising adventures with foxes and cats, lions and bears, princesses and puppets? They’re all on Disney+. (Except for Song of the South, because well, that one’s never going to see the light of zip-a-dee-ay again.) To celebrate this access to all the best Disney movies, we went ahead and compiled a list of every Disney animated film and ranked them the best way we know how, by Certified Fresh first, then Fresh, and then the Rotten ones.
We’ve been strict with our rules; we’re talking Disney animated movies, and excluding Pixar, and movies also had to be theatrically released in order to qualify. Plus, the movies had to be fully animated, which means you won’t find live-action/animation hybrid movies like Bedknobs and Broomsticks nor Song of the South on the list. You will find the studio’s earliest animated offerings: the one that started it all – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – and the ones whose box office receipts might have made a weaker-willed studio impresario end it quickly (Pinocchio, Fantasia). You’ll also find rousing adventures (Jungle Book, Sword In the Stone), make a foray into the experimental years (Black Cauldron, Oliver and Company), resurface in the second golden age (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King), fall back into the second dark age (Treasure Planet, Home on the Range), and come back up again for some digital fun (Bolt, Big Hero 6) before coming full circle with the princesses (Tangled, Frozen, Moana). Except you won’t do it in that order, of course, because Disney’s Tomatometer highs and lows are spread across the decades.
So, Meter Meter on the wall, who’s the Freshest of them all? Find out in our guide to the Best Disney Animated Movies! —Alex Vo
Critics Consensus: The brilliantly well-rounded Zootopia offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that's as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation -- all while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.
Synopsis: From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live... [More]
Critics Consensus: With a title character as three-dimensional as its lush animation and a story that adds fresh depth to Disney's time-tested formula, Moana is truly a family-friendly adventure for the ages.
Synopsis: An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty... [More]
Critics Consensus: Another gorgeously animated, skillfully voiced entry in the Disney canon, Raya and the Last Dragon continues the studio's increased representation while reaffirming that its classic formula is just as reliable as ever.
Synopsis: Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known... [More]
Critics Consensus: Disney's take on the Victor Hugo classic is dramatically uneven, but its strong visuals, dark themes, and message of tolerance make for a more-sophisticated-than-average children's film.
Synopsis: An animated Disney adventure follows disfigured Quasimodo (Tom Hulce), the bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, who bides his time locked... [More]
Critics Consensus:Planes has enough bright colors, goofy voices, and slick animation to distract some young viewers for 92 minutes -- and probably sell plenty of toys in the bargain -- but on nearly every other level, it's a Disney disappointment.
Synopsis: Dusty is a small-town plane who dreams of one day competing as a high-flying air racer. However, poor Dusty has... [More]
Now that Finding Dory has hit theaters, the Finding Nemocinematic universe joins the growing list of franchises Pixar has kickstarted over their history. Only seven feature films in the studio’s stable have yet to become a franchise: Which one of them do you want to see get a sequel?
Rating: PG, for action and peril, some rude humor and thematic elements.
The latest from Walt Disney Animation Studios is a lively and lovely adventure full of clever, small details and a cuddly, large robot. But it also features some heavy themes of life and death, betrayal and revenge. Brilliant, 13-year-old Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) and his older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), are obsessed with robots and everything high-tech. But when Tadashi dies in an explosion early in the film, Hiro unexpectedly finds himself taking over — and befriending — his pet project: a giant, inflatable robot named Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) who provides top-notch medical care (and squishy hugs). Along with Tadashi’s college friends — a merry, multi-ethnic band of nerds — they form a team to battle a bad guy who steals Hiro’s latest invention with dastardly intent. The film is high-energy and colorful but it also has some dark undertones which may be disturbing for some kids. Prior to Tadashi’s death, the two brothers already were living with their aunt (Maya Rudolph) because their parents died. And the villain is a cloaked figure in a frightening mask with infinite power at his fingertips. My 5-year-old son wasn’t frightened, though, and this should be OK for nearly all ages.
Rating: PG-13, for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.
Well, the running time alone — nearly three hours — will be prohibitive to most young viewers who might be curious about Christopher Nolan’s space odyssey. For those who do choose to stick it out, they’ll have to decipher a dense script filled with dry talk of wormholes, time-space relativity issues and what’s on the other side of the horizon line. Also: the possibility of the end of life on Earth as we know it, and the need to repopulate the species in a galaxy far, far away. No biggie. Matthew McConaughey stars as a pilot-turned-farmer who dares take a crew of brilliant scientists (including Anne Hathaway) into the vast unknown to see whether life is possible on a trio of distant planets. He’s also a widower father who has made a promise to return to his daughter, played as a child by Mackenzie Foy and as an adult by Jessica Chastain. Much of the scenery is spectacular but there’s also quite a bit of it that?s frightening, including massive dust storms, a powerful tidal wave and various explosions and technical complications. I would maybe take a 12- or 13-year-old to see this; for anyone younger, Interstellar is sure to be quite a slog.
Rating: PG-13, for some thematic elements and suggestive material.
A biopic about renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking might be a tough sell for your kids. But if the older and more enterprising ones are interested — especially those who are keen on science — there’s little here that might seem inappropriate for them. Eddie Redmayne portrays Hawking from his blissful days in the early 1960s at Cambridge, where he meets his wife, Jane (Felicity Jones), through his stunning diagnosis of motor-neuron disease and his intellectual triumph over the gradual bodily deterioration that leaves him in a wheelchair, unable to speak. As his condition worsens, their marriage evolves, and there’s the suggestion that each had an affair on the side with the other’s tacit approval. At one point, Hawking’s therapist leafs through the pages of a Penthouse magazine for his perusal. And there’s a bit of joking about the fact that Hawking was able to produce three children with his wife, despite suffering from a disease that renders him unable to move much. Fine for older tweens and up.
In this sequel to the 2013 animated adventure Planes, Dusty Crophopper (voiced again by Dane Cook), the cropduster-turned-racer, is dismayed to learn he no longer can compete because of a broken, outdated gearbox. But realizing that his small town needs emergency support, he shifts his attention and receives training to become a firefighting plane. He sees lots of action, not all of which he’s prepared for, and ends up in some danger. The forest fires he helps contain are intense and all-consuming; they ravage trees and send guests at an historic lodge scurrying for safety. Some characters also discuss the fact that not all firefighters make it out of these situations alive. So if that kind of peril troubles your kids, that might be something to ponder beforehand. There’s also a handful of harmless fire truck fart jokes. Suitable for pretty much all ages.
Rating: PG, for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images.
Angelina Jolie is ideally cast as the villain from Sleeping Beauty in this dark fairy tale that traces the character’s origins. You might not have been wondering what could turn someone’s heart so cold that she’d curse a newborn baby, but Maleficent details the childhood betrayal that would define her adult life. Jolie is a ravishing and intimidating figure, of course, with those dramatic lips and cheekbones. But the creatures and surroundings in director Robert Stromberg’s film might just be more frightening in their own way. They include gnarled, talking trees, odd-looking woodland creatures, a fire-breathing dragon, a dark forest full of thorns and a couple of intense battle sequences. When I brought my son (who was 4 ½ years old at the time) to see this movie in 3-D last summer, he wasn’t frightened. But he’d also seen Sleeping Beauty beforehand, so maybe that helps. This is probably fine for kids around age 6 and up.
This week on home video, we’ve got a little something for everyone, whether you’re looking for some fantastical drama, a bit of sword-and-sandal action, a dash of spy intrigue, or just something to babysit the kids for an hour and a half. Plus, there’s a few smaller releases also worth mentioning, as well as a couple of notable series sets of fan favorite TV shows. Read on for details:
Disney’s Maleficent had a few things going for it: a charismatic, larger-than-life A-lister in the lead role, an intriguing twist on a familiar tale, and a Disney-sized budget for some wild special effects. The only thing it could have used, apparently, was a bit more help in the writer’s room. Angelina Jolie stars as the titular sorceress from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, a fairy once betrayed by the man she loved whose actions are motivated by vengeance. Unfortunately, for every critic who felt it was a novel retelling of the story, there was another who didn’t think there was enough substance to justify the film, despite a winning performance from Jolie and a fair amount of visual spectacle. Maleficent ultimately split critics down the middle, earning a 49 percent Tomatometer score. Bonus features include a handful of short making-of docs and five deleted scenes.
As long as we’re talking about fantastical tales, we might as well mention Hercules, Brett Ratner’s (After the Sunset, Tower Heist) take on the tale of the legendary demi-god. Dwayne Johnson (The Tooth Fairy) dons the armor here, aided by a misfit gang of mercenaries and his nephew, Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), whose job it is to spread (embellished) word of Hercules’s exploits. When Hercules is hired to train the armies of Thrace to defend against the attack of an invading warlord, he finds himself in the middle of a complicated power struggle. Johnson is almost always fun to watch, and surrounded by the likes of Ian McShane, John Hurt, and Rufus Sewell, among others, he gave most critics what they were expecting, especially in a Brett Ratner film. At 59 percent on the Tomatomter, Hercules performed about as well as anyone could have predicted. Special features include featurettes on the characters, the weapons, and special effects, as well as some deleted and extended scenes, plus more.
In case you missed it, Disney’s direct-to-video studio, Disneytoon, made a Cars spinoff called Planes last year and released it in theaters, and though most grown-ups saw it for what it was — a fairly standard money grab intended to capitalize on the immense kid-popularity of the Pixar property — most kids saw it for what it also was, namely, “Ooh, talking planes!” No surprise, then, that we got a sequel this year, though it is somewhat surprising that it was actually better-received than the original (and only four percentage points below Maleficent on the Tomatometer). Dane Cook reprises his role as the voice of Dusty the ambitious cropduster-turned-racing plane, who inadvertently sets an airport on fire and subsequently decides to take on a new career as a firefighter. This isn’t top notch animated entertainment or particularly inventive storytelling, agree most critics, but it’s a pleasantly agreeable enough diversion for the kids, if you’re in the market for that. Extras include a handful of animated shorts, a look at some of the real vehicles that inspired the characters, and a few other items, all kid-friendly.
Depending on what you think of the franchise, it’s almost a little disappointing that the final two screen appearances of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman — an extremely gifted, versatile Oscar-winner — will come in the form of a supporting role in a blockbuster YA series, even if it is The Hunger Games. Thankfully, he also recently starred in a smaller thriller that arguably made much better use of his talents. In the John le Carré adaptation A Most Wanted Man, Hoffman plays Gunther Bachmann, a German intelligence agent on the trail of a Chechen refugee he suspects is a terrorist with ties to Al Qaeda. Following up on a separate lead, Bachmann teams up with another German official and an American diplomat to infiltrate a local network and analyze the threat. A Most Wanted Man is Certified Fresh at 90 percent on the Tomatometer, with critics calling it a smart, thoughtfully told thriller that builds suspense as it moves along. There are only two bonus features: a standard making-of featurette, and a 9-minute interview with le Carré discussing his personal history in intelligence.
Also available this week:
The Dog (94 percent), a Certified Fresh documentary about John Wojtowicz, the man whose fascinating story inspired Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon.
The Discoverers (88 percent), starring Griffin Dunne in a road trip comedy about a professor en route to a conference with his kids who takes a detour when he learns his father has gone missing.
The One I Love (80 percent), starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss in a dramedy about a struggling married couple who retreat to a remote cabin to rekindle their love, only to discover the guest house holds a bizarre, mysterious secret.
Frontera (54 percent), starring Ed Harris and Michael Pena in a drama about a Mexican immigrant who is suspected of murdering an Arizona sheriff’s wife.
Premature (41 percent), a coming-of-age comedy about a high school senior who discovers he relives the same day over and over again… every time he has an orgasm.
Season two of HBO’s The Newsroom (69 percent), starring Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer, is available on DVD and Blu-ray, ahead of its season three premiere this weekend.
Universal is releasing a Complete Series set of the popular NBC show Quantum Leap, which stars Scott Bakula as a quantum physicist whose consciousness jumps through time, temporarily inhabiting the bodies of different people.
Fans of the BBC’s Sherlock might be interested in the Sherlock Limited Edition Gift Set, which includes all three seasons of the series to date on DVD/Blu-ray combo discs, new bonus features, collectible busts of both Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson, and a couple of art cards.
Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, John Michael Higgins, and TONS more stars discuss Planes: Fire and Rescue with Dan Deevy–specifically, how this film feels a little darker and grittier than the first, and how important it is that we take care of the brave firefighters that take such good care of us.
Ep. 032 – Alan Tudyk, John Karna
Team Tomato talks about this week’s new movies, including The Purge: Anarchy, Planes: Fire & Rescue, and Sex Tape. Then, as the team discusses this week’s new TV premiers, Grae can’t believe the premise of one of shows. Finally, the show wraps with an extended interview with Alan Tudyk and John Karna, stars of the new movie Premature.
Some animated features offer enough magic and wonder to entertain the whole family, while others might keep the kiddies occupied but won’t do much for their parents. The critics say Planes: Fire And Rescue is an example of the latter; the visuals are striking, but the characters are bland and the action is predictable. This time out, Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) has left racing behind to join Blade Ranger (Ed Harris) and his squad of fire and rescue planes, who must contain an out-of-control forest blaze. The pundits say Planes: Fire & Rescue is sure to delight vehicle-obsessed children, but their parents or guardians are likely to find it thin and inoffensive at best.
If you’re in the mood for disreputable B-movie thrills ‘n’ chills, critics say you could do worse than The Purge: Anarchy, a ludicrously-plotted, blood-drenched sci-fi action flick whose pulpy pleasures are unfortunately undermined by its overreaching message. Like its predecessor, The Purge takes place during a 12-hour stretch during which all laws are suspended and criminals run wild; this time, a grizzled cop (Frank Grillo) defends several law-abiding citizens while seeking to avenge the death of his son. The pundits say The Purge: Anarchy is gritty and tense, but its predictable narrative and allegorical pretensions dull its occasionally sharp edge. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of horror sequels.)
Sex Tape promises a playful blend of heart and raunch, and it stars two dependable comic talents in Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. Unfortunately, critics say the movie has a few good moments but never generates the kind of manic energy that this kind of farce requires. Diaz and Segel star as a married couple looking to add a dash of spice to their stagnant relationship. However, when they accidentally distribute a video of their private activities, our heroes go to absurd lengths to destroy the evidence. The pundits say Sex Tape too often strains for laughs while keeping its naughty premise from achieving full boil. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Diaz’s best-reviewed films.)
Also opening this week in limited release:
Fanny, a drama about a woman who marries a rich man before the father of her child realizes he loves her, is at 71 percent.
Alive Inside, a documentary about how music helps to engage people with debilitating memory loss, is at 70 percent.
A Five Star Life, a drama about a luxury hotel critic dealing with a shakeup in her support system, is at 60 percent.
The sequel to 2013’s Planes finds Dusty Crophopper (voiced again by Dane Cook), the cropduster-turned-racer, unable to compete anymore because of a faulty, outdated gearbox. Seeing the need for emergency support in town, he reinvents himself as a firefighting plane, traveling far away to train with a veteran team. He sees a ton of action, not all of which he’s ready for, and winds up in some danger. The forest fires he helps contain are intense and all-consuming; they ravage trees and send visitors to an historic lodge scurrying to safety. It’s also mentioned that not all firefighters make it out of these situations alive. So if that kind of peril troubles your kids, that might be something to consider beforehand. I took my son, who’s almost 5, and he had no problem with it. There’s also a handful of innocuous fire truck fart jokes.
Sequel time again. The follow-up to the 2011 animated hit Rio is lively and colorful and enjoyable during the musical numbers, but a bit dull and overloaded when it comes to actual storytelling. This time, neurotic Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and energetic Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are the parents of three baby blue macaws, and they’re all enjoying domesticated bliss in the big city. But when they learn that other rare birds of their species still exist in the Amazon, they journey to find them, with a cadre of creatures and people on their tails with devious intentions. Nigel (Jemaine Clement), the evil cockatoo who villainously stole the show last time, can’t fly anymore so he’s more of a preening diva here. And there’s a subplot about illegal forestry that’ll go over young kids’ heads. Still, it’s all appropriate for the entire family.