When we started putting together a list of the best animated movies around, we noticed that the name "Disney" kept popping up. Sure, there are plenty of animated movies that weren't made by Frozen Walt & Co., but most of those are poorly drawn or incredibly boring. The legacy of Disney animation can be seen in these inferior copycats; almost every single animated movie you'll see today involves movie star voices, slapstick sidekicks, and a mushy forgettable pop song. So we'll use this list as a chance to pay homage to the company that started this trend, but did it a thousand times better.


At Disneyland in Anaheim, California, there is a store called "Disney Villains." A shop dedicated entirely to the villains of Disney films, it proves that the real energy of a Disney flick lies in how nasty the villain is. The villain of Beauty and the Beast catches you off guard, becoming one of the most effective villains in Disney history, by threatening the protagonists but still allowing them to shine on their own.

The film features Belle as the most beautiful (but bookwormiest) woman in a French provincial town. Her suitor is Gaston, the most handsome man in town. Being vain, vapid, and entranced by his own muscles, he naturally believes that he and Belle are destined to marry. Belle just as naturally rejects him, wanting more excitement in her life . . . and excitement she gets. Through a turn of events, Belle is held prisoner by a beast in a castle filled with enchanted objects (a talking clock, a talking candelabra, a talking teapot . . . you get the idea - it's a chatty place). As the title of the film intimates, Belle and the beast fall in love with each other, and everyone in the castle sings and dances. But Gaston, humiliated by the fact that Belle chose a beast over him, has other plans for the couple.

Other reviews of this film will talk about its portrayal of feminism, the catchy songs, and the cute personalities of the talking bric-a-brac. Phooey. It's really Gaston who keeps the film moving, creating a modern connection through his focus on exteriors, beauty, and material possessions. Yes, Gaston is exaggerated, but he's the closest Disney has ever come to creating a realistic villain.


  • Nominated for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture (the first, and to date only, animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture). It also received 3 Best Song nominations

  • Won 2 Academy Awards: Best Score and Song

  • Won the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture, the first animated film to win

  • Became an incredibly successful Broadway musical