22 of the Best Disney Moments

It probably doesn’t shock you that Walt Disney has won 22 Academy Awards. A guy who created some of the most beloved characters in film, co-founded Walt Disney Productions, and built Disneyland deserves tremendous applause. Let’s celebrate some of the best moments in Disney to honor Walt’s prolific life. Be prepared for some nostalgia cries! 

22. Ariel sings “Part of Your World” in The Little Mermaid

Nothing made me want to be a mermaid more than Ariel’s song about wanting to be human. “I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty, I’ve got whosits and whatsits galore! You want thingamabobs? I’ve plenty! But who cares, no big deal, I want mooooooore,” she sings, and I sang, and six year-olds all over the world sang, especially in the pool where we crossed our legs and pretended to be mer-folk (or was that just me?). This part of the movie is magical, because Ariel is so curious and longing and you really just want her to find a way to be human, meet Prince Eric and use a fork to brush her hair.

21. Mulan proves her strength in the movie Mulan. 

“Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?” Li Shang asks ironically, since Mulan is definitely not a “son” per se, but soon proves herself to be the mightiest warrior in China. As a little girl, it was so important to watch Mulan go from the weakest soldier to the strongest because it sent the message that women were equal to men, and that you should never restrict a woman’s courage and power based on her gender. Plus, “I’ll Make a Man out of You” is just such a great song.

20. A tie between when Evil Gothel warns Rapunzel about how scary the world is and the lantern scene in Tangled. 

Like Ariel, Rapunzel is trapped in her little world because her parent deems outside to be “too dangerous.” In this case, however, Evil Gothel is merely using Rapunzel’s magical hair to stay young and beautiful.

The part where Flynn takes Rapunzel on a boat ride to show her the lanterns is SO ROMANTIC and beautiful. Props to you, Flynn.

19. Hallie and Annie find out they’re twins in The Parent Trap. 

When a girl who looks exactly like you is just as obsessed with Oreos and peanut-butter then you KNOW she’s your twin.

18. When Pocahontas sings “Colors of the Wind” in Pocahontas 

Aside from its historical inaccuracies, Pocahontas is an amazing Disney film. “Colors of the Wind” was my favorite song as a kid because of all the pretty colors! I loved how Pocahontas changes John Smith’s mind by showing him animals have feelings, too, and that you can’t just destroy the earth for monetary gain. Pocahontas was a pioneer in environmentalism and set a great example for us ‘90s kids.

17. We are introduced to Genie in Aladdin

Genie is funny, sassy, helpful, loyal, entertaining, and a great pal. He also can grant you wishes. Voiced by Robin Williams, Genie is the magical friend we never had but wanted. He is the funny uncle with magical powers who makes Aladdin one of the best Disney films to date.

16. The Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp sing “We are Siamese”

You thought I was going to list the spaghetti scene, were you? Well, Valentine’s Day is over and I’m all about evil cats who frame cute Cocker Spaniels. One could describe the Siamese cat scene as Orientalism, but I’m not in college any more, and I still love it because I think sneaky cats are hilarious.

15. Cats sing “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” in Aristocats

Speaking of cats, this movie proves why cats are the best pets: they can play the piano and drums, they love jazz, and some of the more sophisticated felines have even mastered the harp. In this scene, I’m pretty sure one of the Siamese cats from Lady and Tramp makes an appearance, playing the piano (with chopsticks…oh Disney).

14. The witches in Hocus Pocus put a spell on Salem

Arguably Bette Midler’s best role, she works the stage and casts a spell on the entire town of Salem so she and her sisters can steal the life force of Dani, who I just realized is little Thora Birch (awww!).

13. When Meg realizes she’s falling in love with Hercules in Hercules

Bound to get stuck in your head for days, “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” is one of the greatest love songs because there’s a little bit of Meg in all of us, right? Falling in love is tough, and sometimes we just don’t want to let our guard down. Especially if we’re actually helping Hades. Love is so complicated.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12315558 Jess Jones

    Most beloved moments, and you couldn’t get the title of the song right in your first entry? The song you are referencing is called “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea” is sung by Sebastian.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12315558 Jess Jones

      Haha you edit faster than I type, thanks for correcting :) Great list overall!

    • Gina Vaynshteyn

      Thanks, although I’m pretty sure I titled it “Part of Your World”? Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=602096931 Cat Thomas

    If you liked the Thora Birch discovery, wait until you figure out that Thackery Binx is baby McGee from NCIS AKA Sean Murray :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000608935964 Nicole Heiniger

    Nailed it. Love the Arielle, Aladdin and Hocus Pocus moments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1850786416 Audrey Mattevi

    Great article. Our generation is so lucky to have grown up with such inspiring, quotable, and (relatively) progressive movies. Now I want to go watch Pocahontas and The Princess & The Frog!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002587136608 Nadine Wille

    Mufasa was Simbas Father, the name of his evil uncle was Scar

    • Gina Vaynshteyn

      Yes! Sorry about that, guys! I totally knew that and failed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000306474777 Eva Teves

    While this is a great list and all, there were so much more memorable moments skipped. How bout the opening scene for The Lion King with Circle of Life? The magic carpet ride w/ A Whole New World? When Rafiki finds out Simba is still alive? The sweet love montage in Up? The opening scene for Toy Story w/ You’ve Got A Friend In Me? When Pinocchio turns into a real boy? When the kids fly to Neverland with Peter Pan for the first time? The ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast? I could go on and on… There was so much missed here… =( Also, it wasn’t Mufasa who banishes Simba, it was Scar. Mufasa is Simba’s father. :/
    Still a nice read, but I wish you included more epic moments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604379064 Machi Seminario

    The list was great… but it missed some of the best moments in movies of all time. For example, the “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba” frase, when the Lion King starts: it just brings tears to my eyes, every single time. Or the “Let’s go fly a kite” song from Mary Poppins. From Tarzan, “Strangers like me” and “You’ll be in my heart”. From Song of the South “Zip a-dee-doo-dah”… omg, that song really is inspiring.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509607773 Lauren McVicar

    What happens when you watch too much Disney. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=317125228454764

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509607773 Lauren McVicar

      Also, it was Scar who banished Simba, not Mufasa.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003563869865 Che Manero

    what about hakuna matata scene..?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=685895367 Leigh Ann Quindara

    Ho hum. There are so many strange and/or erroneous things about this list, it seems to be written in haste or by someone who isn’t really as into Disney as they would lead you to believe. But the most glaring thing about it is, you give this lovely introduction about how amazing Walt is and how we are about to celebrate his achievements…and then only include TWO films that he actually was alive to work on. I think you should re-title this to maybe “My Favorite Disney Moments” which is much more accurate.

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