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DAILY DEBATE: What is the best movie of the Disney Golden Age?

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The first five films that Disney released are argued to be masterpieces and some of the best animated films ever created (even 80 years later). It’s not called the Disney Golden Age for nothing!

The films of the Disney Golden Age include:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Pinocchio
  • Fantasia
  • Dumbo
  • Bambi

So that leads us to today’s Daily Debate topic:

Which movies from the Disney Golden Age do you think is the best and why?

Fire off in the comments below or on Facebook!

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About Morgan Stradling

Morgan is a native of Arizona and desert rat who loves the heat--she doesn’t even turn on the AC in her car in the middle of the summer! She loves big eyeliner, SURVIVOR, Lady Gaga, and, of course, animated films. She just graduated with her MBA in Marketing from ASU and now works as a Project Manager for a tech company. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
  • Manuel Orozco

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarves because of its combination of fun, adventure, laughter, romance and beauty. Happy 80th anniversary

  • I honestly think that Pinocchio is the best one out of the 5. It has the right balance of action, humor, adventure, suspense, grief and happiness. On a side note, Pinocchio was one of those movies that remember watching everyday and one that I hold up as being the best Disney movie ever. (That & The Brave Little Toaster)

    • Manuel Orozco

      I like the Brave Little Toaster too. Wasn’t too scary to handle but I don’t consider it a favorite.

      • The scary aspects in the Brave Little Toaster was one of the many things that made it great. Granted, I do understand that it made be a little too much for someone else to handle.

        • Manuel Orozco

          To each their own. Also there has to be some reason why Disney’s main animation division was not involved but future Pixar legends were instead.

  • Jackson Staninger

    They’re All great. Honestly this is hard to choose. But in order they are:
    Pinocchio
    Dumbo
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    Fantasia
    Bambi

  • Marcel

    I think Pinocchio is the best. It has memorable songs and scenes.

  • Fadi Antwan

    Pinocchio for sure! Dark, timeless, beautiful, and teaches valuable lessons. It completely dwarves the others as a production. IMO, Fantasia is highly artistic and beautiful, but it lacks in story and is not the essence of what a feature film is.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I couldn’t bare to finish Fantasia after the Rite of Spring scene. I rather see animation where everything in the plot is connected in some form or another.

      • Fadi Antwan

        I feel the same way for much of Fantasia. I don’t like it as much as a lot of people, but I can definitely appreciate its beauty and creativity.

        • Manuel Orozco

          To each their own. I mean I can respect it was innovative for its time.

    • The great thing about animation as a whole is that not every movie and/or short film has to involve a world-building story of some sort. Sometimes, it good to just free your mind and watch something that doesn’t involve any critical thinking but also something that doesn’t insults the brain and also still be entertain by it! Plus, the main reason for Fantasia other than making a visually great movie was to prove that animation was not just a thing for children’s entertainment.

      Besides that, I absolutely love Fantasia and I consider it to be a real innovative film unlike Frozen that plays it too safe and offers nothing new to the table.

      • Fadi Antwan

        Don’t get me wrong, Fantasia is great! I just believe Pinocchio to be the quintessential film of the Golden Era.

  • The artwork of Pinocchio has always been my favorite. The backgrounds are perfection. Especially in the town and in Geppettos’ workshop.

  • Dante Panora

    Pinocchio is my pick just because of how strange and imaginative it is. I can’t imagine what it must have been like viewing it in the 1940’s as the second animated feature from Disney.

    • Jeremiah

      Loving the rain of Pinochio fans. I knew it was popular pick I’m still surprised and pleased. And yes, strange is the word.

      • Manuel Orozco

        Strange as in quirky. Not ususally my taste but it is appropriate

  • Braden

    In terms of technicalities I’d say Pinocchio is near perfect, but for personal preference I’ll say Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; I watched it all the time as a kid and always loved it. Although it has a lot of filler, I still think there’s something so special about it being Disney’s first. While I can admire the artistry of Bambi and Fantasia I can’t get myself to watch them often, same for Dumbo I just find the films a little hard to get through. Maybe it’s the millennial in me, but my favourite Disney films are definitely ones from the modern era (Renaissance and Present).

    • Manuel Orozco

      I mostly prefer the present ones but in particular Wreck It Ralph Big Hero 6 and Moana.

  • Alex Beezley

    Although I think all of the films are classics in their own right, Pinocchio is my personal favorite of the five. It takes the engaging storytelling and wonderful music of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and improves upon both aspects. It is amazing that Disney was able to create such detailed animation this early in the business of making feature films.

  • Dylan H.

    Pinocchio. so well done…

  • Jeremiah

    Love Snow White to death, but I’ll stick with my boy, Fantasia. In fact, it is THE most brilliant animated film ever done. It invented a new kind of concert. If that’s not groundbreaking, what is.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I just don’t love Snow White because it’s the one that started it all. The title character is my favorite Disney Princess tied with Cinderella and now Moana.

      • Jeremiah

        You’re a Cinderella fan! Manuel, my man! You should’ve told me this before. A friend of Cinderella is a friend of mine. Cinderella is best princess forever!

        • Manuel Orozco

          Well Rachel Wagner and I share the Cinderella appreciation. Her story is the gold standard of rags to riches stories. My favorite versions of Cinderella are the Disney version, the live action remake two years ago and the Rogers and Hammerstein TV musical that starred Julie Andrews.

          • Jeremiah

            Ain’t Rachel the best?
            Did you just say Rogers and Hammerstein starring Julie Andrews!? Gimme, gimme! (Goodnight.)

          • Manuel Orozco

            Yes she has a fine taste when it comes to movies both live action/animation. It was 60 years ago the last TV musical performed live before Carrie Underwood stepped into the role of Maria in the Sound of Music Live four years ago. I actually prefer that one over the remakes with Lesley Ann Warren and Brandy (happy 20th anniversary) combined as well as the recent Broadway adaptation. This version I was referring to was when she was a Broadway starlet and seven years before she flew on the silver screen for the first time in Mary Poppins.

  • Jordan Briskin

    I’m rather torn between BAMBI and DUMBO, mostly because my tastes in cinema (and literature) are biased in favor of animal stories…

    • Manuel Orozco

      I thought Dumbo was more fun to watch than Bambi.

  • Ahhh probably Pinocchio, mainly for how it’s the home to my all time favorite song ever (When you Wish Upon a Star)!!
    Honestly really hard to decide for me, just love Snow White, Fantasia and Bambi a lot for their artistic ambitions so much, but I feel like Pinocchio really made so much more of an impact to me personally 🙂

  • I would have to say Snow White. The story’s well done, the animation is spectacular, and
    this was the movie that allowed Disney to become what it is today. Think about it, if Snow
    White failed at the box office back in 1938, animated movies may have never happened.
    Historical importance aside, it’s just a movie that’s well done in every aspect. It does drag
    a bit in the middle, but overall, it’s a near masterpiece. This isn’t to knock the other films,
    Dumbo is very fun and Fantasia / Bambi are simply beautiful. But I’d go with Snow White.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Couldn’t agree more about Snow White. I agree Dumbo is fun it used to be a favorite of mine until I get the concept about the Pink Elephants sequence which wouldn’t actually scare me a bit. Dumbo and Timothy drinking the champaigne was pretty corny.

      • I always thought the Pink Elephants sequence was weird, but also fun. It’s
        basically filler material, but it was one heck of a filler scene. Quite creative.

        • Manuel Orozco

          I guess we can agree to that! It was perhaps one of my first exposures to surrealism. When I think of the word surreal, this infamous musical number always comes to mind.

      • Katie Lewis

        What do you mean that the champane scene was corny? It’s one of the few times that Dumbo and Timothy actually having fun together!

        • Manuel Orozco

          Hello alchohol

  • Rachel Wagner

    I love all of them but Fantasia is the most unique viewing experience for me

    • Same here. A one of a kind. To this day, very few movies have been like it.

      • Manuel Orozco

        Well I personally won’t mind a Fantasia with pop music since that would be fun to watch

  • Anonymous

    For me, it’s a tie between Snow White and Pinocchio. I’ve yet to see Fantasia.

  • Katie

    I love Snow White and Pinocchio, but I may have to give it to Fantasia strictly due to it’s creativity and uniqueness. Truly one of a kind.

  • Pinocchio is the best balance of story and spectacle. But all of these are honestly great movies.

    I’d also like to give a shout out to Bambi, which was the first really good example of nature animation in an animated film.