More than any other movie studio, Disney reflects its creator, Walt Disney. His legacy lives on, but there's no question that there'd be no "Frozen" or "Beauty and the Beast" without Walt. In honor of his birthday this week, here are the eight best films he gave the world in his lifetime.
'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' (1937)
Disney's first full-length feature was considered very innovative for its time, which is part of the reason why it's still regarded as a classic today.
Arguably Disney's darkest film, the tale of a little wooden boy who wants to be real is firmly in all our hearts, largely thanks to a little cricket who sings the Oscar-winning "When You Wish Upon a Star." This tune became Disney's heart-tugging theme song.
Although the centerpiece of this animation anthology is "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," starring Mickey Mouse, Disney proved his vision included so much more in this ambitious, dazzling film that still thrills.
'Lady and the Tramp' (1955)
Two dogs eating spaghetti became the height of romance in this eternal fan favorite, which features dogs of all breeds, all lovingly and faithfully drawn from life. (Cats are, once again, villains, but they do have that catchy song, "We Are Siamese.")
'Sleeping Beauty' (1959)
Upon first release, Disney's costliest film wasn't well-received, but it's since become a classic that's regarded as one of the studio's finest achievements. And it features Disney's greatest villain, evil enchantress Maleficent (voiced byEleanor Audley, who also was Cinderella's cruel stepmother and Madame Leota at the Haunted Mansion.)
'101 Dalmatians' (1961)
Canine parents Pongo (voiced by Rod Taylor) and Perdita (and their humans) get more Dalmatian puppies than they can count after tangling with the diabolic Cruella de Vil, who wants to turn them all into (gasp!) fur coats in this delightful feature.
'The Jungle Book' (1967)
The last movie that Walt personally oversaw is also one of his most well-loved, with swinging songs by the Sherman brothers, including "I Wanna Be Like You" and the Oscar-nominated "The Bare Necessities." Who doesn't want to stay in the jungle with Baloo the bear?
This adorable white-tailed deer (and the heartbreaking death of his mother) inspired generations of kids (including Paul McCartney) to love and respect nature. The scenes where he befriends Thumper the rabbit and Flower the skunk haven't aged a day.