Making a list of 11 most successful Disney movies ever was everything but an easy task. During its history that spans back to 1923 when Walt and Roy Disney established Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, the company has produced dozens of films that were groundbreaking in numerous aspects.
So in order to make this list we decided to choose one or more film from every decade that in our opinion have stood up (or will stand up) against the test of time. Our main criteria were all time gross earnings (inflation adjusted), awards and reviews, as well as whether the film was subject of adaptations and sequels. The order in which movies appear on this list is based on the time of release and does not reflect our opinion on movies’ artistic quality.
And, if you are that into Disney movies, enjoy another Disney-related article and find out who is the richest Disney princess of them all.
Since our aim today was to present only 11 most successful Disney movies ever, some works such as Jungle Book, Tarzan, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast were not included. Finally, films that were made in the last few years were given some extra space because they reflect a new trajectory for the company after it acquired Pixar and Lucasfilm. Let’s start with the oldest one or our list:
11. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first Disney’s animated feature film, was an immediate success – it was not only well received by critics, but it also generated a considerable profit for the company. The idea for a full-length movie based on the Grimm’s fairy tale, which came from Walt Disney, was welcomed with skepticism. Roy Disney tried to dissuade his brother from producing it, while Hollywood at first looked at it as “Disney’s Folly”. However, it became the highest grossing film in 1937. Since then, the movie had been re-released seven times in theaters, and in 1990 it was made available in video format. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs earned $943.94 million, which makes it the highest grossing Disney movie of all the time and 10th most profitable film ever. In 1939 Walt Disney received an honorary Oscar for Snow White, and the film itself was nominated for the Academy Award in the category of Best Music.