Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Directed by Burr Steers, 2016) English 2 1/2 Stars

Adaptation of Jane Austen’s seminal work, this time with a twist: zombies. The twist however renders the main appeal of Pride and Prejudice (the romance) pretty inconsequential. Still, the film starring Lily James remains entertaining throughout thanks to stylistic gore and the animated sequence in the beginning was a nice touch.


Kung Fu Panda 3 (Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni, 2016) English 2 1/2 Stars

Third installment in the saga following the legendary dragon warrior Po (voiced by Jack Black) features more backstory as we meet his father (voiced by Bryan Cranston) and an entire Panda community. Meanwhile, an undead warrior returns to wreak havoc and establish himself  as the ultimate kung fu master. Like its predecessors, it goes down easily enough, and some of the diverse animation is spectacular, but the substance isn’t there.

Middle Ten (Disney Animated Movies 34-25)

34. Robin Hood (1973) Disney adaptations usually represent the best versions of stories. That’s not the case with Robin Hood as Errol Flynn’s 1930’s venture remains the pinnacle, but this film still entertains.

33. Oliver and Company (1988) This movie is odd. With its Billy Joel music, animal protagonists and 1980s urbanity mixed with Charles Dickens tale of a resilient orphan feels like too many ideas that don’t go together. Disney was still on the mend and just a year away from The Little Mermaid, but this movie shows the return to ambition and creativity that would lead to Disney’s best films in the following decade.

32. The Aristocats (1970) Following the death of Walt Disney, the studios output became less grand and less daring. This film, however, makes up for its lack of ambition with wit and great music.

31. The Jungle Book (1967) The last film Walt Disney was involved in before his death, this was a massive success, beautifully capturing the adventurous spirit of Rudyard Kipling’s stories with added flourishes and humor.

30. The Lady and the Tramp (1955) Romantic, iconic, this is a wonderful movie and one of Disney’s enduring achievements.

29. Big Hero 6 (2014) Two juggernauts-Disney animation and Marvel comics- came together for a beautifully animated film with great action scenes and pathos.

28. Peter Pan (1953) The perfect platform for J.M Barrie’s classic, the only shortcoming is that the music is forgettable.

27. Melody Time (1948) Easily the best anthology film in my opinion, the music is fantastic and its segments-notably Johnny Appleseed-are exciting.

26. Lilo and Stitch (2002) Another oddity in Disney’s filmography, this one feels more like a quirky independent film than a huge studio release, it nevertheless was a huge box-office hit. Funny and moving.

25. The Black Cauldron (1985) While mourning the greatness this film could have been-Tim burton was attached to the project before being fired-I still find much to enjoy in Disney’s venture into uncharted territory with this fantasy epic.

The Next Ten (Disney rankings 44-35)

44. Winnie the Pooh (2011) Updated adaptation of A.A Milne’s stories manages to keep all that was charming about the first film with sharper hand-drawn animation.

43. Brother Bear (2003) A strong film about family and friendship, it nevertheless suffers from lack of broad appeal. Feels very intimate compared to the grand productions Disney had been popping out prior to its release.

42. Home on the Range (2004) Quaint film about farm animals facing off against an evil baron, this is a stereotypical Disney film of the early 2000s-good but rather small minded.

41. Chicken Little (2005) Funny premise ultimately yields disappointing results as I fear the artists and storytellers of this film settled for mediocrity.

40. Fantasia (1940) Perhaps Disney’s most ambitious film, but I, being a cultural philistine, do not like classical music.

39. The Three Caballeros (1944) One of Disney’s goodwill compilation films, this feature, while being much better than its predecessor, cannot hold up with the high standard Walt Disney and his animators set before and after this movie.

38. Fantasia 2000 (2000) Gorgeous animation with a more diverse range of music including numbers by Gershwin and Beethoven.

37. Bolt (2008) Fun family fare that signaled a turn around for the studio back to mass success, this film follows a t.v star dog who must journey back to his owner after getting stranded in New York.

36. 101 Dalmatians (1961) A timeless villain in Cruella De Vil and those cute puppies made this a massive hit; one of Disney’s greatest successes. Loses something though when viewed as an adult.

35. Alice in Wonderland (1951) Adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece loses some of its whimsy in the translation. Still one of Disney’s cooler films.