With the 92nd Academy Awards fast approaching, here’s a look at all of the Walt Disney Company’s movie wins so far, all available to watch on Disney +. But with nearly 50 stunning films, where do you begin? We’ve got your back, with a recommendation for each era as we foray into the swanky world of the Disney Oscars.
The Oldies (1930s – 1950s)
Flowers and Trees (Best Animated Short)
The Tortoise and the Hare (Best Animated Short)
The Old Mill (Best Animated Short)
The Ugly Duckling (Best Animated Short)
Pinocchio (Best Original Score; Best Original Song: “When You Wish Upon a Star”)
Dumbo (Best Original Score)
Lend a Paw (Best Animated Short)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Edmund Gwenn; Best Story: Valentine Davies; Best Adapted Screenplay)
The Living Desert (Best Documentary Feature)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Best Production Design; Best Visual Effects)
The Vanishing Prairie (Best Documentary Feature)
Don’t Miss: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
A bit of an underrated Disney Classic, 20,000 Leagues is a stunning live action-adventure film that adapts Jules Vern’s novel of the same name. It’s little surprise that this intense sci-fi movie took home Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design; its retro aesthetic would be worked into many Disney attractions, most prominently the Magic Kingdom’s Submarine Voyage and Disneyland Paris’ walkthrough Les Mystères du Nautilus. A must for fans of classic adventure film or a good steampunk aesthetic.
The Classics (The 1960s – 1980s)
Mary Poppins (Best Actress in a Leading Role: Disney Legend Julie Andrews; Best Film Editing; Best Visual Effects; Bets Score; Best Original Song: “Chim Chim Cher-ee)
The Sound of Music (Best Picture; Best Director: Robert Wise; Best Original Score; Best Sound Mixing; Best Film Editing)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Best Visual Effects)
Tin Toy (Best Animated Short)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Best Sound Editing; Best Visual Effects; Best Film Editing)
The Little Mermaid (Best Original Score; Best Original Song: “Under the Sea”)
Don’t Miss: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
As you’re likely to have already seen Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, how about a little love for Roger Rabbit? With a previously (and subsequently) unheard-of agreement between Disney and Warner Bros, we get the mind-blowing inclusion of cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny interacting with all of our Walt Disney favourites like Mickey Mouse. Where this movie really breaks ground though, is in its special effects (hence one of its three Academy Awards), which blend animated characters with reality in a way that still holds up today.
The Disney Renaissance (1900s)
Beauty and the Beast (1991) (Best Original Score; Best Original Song: “Beauty and the Beast”)
Aladdin (Best Original Score; Best Original Song: “A Whole New World”)
The Lion King (1994) (Best Original Score; Best Original Song: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”)
Pocahontas (Best Original Score; Best Original Song: “Colors of the Wind”)
Toy Story(Special Achievement)
Geri’s Game (Best Animated Short)
Tarzan (Best Original Song: “You’ll Be in My Heart”)
Don’t Miss: Beauty and the Beast
Alright, so it’s not the biggest hot take to recommend Beauty and the Beast. Or Toy Story, The Lion King, or Aladdin, for that matter. However, as the first animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture, Beauty and the Beast represents a shining moment in the Walt Disney Company’s Oscar experience, even though it didn’t win. Of course, Alan Menken took home two awards in 1991, and is anyone surprised? This film score is gold-dust and if you haven’t watched this marvel in animated achievement, shame on you. A classic in the greatest sense of the word.
P.S Can Alan Menken just score our lives, please?
To the 2000s and beyond
For the Birds (Best Animated Short)
Monsters, Inc. (Best Original Song: “If I Didn’t Have You”)
Finding Nemo (Best Animated Feature)
The Incredibles (Best Animated Feature; Best Sound Editing)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Best Makeup)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Best Visual Effects)
Ratatouille (Best Animated Feature)
WALL•E (Best Animated Feature)
Up (Best Animated Feature; Best Original Score)
Avatar (Best Production Design; Best Cinematography; Best Visual Effects)
Don’t Miss: Up
The SECOND Disney animated film to be nominated for Best Picture (in a time where Best Animated Feature now existed, we might add!), Up remains in our opinion, Disney – Pixar’s magnum opus. Remembered mostly for the heart-breaking opening sequence that could easily be a short film in its own right, Up is a compelling study of grief and the cruelty and beauty of everyday life.
Of course, it’s a Pixaranimated film so, it also has talking dogs, a house strung up by balloons, and a bird called Kevin. Luckily, every element blends to perfection, rounded off by Michael Giacchino’s stunningly emotionally effective score, which took home it’s second Academy Award. And made 99% of the population weep. Thanks.
The Modern Era (The 2010’s – Present)
Alice in Wonderland (2010) (Best Art Direction)
Toy Story 3 (Best Animated Feature; Best Original Song: “We Belong Together”)
The Muppets (Best Original Song: “Man or Muppet”)
Brave (Best Animated Feature)
Frozen (Best Animated Feature; Best Original Song: “Let It Go”)
Big Hero 6 (Best Animated Feature)
Inside Out (Best Animated Feature)
Piper (Best Animated Short)
Zootopia (Best Animated Feature)
The Jungle Book (2016) (Best Visual Effects)
Coco (Best Animated Feature; Best Original Song: “Remember Me”)
Bao (Best Animated Short)
Free Solo (Best Documentary Feature)
Black Panther (Best Original Score; Best Costume Design; Best Production Design)
Don’t Miss: Black Panther
Our first Marvel movie! How exciting. Ok, second including Big Hero 6, but there you go. The MCU hit its stride with the spectacular progression of Spider-Man Homecoming, into Thor: Ragnarok, and finally into the ludicrously successful Black Panther. Not only does Director Ryan Coogler’s epic feature film maintain a staggering level of superhero action quality, it crucially opens culturally relevant doors in spades, crafting a Marvel movie that’s as meaningful off the screen as it is on.
With Wakanda’s gorgeously realised aesthetic, it’s no surprise that it took home Best Costume, Production Design, or Score, or even that it passed the $1bn mark. The nomination for Best Picture was the icing on the cake for this extreme high of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As with all the winners, it represents the motion picture experience at its finest.
Have you seen all these Oscar-winning Disney movies on Disney+? Let us know in the comments what your favorites are and which ones you need to add to your viewing list!