Disney Movies of the 2010s through today Ranked!

Ranking All of the Disney Movies of the 2010s – 2020s From Worst to Best!

By: Preston Simmons | Written: April 5th, 2022


Disney movies of the 2010s ranked

The Disney Movies of the 2010s have been celebrated as being the highest quality movies since the Renaissance Era of the 90s. It’s suitable, then, that the era of Disney movies of the 2010s has been dubbed “The Revival Era.”

After Disney’s “Post-Renaissance Era” of the 2000s-2009, the computer animation style that Disney has now become known for was perfected. Disney executives then gave their future animated movies higher budgets because computer-animated films cost more to make.

The higher budgets and the advancement in technology allowed for better-looking movies, which resulted in more people wanting to see them. That, in turn, resulted in higher grossing films, which allowed for more ambitious projects as the years went by.

The Disney movies of the 2010s are as follows:

  1. Tangled (2010)
  2. Winnie the Pooh (2011)
  3. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
  4. Frozen (2013)
  5. Big Hero 6 (2014)
  6. Zootopia (2016)
  7. Moana (2016)
  8. Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
  9. Frozen 2 (2019)
  10. Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
  11. Encanto (2021)

Critics claim that these were some of the best Disney movies in the last twenty years. Out of these 11 released animated movies, which one is the best and which one is the worst?

Here are the Disney movies of the 2010s through today RANKED!


*Warning: Spoilers for some of the Disney Movies ahead*

#11 – Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Disney's Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Number 11 of the Disney movies of the 2010s through today ranked in Winnie the Pooh (2011). Out of all the Disney movies in the last 20+ years, Winnie the Pooh feels the most like the classic Disney movies from the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages.

This is represented in the animation style, which is an homage to the original 1977 Winnie the Pooh movie, the soundtrack, which is sung in the same manner as the classics, and the writing, where the jokes are less modern and more similar to the comedic era of, yet again, the Golden Age of Disney. 

At first, I thought this movie would be a complete remake of the 1977 version of the film, which was just a retelling of the classic children’s novel.

Instead, after the famous rendition of “Winnie the Pooh,” which is the same in all versions, the movie goes in another original direction. This could be considered a sequel to the original film, even though the events of the classic film are never brought up.

The Story of Winnie The Pooh

There are multiple plots in Winnie the Pooh that are all connected. The first plot is Pooh looking for honey, a central storyline in most Winnie the Pooh stories.

The second plot is about the entire Hundred Acre Woods citizens trying to find a new tail for Eeyore, who has lost his. The third plot is the gang mistakenly thinking that Christopher Robin had been kidnapped by a creature named The Backson.

And finally, the fourth plot is Piglet braving the Hundred Acre Woods alone to rescue the gang from a hole they fell in. 

Winnie the Pooh feels like it’s made up of separate short stories rather than a single movie.

However, that feeling makes sense because the film takes place in a fourth-wall-breaking book separated by chapters. Often in the movie, Pooh and the gang acknowledge and even interact with the words from the book, sometimes even bringing the letters into their world. 

It’s a straightforward, short, but fun movie. There’s nostalgia for the adults through these classic characters and many things for kids to enjoy the film.

However, I will say that the movie’s simplicity is not enough for it to be considered one of the best of the 2010s because this era was filled with so many incredible films. Because of that reason, Winnie the Pooh can not be ranked higher on the list. 

#10 – Big Hero 6 (2014)

Disney's Big Hero 6

Number 10 on the Disney movies of the 2010s through today ranked is Big Hero 6 (2014). Big Hero 6 is a movie with a ton of heart. At the core of the story, the film is about coping with the grief from loss and learning how to move on.

It’s also a movie about friendship and the healing power that a good group of friends can provide a person. 

The central theme of Big Hero 6 revolves around Hiro, the main protagonist of the movie. Hiro is a 14-year-old genius who is an incredible inventor and scientist.

Loss and Moving On

When his older brother, Tadashi, dies in a tragic accident, Hiro must learn how to cope with the loss. It’s only through Baymax, a medical robot created by his brother and his new friends, that he can do this. 

The story of Big Hero 6 isn’t complicated at all and is pretty straightforward. After Hiro’s invention is stolen during the tragedy at a science convention, with the help of Baymax, he attempts to get it back.

He upgrades Baymax with combat abilities and recruits his friends by creating super suits for them to help him in his mission. What starts as a simple retrieval mission quickly turns into a race to save San Fransokyo.

Through the mission, Hiro is confronted with the loss of his older brother and the weight that his loss carries. The main villain of the movie is also a parallel to Hiro’s issues.

The primary motivation for the villain is that they too suffer from loss, but instead of learning to live with it and appreciate the memories that they shared with their significant person, they instead want revenge on the person that caused the loss.

Ironically, the villain is the cause of the death of Hiro’s brother, igniting the desire for revenge in Hiro. But it’s through Baymax that Hiro can learn why revenge and anger lead to suffering and that moving on and embracing the loss leads to happiness. 

The Characters in Big Hero 6

Baymax is one of the most lovable characters Disney has created. His entire persona is the healthcare of others. As a result, he’s lovable, considerate, and insanely fluffy looking. Baymax is the best part of the movie and is probably the most memorable aspect. 

A downside I have with the movie is that there was not enough time to explore anything about any of Hiro’s friends because the main cast is so large.

Though they play a significant role in the movie, we learn barely anything about any of them save for Fred. All we know about Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred by the end of the movie is that they were Tadashi’s friends from class (and Fred lives in a mansion).

Other than that, their backgrounds are a mystery. We don’t even know their real names. Though this is Hiro’s story, it would have been nice to learn more about them. 

San Fransokyo and The Animation

Another thing I’d like to point out is how cool San Fransokyo is as a city. This is probably the closest thing we will get for a Disney cyberpunk movie. The city is breathtaking to look at, with the mix of Japanese and American culture perfectly integrated. 

Also, the animation in the movie is spectacular. Each year Disney improves upon its craft and Big Hero 6 is no exception. In particular, there is a scene at the end of the movie that is so bright, colorful, and well done.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were moments in Ant-Man and the Wasp and Doctor Strange that took inspiration from this movie for certain scenes in those films.

Big Hero 6: Final Thoughts

Overall, Big Hero 6 is a good movie, if not a little flawed. There’s a ton more I’d like to learn about the world in which the movie takes place in and the characters that the movie never had a chance to expand.

The foundation is there for a sequel that could potentially explore the ideas, but as the movie is now eight years old, and Disney might not consider the movie a big success as they would like, the chances of that happening are slim.

Though Disney did create an animated series to continue the story, I can’t help but feel that another movie would have been good as well. 

#9 – Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Disney's Wreck-It Ralph

As a gaming fan, I had a smile on my face for almost the entire duration of Wreck-It Ralph. A few aspects of the movie stand out the most to me, but the ones I want to highlight are the incredible world of Wreck-It Ralph and the characters in the film.

The world of Wreck-It Ralph is one of the most purely creative worlds that Disney has ever made. The movie takes place in various arcade game worlds that Ralph travels to in search of a medal to prove that he’s not just a bad guy. These worlds are based on real games with a twist. 

The Many Game Worlds IN Wreck-It Ralph

You have Ralph’s world of Fix-It Felix Jr, based on the classic Nintendo game Donkey Kong. Then, a first-person shooter game called Hero’s Duty that is inspired by games like Halo and Gears of War with some tower climbing aspects thrown in. Finally, Sugar Rush is a mix of the board game Candy Land and the Nintendo game Mario Kart. 

The great part comes in how Disney changed the animation style for each world. In Fix-It Felix, the world is drawn in a 3D pixel art style because in the real world (in the movie), the game is 2D.

In Hero’s Duty, since the game is newer, the characters and graphics are more realistic, which is even commented on by Fix-It Felix.

Sugar Rush is Candy Land come to life. Every aspect of the world is made of candy, from the chocolate ponds to the candy cane trees. It’s bright and vibrant, and full of life. 

The characters in Wreck-It Ralph are also great. They all have something about them to love; however, I particularly liked the main characters, Venellope and Ralph. 

Venellope is such a cute character but also one with a pretty sad backstory. She’s an outcast whose dream is to one day participate in the race that the game is known for.

Ralph and Venellope’s Relationship in Wreck-it Ralph

Venellope is called a “glitch” in her world, and because of her condition, she has been ostracized from the rest of the residents of her game, Sugar Rush. Even though she’s a reject in her world, she still keeps a positive attitude. But it’s hard always to stay positive when her entire existence has isolated her from everyone else. 

Similarly, Ralph struggles with the same problems as Venellope. He’s not a glitch, but he’s the bad guy in his game. Because of that, even though he’s just doing his job, people treat him like a monster and a menace to society. Ralph wants to be accepted by his peers. 

Together, Venellope and Ralph make a great team. In a way, this is Disney’s brother and sister bonding movie. Ralph teaches Venellope how to follow her dreams and love herself, even if she’s different from everyone else.

Through Venellope, Ralph learns that he is good just the way he is. He learns to love himself and who he is. 

Wreck-It Ralph is another great Disney movie with very few flaws (except for the random Rihanna song thrown in the middle of the film that felt totally out of place). 

#8 – Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet

Everything that Wreck-It Ralph did in 2012, Ralph Breaks the Internet did better in 2018. If the first movie showed how creative Disney could be, the sequel takes it to the next level. But it’s not just that the movie is so creative; it also has a ton of heart.

Two aspects of the film should be discussed, Disney’s depiction of a living internet and the movie’s central theme of friendship, insecurities, and growing up.

The Living Internet in Ralph Breaks the Internet

The creativity shown in the Wreck-It Ralph series is incredible. I thought seeing all the references to old and new video games was incredible in the first movie, but let me tell you, the references in Ralph Breaks the Internet blew the first movie out of the water.

Truly, every frame has a reference in it if you look closely. 

In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Ralph and Venellope travel to the internet in order to buy a replacement steering wheel for Venellope’s arcade game, Sugar Rush. The Internet that Disney created is fantastic.

There are so many references that it’s almost mind-blowing. Seriously, how much did Disney pay to be able to get all the big culture-defining names in this movie, like Google, Amazon, YouTube, Pinterest, and eBay?

But those are only the obvious references. And then there were the references and parodies they made of themselves with the OhmyDisney sequences. 

Wow. Just wow. Pretty much every Disney movie was referenced in some fashion during that scene. The focus was on the Disney princesses (which was great), but in the establishing shot, there were so many blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references.

Honestly, the entire movie was so much fun just for those parts alone. 

Co-Dependency and Letting Go

The story in Ralph Breaks the Internet was surprising. Going into the movie, I didn’t know where they could go with the plot considering everything was resolved in the first movie, or so I thought.

However, as it turns out, there was way more character building in this movie than there was even in the last. This movie’s central theme was friendship, insecurities, codependency, and growing up. 

Ralph’s insecurities about himself were not resolved in the last movie. If anything, he developed a codependent relationship with Venellope after spending so much time together as best friends after the conclusion of Wreck-It Ralph.

Because of that, when Venellope discovers something of interest to her that doesn’t involve Ralph, he immediately becomes depressed and toxic. 

Through the events in the movie, Ralph learns how not to be codependent and how unhealthy jealousy can be. Venellope, on the other hand, continues trying to follow her dreams.

In this act, Venellope is growing up and moving on. It’s up to Ralph to learn to let her go and that everything will be alright if he does. 

This is an excellent movie for parents to watch if they have an older kid ready to leave the nest.

Final Thoughts on Ralph Breaks the Internet

There are only two downsides I have with the movie. The first is that things tend to move extremely fast in the film. There were moments when some scenes quickly jumped to the next without explaining how things progressed in that way.

However, this was an issue only in the movie’s latter half.

Another issue is that besides Ralph and Venellope, not many other characters from the previous movie (or even newly introduced side characters from this movie) were given much depth.

It’s unfortunate because many of the new side characters were interesting, like Yesss, Shank, and Spamly. 

Overall, Ralph Breaks the Internet was a great movie and an improvement on the first one. 

#7 – Moana (2016)

Disney's Moana

There is a lot to love about Moana, but I’d like to focus on the music, soundtrack, and animation. 

The animation in Moana is unlike anything I have seen even to this day regarding some particular aspects, namely water and hair. A significant focus in Moana is seafaring, so it makes sense that Disney put a lot of effort into animating the ocean in the movie.

Honestly, I have never seen better-animated water in my life. The fluidity, motions, and physics on display with the water are so hyper-realistic that it’s almost too perfect. Is it possible that animated water could look even more perfect than water in real life?

In Moana, it comes incredibly close. 

The Amazing Curly Hair in Moana

Then there is the hair. Everything I mentioned about the water can also be attributed to the hair. Moana, her family, and Maui are Pacific Islander/Polynesian, so most of their hair is long and curly. The difficulty with curly hair is that each strand is unique.

It can zig-zag, coil, be wavy, or even slightly straight. Then, curly hair creates the volume that straight hair doesn’t have. And then the hair texture completely changes again when it gets wet, something that happens often in the movie.

Animating the curly hair in Moana to such an extent that is displayed in the movie is astonishing. In 2022, audiences praised Encanto for the curly representation, but Moana was the movie that made it possible. 

As someone with curly hair, I couldn’t have asked for a better representation than what was presented in Moana. Tangled, through Mother Gothel, displayed the early stage of Disney animating curly hair, but in Moana, they perfected the art.

The Soundtrack

The soundtrack in Moana is also great. I would say that the songs are almost on par with Frozen, if not even more catchy. Created by Lin Manuel Miranda, the songs in Moana stick to the pacific islander theme all the way through.

Standouts in the movie are “How Far I’ll Go,” “You’re Welcome,” and “We Know the Way.” He did a great job creating music that fits the culture and society Disney was trying to celebrate in Moana.

The only song that felt out of place in the movie was “Shiny,” even though the song itself is pretty good as well. 

Story and Characters

In terms of the story and characters, Moana also doesn’t disappoint. It’s an adventure movie through and through centered on Moana attempting to return the heart of the mother island where it belongs with the help of Maui, the demigod.

It’s a fun and exciting story that’s easy to rewatch.

Moana would be a great role model for little kids as she’s brave, adventurous, intelligent, and a natural leader.

Maui is also a great character, as he has a lot of growth in the movie. He starts as a selfish “can do no wrong” type of character but quickly changes throughout the film into a more mature and thoughtful one, thanks to the help of Moana, showing that even demigods can improve. 

Overall, Moana is another great movie from Disney.

#6 – Frozen (2013)

Disney's Frozen

There is a good reason why Frozen was a cultural phenomenon back in 2013 when it first premiered.

For one, Frozen has some of the catchiest songs Disney has ever made.

Secondly, you can’t help but see why Elsa and Anna would be who little girls everywhere would want to be when they grow up. Though this is probably not a reason why the movie was so popular, instead, a personal reason why I think the film is so good is because of the main villain.

The Most Popular Songs in Disney’s History

Frozen has some of the best songs in a Disney movie since the Renaissance Era, at least in catchiness.

“Let it Go,” “In Summer,” “Love is an Open Door,” “Fixer Upper,” and “For the First Time in Forever” are all great songs that will get stuck in your head for days to come after hearing them. 

The obvious standout of the bunch is “Let it Go,” sung by the amazing Idina Menzel.

I think the reason why that specific song was so popular at the time and is still the song that all Disney movie songs are compared to even to this day is because of how powerful the song is but also how easy it is to remember and how fun it is to sing. 

“Love is an Open Door” is an excellent song for two reasons. Like the other songs in the movie, it’s incredibly catchy.

However, my personal reason why the song is great is that once you finish watching the movie for the first time, the song takes on an entirely new meaning once the main villain is revealed, along with their motivations and plans to accomplish their goals. 

The Story of Frozen

The story of Frozen is centered around the two sisters, Elsa and Anna. Elsa, the older of the two, has magical powers that allow her to create snow and ice; however, to her, nothing good has come from them.

Anna, her younger sister, is an ordinary girl without any powers but has an unwavering love for her sister. The problems begin on coronation day for Elsa when her powers go out of control.

Running away to escape the people, Elsa accidentally creates a never-ending winter for their land of Arendelle. Worried about her sister, Anna attempts to find her and revert the winter back to summer.

Along the way, she meets Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf, who help her on her journey to eventually realize what the meaning of true love is. 

The Characters In Frozen

Elsa and Anna are both great characters. Elsa is great because the problems and issues she deals with internally are relatable. She’s quiet, reserved, and forced to hide herself away, which she viewed as being the “good girl” because of her father’s teachings.

For most of her life, she was isolated in her home, internalizing self-hatred and fear of herself and her powers. Because of that, she developed a severe anxiety disorder, depression, and self-isolating tendencies.

These problems are not something that many kid’s movies ever attempt to tackle in a relatable and easy-to-understand way (until Pixar’s Inside Out). Though Elsa’s symptoms are never outright said, all her actions point to her being a severely depressed person. 

Anna is the opposite of Elsa. She is highly extroverted, thrives on being around people, is extraordinarily naive, and wants to see her sister happy.

She’s a great character because, just like Elsa, there is a ton of character growth that happens to her throughout the movie. Her character growth is mainly due to Kristoff, but in other ways, it can be attributed to the movie’s main villain, Hans. 

The Villain of Frozen and the Meaning of True Love

Hans is one of Disney’s best villains in a long time. He’s the anti-Prince Charming. He fits all of the typical stereotypes for a Disney Prince but is anything but that. The best part about Hans is just how intelligent and manipulative he is.

Simply put, he played Anna like a fiddle. Throughout most of the movie, Hans has Anna believe that he’s her true love, thanks to the song “Love is an Open Door.”

But it’s not until the movie’s conclusion that Anna realizes that true love isn’t necessarily romantic; it can also be the bond one has with your sibling. 

Overall, Frozen is a great movie that can easily be rewatched if only to hear the songs again. But that shouldn’t be the only reason to watch Frozen, because the story is also a pretty great one. 

#5 – Tangled (2010)

Disney's Tangled

Though Princess and the Frog (2009) can technically be marked as the beginning of the “Revival Age” of Disney Animation Studios, Tangled is, in my opinion, the true beginning of the era.

Almost all of the movies from this point onwards (save for Winnie the Pooh) follow the animation style of Tangled. This could be why Disney has found so much success in its animated movies in the past decade. 

The Animation of Tangled marks the Beginning of “the Revival Age”

The first thing to note is the animation. If the computer-animated style was slowly being improved in the 2000s and peaking with Bolt in 2008, it’s clear that in 2010, Disney Animated Studios perfected their technique with Tangled. The animated detail in the movie is breathtaking. 

The detail in the colorful vistas, the layered castles and towers, and intricate character models show how the technology advanced in just a few short years. Gone are the days of Chicken Little (2005). 

A particularly impressive aspect of the animation is the hair on the character models. Hair is a focal point in Tangled. As the story is a retelling of the classic fairytale Rapunzel, it’s fitting that the hair would be the most detailed aspect of the film. Each strand of hair on every character’s head is animated. 

The realism of the hair takes the film to another level. Rapunzel’s long flowing gold hair is practically a character on its own as she uses it in more than one unique way. Mother Gothel’s curly hair is incredible as well.

This is Disney’s first attempt at animating curly hair, something they would do more often in films like Moana and Encanto. With Mother Gothel, the different textures of curly hair stand out. There is a mix of coily and wavy, and even some frizz on some strands. 

The Story and Characters of Tangled

But how is the movie itself? Tangled is a great film. The message of the movie is about following and finding your dream. It’s a very Disney message that’s great for kids and adults. 

Tangled is also funny and heartwarming, with likable characters and a fantastic villain. Flynn and Rapunzel have great chemistry and are among the best pairs even today. 

Rapunzel is innocent, kind, and wants to see the world. Also, I think Rapunzel might be my favorite Disney Princess in this new era of the Revival Age. Flynn is a charming and hilarious rogue who’s street smart. Though they are opposites in many ways, they make the perfect team.

Mother Gothel as a villain works because she’s not overtly evil. She’s a passive, narcissistic evil who constantly puts Rapunzel down to lower her confidence.

She’s someone that many people can probably say they know a person like her. Her character song, “Mother Knows Best,” perfectly captures who she is as a character. 

The songs in Tangled are also great. The specific stand-out is “I See the Light.” Even compared to the powerhouse songs in Frozen and Moana, I think the songs in Tangled are just as good, even if they never were as popular.

Overall, Tangled is one of the best Disney movies of the 2010s and the perfect beginning to the new era of films. 

#4 – Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon

Raya and the Last Dragon is Disney’s best-looking movie by far. In other words, this is probably one of the most beautiful animated movies of all time in an aesthetic sense. It’s also one of Disney’s most straightforward yet epic movies.

First, the animation in Raya and the Last Dragon has to be highlighted and praised.

The Animation of Raya and the Last Dragon

This is the most hyper-realistic 3D computer-animated movie in Disney’s collection. Every aspect of the film in regards to animation is breathtaking. The character models are gorgeous, the incredible environments, and the attention to detail is impeccable.

This is a movie where I can genuinely say that I have no idea how Disney can improve upon this, but knowing Disney, somehow they will. 

The story of Raya and the Last Dragon is pretty straightforward, but it is very well executed. Above all else, though, what I appreciate the most about the film is how fleshed out the world felt.

Disney’s Most Epic Film

This is Disney’s most epic film they have ever made. In the movie, Raya and Sisu travel across the entire continent, searching for stolen pieces of a Dragon Stone. This magical stone will allow the world to go back to normal after events occur earlier in the movie.

Each of the locations Raya travels to feels unique with its own culture. One of my biggest complaints about Disney movies is that the world never feels fleshed out after the first movie. In Raya, that isn’t the case at all. 

The Characters of Raya and the Last Dragon

Another aspect that I love about the movie is the characters. Raya may be my new favorite Disney princess. She’s intelligent, strong, and brave, and she doesn’t need anyone’s help to get things done.

She can handle things on her own, but that doesn’t stop her from utilizing the help from others when she needs it. Honestly, she’s a great role model for all kids.

Sisu, the last dragon, is also a great character. She’s funny (voiced by Awkwafina), capable, and most importantly, she knows how to see the best in people. 

The Message of Raya and the Last Dragon

Trust in others is the key to making the world a better place. Always expecting the worst from someone leads to others feeling the same way. Therein lies the core message of Raya and the Last Dragon.

It’s a pretty simple message for a Disney movie, but it’s easy to understand and grasp for people of all ages. 

Overall, Raya and the Last Dragon was one of the most surprising films of the Disney movies of the 2010s. It’s a shame it didn’t get as much love as some of the other Disney movies of this era, but maybe that’s because there wasn’t a single song in the film. 

#3 – Frozen 2 (2019)

Disney's Frozen 2

This may be an unpopular opinion, but to me, Frozen 2 is a superior movie compared to Frozen in nearly every way.

The songs might not be anywhere near as widely popular as the ones from the first movie, but to me, they are more well written, way more emotional, and all plot-relevant.

The story also is geared more towards adults and teens than the first one, as it’s much darker than expected, even for a Disney movie. 

The Songs of Frozen 2

The songs in Frozen 2 are outstanding. Every single one is great and easy to relisten. “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself” are the main songs in the movie, both sung by Idina Menzel.

The pure emotion in “Show Yourself” might make it one of the most powerful songs in Disney Animation history. The side songs are also equally as good. “All is Found” is short but powerful in its own way that would make a great lullaby. “Lost in the Woods” is one of the most unique Disney songs because it sounds like it was taken straight out of the eighties.

It’s equally hilarious and heartwarming.

Frozen 2 also has one of the saddest and most depressing songs, I think, in any Disney movie since the Renaissance with “The Next Right Thing.” Overall, Frozen 2 has a great collection of songs. 

The Story of Frozen 2

The story of Frozen 2 is also great for a variety of reasons. First, its theme is a lot more mature than the first movie. The story is about how Anna and Elsa discover the truth about the past to right the wrongs that occurred and save Arendelle from being destroyed by angry elemental spirits.

This movie is all about the world-building of Frozen. In Frozen, there were hints of an interesting story behind the movie’s world. Frozen 2 expands upon certain elements of the universe in a greater way than Frozen

More importantly, Anna and Elsa’s personal story is uncovered through their family. We learn more about their parents and grandparents and Arendelle’s dark history, including that of the Northundra, the people of the sun.

Their story is pretty familiar if you know the history of any nation that had a past of exploration and discovering native people. So, although the main plot isn’t surprising or groundbreaking, but that’s okay, because its execution is stellar. 

The best part of the movie comes in through Anna and Elsa’s side stories. Elsa is on a mission to find the voice that only she can hear that’s calling to her. She’s sure the voice is good and will help her learn about her powers and solve most of her problems.

Unfortunately, Elsa has also become pretty reckless, much to Anna’s chagrin. The danger that Elsa constantly puts herself in worries Anna to no end. 

Anna keeps trying her best to protect Elsa, but as she has no powers herself, there’s not much she can do. Anna, more than anything, doesn’t want Elsa to leave her side as she did in their past, but Elsa wants nothing more than to go into the unknown and discover more about her powers, virtually leaving Anna behind.

Both sisters are going in different directions in their lives, and although Elsa is finally able to be herself, in the process, Anna gets hurt. 

Anna is a much more interesting character in this movie than in the first. She’s wiser, more mature, and even headed. Although I connected with Elsa in the first movie as she battled her depression and anxiety, this movie it’s more about her path of self-discovery.

Self-Discovery and Frozen 2

Self-discovery is also a significant theme in the film. Olaf’s entire journey in Frozen 2 is about growing up and changing.

Though not every character gets the best treatment in the movie. Unfortunately, Kristoff and Sven kind of take a backseat in this movie. Their plot is funny, and Kristoff gets one of the best songs in the entire film, but overall the plotline of him feeling left behind by Anna and wanting to propose to her feels much less important than everything else (even Olaf’s plot). 

Overall, Frozen 2 feels like such an improvement over Frozen. Even in 2022, I occasionally find myself singing the songs from the movie. Frozen 2 is an excellent movie and one I can see myself watching for years to come.

#2 – Encanto (2021)

Disney's Encanto

Encanto is a fantastic movie by Disney. It’s one of the most relatable tales told in many years and also one of the best looking movies on par with Raya and the Last Dragon, while also being better looking in some aspects.

Paired with an incredible soundtrack by Lin Manuel Miranda and a cast full of lovable characters, Encanto is one of Disney’s best movies in years. 

The Family Madrigal

Encanto is one of Disney’s most relatable movies strictly because it’s about family and how even a perfect-looking family can have its share of problems. There is no villain in the movie unless you consider family dysfunction a villain. 

Encanto is also filled with wonderful characters, focused on the Madrigal family, but mainly Mirabel. The Madrigal family is a magical family that lives in a magical home.

They are the caretakers of their little paradise town, and everything for them is generally perfect. The only exception to the perfect family is Mirabel. She, unfortunately, is the only blood-related member of the Madrigal family that doesn’t have magical powers.

However, Mirabel’s defining characteristic, and Encanto’s overall message, is that her lack of gifts is not what defines her. 

Story Structure in Encanto

Encanto’s story structure is pretty simple. As the movie progresses, the audience is introduced to another member of the Madrigal family.

Each member is unique and fun in their way and has something special about them, whether it’s their power or the backstory that we learn through Mirabel’s investigation to save the Casita, which is the central conflict of the movie.

These character moments are when Encanto’s many musical numbers occur, and I’m happy to say they are some of Disney’s best in years.

The Best Soundtrack of the Disney Movies of the 2010s

This is Disney’s best soundtrack since Frozen 2; however, in my opinion, it far surpasses it. I would argue that Encanto has Disney’s best soundtrack in all of the 2000s.

Every song in the movie is incredible and makes sense in the plot. It’s hard to pick a favorite song out of the soundtrack because they are all so good.

The most popular song is “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” and I will admit having that song stuck in my head for weeks. However, my favorite song would be a toss-up between “Dos Oruguitas” or “Encanto.” 

The Animation of Encanto

Visually, Encanto is just as aesthetically pleasing as Raya and the Last Dragon, yet it does some things even better than Raya does. Encanto has the best-animated clothing I have ever seen in an animation movie.

Each article of clothes was so incredibly detailed in every way. The fabric is discernible from whether someone was wearing an outfit made from cotton, linen, or silk. Take Mirabel’s dress, for example. The detail on her dress alone is incredible and culturally accurate. 

The Cultural Representation in Encanto

Speaking of culture, Encanto brought Colombia to life in so many small but important detailed ways.

With the characters speaking a mix of Spanish and English, to small facial expressions that are unique to Columbia (ex. pointing with their mouth), and saying words like “Miercoles” as a substitute for a Spanish curse, little things like that, made the culture in Encanto more authentic.

Details are what take movies from being good to being great. For Encanto, the details took the film from being great to amazing. 

Overall, Encanto is one of my favorite Disney movies of the 2010s, and I would argue it’s one of the best in the era as well. 

#1 – Zootopia (2016)

Zootopia is Disney’s first attempt at a movie about talking animals that live in a human-like city since Chicken Little (2005). Though both films are about anthropomorphic animals, they couldn’t be any different.

Ten years later, Disney has proven that, once again, they know how to make movies about humanoid animals better than anyone else. 

Zootopia is a movie about evolved animals. Once the animals lived in a predator vs. prey society, they eventually evolved and created a city of peace called Zootopia, where predators and prey could live together in peace and harmony without any fear.

Anthropomorphic Animals done right

The movie follows Judy Hopps, a bunny police officer new to the city. Quickly, she meets Nick Wilde, a fox con artist. Although they make an unlikely team, together, they work to find predators that have gone missing in the city.

Zootopia is an incredible movie by Disney. This is Disney’s attempt at a film for kids to discuss some of the most relevant issues that society faces, but mainly racism and stereotypes.

But before I get into that, let’s talk about the city itself and the creativeness that is displayed throughout the movie. 

In many other anthropomorphic-themed movies, the logical aspect that many animals are of different sizes is largely ignored. Usually, they make all the animals the same size to get around that real factor.

So, in Chicken Little, a goldfish was the same size as a rooster, and that was accepted. In Zootopia, Disney not only decided to make the animated animals the same size as their real-life companions; they chose to embrace it and create an entire city that takes the size differences into account. 

The City of Zootopia

Zootopia is one of the most creative cities in an animated movie. The city is broken up into different districts that cater to the different types of animals.

Some sections are a desert climate, another a tropical climate, and even one that’s a tundra climate. In each district, the infrastructure is built for the different sizes of animals that live there, and as the movie is from Judy Hopps’ POV, many things look giant, while some things look miniature.

The director wisely kept the camera angle always at Judy’s level so that the city seemed way bigger at all times. Of course, that would be the case when a bunny walks past an elephant or a giraffe, which is common in Zootopia. 

The Core Theme of Zootopia

The physical differences in the animals make up the core of the movie. The concept of predator and prey is an allegory for the differences that people deal with, more specifically racism.

The film does a great job of showing how racism can be passive. Like how fear or misunderstanding of a different group of people can create stereotypes against them, or how racism is so ingrained in society that it’s simple to blame things on an entire group of people just because of the way they look because it could be in their “DNA.”

Zootopia does not shy away from some weighty topics, which you can only applaud Disney for doing. This is a very relevant movie, even to this day. 

From the beginning, the movie is fantastic. But it borders onto masterpiece territory around the halfway mark. Zootopia, at first, is a funny buddy cop film that quickly transforms into a commentary on modern-day society and the flaws within.

In a way, Zootopia is Disney’s most adult film since Atlantis: The Lost Empire. It’s a movie that sticks with you well after watching it. For that reason, Zootopia is one of the best Disney movies of the 2010s. 


Final Thoughts

Overall, there weren’t any movies during Disney’s “Revival Era” that I did not like. Out of ten, the “worst” movie on the list Winnie the Pooh would have received a 7.5/10 if I was rating it. All of the other movies would have received an 8/10 and higher. In other words, all the Disney movies of the 2010s through 2020s are great.

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