The Top Ten Live-Action Disney Films of All Time

Photo Credit: Buena Vista Distribution Company
December 30th, 2013

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The Top Ten Live-Action Disney Films of All Time

When people think of Disney films, many think of the studio's classic animated movies. Despite this, the company has a long and rich history of making quality live-action films, many of which continue to stand the test of time. It isn't easy to pare down the dozens of non-animated Disney films to ten, but here they are, the best the studio has put out so far.

10. "The Parent Trap" (1998)

The 1961 original is a classic in its own right, but the 1998 remake was astoundingly good and memorable. It stars Lindsay Lohan as a child, long before she became the tabloid mainstay that she has become today. She turns in a fantastic performance and even nails a British accent to play twins Hallie and Annie, who don't realize they are twins raised on different continents until after they meet each other at summer camp. They then set out on a mission to reunite their parents Nick (Dennis Quaid) and Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson) in this charming film that shows how to remake a classic the right way.

9. "Swiss Family Robinson"

This tale of a shipwrecked family fighting for survival on a mysterious island has been told plenty of times on film and on television as well. This 1960 Disney version is the one that stands the test of time with great performances from John Mills and Dorothy McGuire as Father and Mother Robinson respectively.

8. "The Muppets"

Before Muppets super fan Jason Segel wrote this 2011 reboot, the Muppets had been woefully absent from the silver screen since "Muppets from Space" in 1999. Disney bought the rights to the franchise in 2004, but it took Segel and his sweet, heartfelt script to bring the characters alive again. Not only was the film a hit, it introduced a whole new generation to the Muppets and has spawned a sequel to be released in 2014.

7. "Enchanted"

Most Disney princess movies are animated, such as "Snow White" and "Cinderella." "Enchanted" not only has a live-action princess in Giselle (Amy Adams), but it is set in modern-day New York rather than an enchanted forest or alternate reality of some sort. It is the perfect blend of a traditional Disney princess movie with today's modern sensibilities, plus it was nominated for three Oscars for the fantastic original songs, penned by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

6. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"

All the films in this franchise have been fun to watch, but the original is still the best. It was a thrill to watch Johnny Depp as he introduced the world to his wayward Captain Jack Sparrow, the pirate with a secret heart of gold. Who knew that a Disneyworld ride could spawn a franchise that would rake in billions worldwide in ticket sales and merchandise?

5. "Cool Runnings"

This film is based on the true story of the Jamaican bobsled team, who were not taken seriously when they tried to qualify for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada. They not only qualified to compete, they earned the respect of their competitors and their tiny tropical nation as well.

4. "Freaky Friday"

Jodie Foster has been making movies for years, but "Freaky Friday," made when she was just fourteen, is one of the most memorable. In fact, her performance was so good she was nominated for a Golden Globe award, along with co-star Barbara Harris, who played the mother with whom she switches bodies.

3. "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"

Before she ever did "Murder, She Wrote," Angela Lansbury starred in "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" as an apprentice witch who sets out to help England defeat the Nazis during World War II. To do it, she needs a magical component in order to complete a spell, which means lots of traveling to faraway lands in this imaginative film.

2. "Old Yeller"

This is the only real tearjerker film on the list, but it deserves its place nonetheless. It's the story of a boy and his faithful dog, who he hates at first. As the dog grows on the boy, he grows on the audience as well, which makes the gut-punch ending all the more tragic.

1. "Mary Poppins"

Julie Andrews was already a well-established singer and stage actor in 1964, but it wasn't until "Mary Poppins" came out that same year she shot to movie stardom and became a household name. Who can forget her magical umbrella or that crazy bag that had everything in it but the kitchen sink? Then there is the soundtrack, full of classics like "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and "A Spoonful of Sugar," both of which help put it at the top of this very distinguished list of films.