Disney Films: There are few film studios that have dominated the industry as much as Disney. Disney has been responsible for many of the greatest animated films of all time, from the 1930s all the way through to today.
The combination of incredible storytelling, iconic characters, stunning universes, life lessons and pioneering animation techniques has made Disney popular with all generations. Inevitably this has sparked some debate as to which is better — classic Disney or modern Disney? There is no clear cut answer and both sides would be able to argue their case as we discuss below.
What Classifies as Classic & Modern?
First, you need to classify what classic Disney films are and what modern Disney films are. It is likely that everyone will have different opinions, but one of the clearest ways of separating the two is to consider modern Disney as anything that has been made by the Pixar studio, which had Toy Story (1995) as its first release and the first ever computer animated film.
The Best Films
In terms of classics, both studios have many to choose from, but obviously classic Disney has a much longer history. This means there are more classics, but equally a number of more forgettable films too. A few classic Disney films include:
- Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs
- The Lion King
- One Hundred and One Dalmatians
A few of the best modern Disney (Pixar) films include:
- The Toy Story films
- Finding Nemo
- Monsters Inc
Looking at the Rotten Tomatoes critic score, overall Pixar comes out on top with a combined score of 89% when compared to Disney at 80%. As above, this is likely due to Disney’s much larger catalogue, but it is impressive that Pixar has not yet put a foot wrong in 25 years. There are three films that have a 100% critic score and these include the first two Toy Story films (Pixar) and Pinocchio (Disney).
Box Office Revenue
Of course, you must also look at the box office revenue to determine success. Interestingly, it is Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs from 1937 that is the highest-grossing animated film (adjusted for inflation) at $1,021,330,000 and set the animation standard according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It is Disney that dominates when it comes to box office revenue with One Hundred and One Dalmatians ($936,225,101) and The Lion King ($827,550,405), rounding at the top 3. When you consider the fact that Pixar is part of the same company, along with the theme parks and other branding, it is astonishing to think of the money that the company makes.
It is a difficult argument to breakdown, but when you compare the feature films from both studios and factor in critic and audience scores along with inflation-adjusted domestic box office total, Cash Lady found it was Pixar that came out on top — marginally.
Of course, this is a debate which could be argued for many hours and both sides will have valid points. Ultimately, classic Disney has the pull of nostalgia and paving the way for the films of the future, along with many iconic films which are still popular today. On the other hand, Pixar has hardly put a foot wrong and taken animated films to new heights in recent years.
What do you think? Classic vs Modern? I am definitely a Disney film classic lover. Those classics are the films of my childhood and each hold a special certain memory. Cinderella and the Jungle Book are my favorites!
Although I love many of the modern Disney and Pixar films, (especially all of the Toy Story films, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory) the classics will always have my heart!
Think about it – Which are your favorites?
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you’ll visit again real soon . . . . Janice B