Over the last few years Walt Disney have released some truly fantastic films, many of which have gone on to become hugely popular and even break records. We've been introduced to new Disney princesses such as Tiana, Merida, Anna and of course, Queen Elsa, but with all of these films having such success, is it possible that modern Disney films have eclipse Disney Renaissance films as some of the best animated movies of all time?
The Disney Renaissance began in 1989 with the release of The Little Mermaid and also included the films: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Pocahontas, Hercules, Tarzan, The Rescuers Down Under and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was Disney's great comeback after a succession of flops and created a whole new generation of Disney devotees (such as myself!).
Contrast that with the modern era of Disney from 2009 onwards, and we've had some films that are destined to be classics due to their crazy success, films like The Princess and the Frog, Wreck it Ralph, Tangled, [Frozen](movie:411685) and the latest offering [Big Hero 6](movie:425271). With much anticipated Disney princess [Moana](movie:2366693) as well as [Zootopia](movie:1454243) due on the scene in 2016, could we be dealing with a Disney Renaissance 2.0?
Let's weigh each era up against each other and then at the bottom you can let me know if you think Renaissance Disney or modern Disney is the best!
Pro Renaissance Disney: Modern Disney is too 'human' focussed
Yes, we still have the trusty animal or sentient snowman sidekick, but what about movies like The Lion King and The Rescuers Down Under which had animals as main characters! Disney princesses seem to be prioritized over all else in modern Disney films, but we can have cool characters than aren't pretty princesses or tough guys too!
Pro modern Disney: The moral of the stories are way better
The release of [Frozen](movie:411685) saw a return to girl power movement with Anna and Elsa solving a problem with only minimal help from any man. But modern Disney isn't only just for the girl, in The Princess and the Frog, Tiana worked hard to achieve her dream of opening a restaurant on her own encouraging the message of hard work and dedication. In 2016 Moana will also join the ranks of positive messages when she sets out on a selfless journey to find a new homeland for her people. Sure Renaissance Disney has great messages too, but I can't help but think they've become much stronger in recent times.
Pro Renaissance Disney: the villains were much more....villainous
One of the best parts of a Renaissance Disney film was when our hero triumphed over the villain, not only because it's awesome to see the good guy win but because the Renaissance villains were just so villainous! Jafar, Shan Yu and Scar were truly scary and fear inducing, Gaston, Hades and Ursula were all the right mix of hilarious and frightening. In short, they were awesome and characters like Hans or Mother Gothel just don't pack the punch that Renaissance Disney villains do.
Pro modern Disney: Less reliance on musical numbers
Alright this might be a controversial one, but Renaissance Disney is so very heavily reliant on musical numbers it's crazy. Sure in modern Disney films we've had musical movies too, but instead of expecting the same old formulaic musical numbers in the films (the setting song, the villain song, the improvement montage song...) , the music is used where it packs the most punch and we've been left with songs like "Let it Go" which were well placed, beautifully written and are well on the way to becoming iconic.
Which era of Disney do you prefer? Tell us here!