Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Disney Renaissance Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

While everyone is obsessing over Frozen and Moana, I’m over here obsessing over The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. The Little Mermaid and The Lion King are part of what is known as the “Disney Renaissance” period. What the Hell is the Disney Renaissance you may ask…well I’ll tell you. The Disney Renaissance “is the era from 1989 to 1999 in which Walt Disney Animation Studios experienced a creative resurgence in producing successful, animated films…which restored public and critical interest in the Walt Disney Company as a whole.” Are you all still with me? I hope so, because here are all nine of them rated from worst to best.

Writers Note: This was really hard to do because I love all the movies listed. So please feel free to disagree with the list, this is just my opinion.


9. Hercules (1997)

If there was ever a Disney movie I could have gone without, it was Hercules. Hercules is the only Disney movie that I don’t own, and aside from it being really inaccurate…it’s really boring. I’ve seen Hercules several times in my 22-years of life and it does nothing for me. There’s not one song, one scene, one character that makes me even like this movie #Sad. I think the only entertaining part of the movie (aside from the end) are the eight singing goddesses.


8. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

As much as I enjoy the story of Quasimodo and root for him throughout the entire film…the movie as a whole is boring. The movie does have better songs and characters than Hercules, so the movie has that going for them…plus Esmerelda’s cute pet goat. But, it’s not a movie that I get excited to watch…I mean I’ll watch it if it’s on but I won’t be mad if I miss it being on ABC Family.

                Side Note: Don’t watch the sequel to this movie…. it’s the worst Disney sequel I’ve ever seen


7. Pocahontas (1995)

Another historically inaccurate Disney movie but Disney makes up for it with their songs and characters. Though John Smith and Pocahontas were never really in love, they did know each other and she did save his life. Everything about the animation is beautiful, especially the scene with Colors of the Wind. I can hear the song and picture the scene in my head right now. Plus, who doesn’t like a carefree, independent teenager, whose doesn’t like to obey her father’s rules…or anyone’s for that matter?


6. Tarzan (1999)

I remember going to see Tarzan for my fifth birthday (thanks for taking me mom) Anyway, Tarzan has the second best Disney soundtrack (Lion King coming in first) plus the love story between Jane and Tarzan just warms my heart because of how genuine it is (she accepts him and he accepts her) Tarzan also shows us that you don’t have to be blood related to be family with someone, which is so important and I applauded Disney for including this, not only in this movie, but several other movies.


5. Aladdin (1992)

I had a really hard time with picking between my number five and four, but Aladdin had to be my number five. Aladdin isn’t overrated but it isn’t underrated. What makes me love this movie so much is Robin Williams as the Genie. I don’t think Aladdin would be what it is today without Robin Williams. Aside from Robin Williams, A Whole New World, plays a huge role between the romance of Jasmine and Aladdin…also it’s just an amazing song that I could have on repeat all the time. Jasmine also chooses to break tradition and not marry a prince and chooses to marry someone she loves. Doesn’t that hit you right in the feels?


4. Mulan (1998)

Mulan is a Disney movie that I’ve grown to love over the years. Now here’s a fact for all of you…Mulan is the most underrated Disney movie and Disney princess. Now let’s look at the facts, Mulan goes to war so her ill father, she then disguises herself as a man, kicks the villains ass, and then saves her country. What other Disney princess has done that? I’ll wait!! Plus, I’ll Make a Man Out of You is the best song from the movie.


3. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast…who doesn’t love a good story about Stockholm Syndrome? Okay, but aside from that it’s an amazing movie that I could watch on repeat. Belle just doesn’t take crap from anyone, whether it’s Gaston, the Beast, or the towns people. The part that confuses me is that the towns people don’t like Belle because she’s an intellectual…and that’s weird? I don’t know…another topic for another time. Anyways, the music is amazing and I’m not just talking about Mrs. Potts singing Tale as Old as Time. Be Our Guest, Belle, Gaston…the list goes on. Going to see this movie in 3D back 2012 was also amazing since I didn’t see it in theatre the first time around.


2. The Lion King (1994)

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba, sithi uhhmm ingonyama (come on sing along, I know you want to) Anyway, the Lion King is legend…wait for it…dairy. One of my all time favorite movies (not just Disney) in the entire world. There are 100 reasons why I love this movie but the list would be far too long. I like everything about this movie (aside from Mufasa dying) Also, Can You Feel the Love Tonight was my jam when I was little and you’re all lying if you don’t like this movie.


1. The Little Mermaid (1989)

The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie hands down. It was the first Disney movie I saw in the theaters (they brought it back in like 1997) but it’s just one of those movies that’s always stayed with me. I used to carry around my Ariel doll and sing Part of your World around the house. Plus, Ariel was probably the most independent princess (at only 16) by not wanting to live under her father’s strict orders. People have had issues with Ariel recently because she gave up her voice to be with a man but I think people are looking too far into the movie. It’s a Disney movie…about a mermaid…so who cares that she gives up her voice for a whole three days? I don’t. So, all of you Little Mermaid haters can shut-up and watch the damn movie.


Hi!!!  I'm Kaitlyn Sulka, I am a senior at Western Michigan University and I'm studying journalism with a minor in history (Horray for history)!! When I'm not in school, bossing my co-workers around or hanging out with the best dog in the world (yes, my dog is better than yours), you will find me doing basic white girl things like drinking wine (Moscato in case you were all wondering) and watching the Bachelor. I also enjoy kickboxing, yoga, SoulCycling, dancing (no not in the club) and running...so yeah I'm pretty badass. Okay that's all! XOXO, Gossip Girl ;)
Similar Reads👯‍♀️