The 22 Greatest Classic Live-Action Disney Movies
Pre-1990s live action Disney movies were where it was AT, if you know what I’m talking about (cats).
1. Treasure Island – 1950
Starring: Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton
Disney’s first complete live-action movie, and an instant classic. Just as importantly, it led to the creation of “Muppet Treasure Island”, the best muppet movie ever made.
2. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea – 1954
Starring: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas
A young Kirk Douglas fights giant squids and zooms underwater in the submarine Nautilus. What’s not to love?
3. Old Yeller – 1957
Starring: Tommy Kirk, Beverly Washburn, Dorothy McGuire
If Old Yeller doesn’t make you cry every single time you watch it, see a doctor immediately. Because feelings.
4. The Shaggy Dog – 1959
Starring: Fred MacMurray, Tommy Kirk, Jean Hagen
Man turns into a dog and has some crazy adventures. Much better than the Tim Allen remake.
5. Swiss Family Robinson – 1960
Starring: John Mills, James MacArthur, Tommy Kirk, Janet Munro
Tommy Kirk really did a ton of old Disney movies didn’t he? Swiss Family Robinson was the action-packed story of a ship-wrecked family and their pet monkey fighting pirates. Classic.
6. Pollyanna – 1960
Starring: Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman
The beginning of the “Hayley Mills” era, Pollyanna is sweet and also kind of sad. But in a good way!
7. Babes in Toyland – 1961
Starring: Ray Bolger, Annette Funicello
A Christmas classic about toys and other things.
8. The Absent-Minded Professor – 1961
Starring: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson
One of the few black-and-white movies that Disney produced after 1941.
9. The Parent Trap – 1961
Starring: Hayley Mills (x2), Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith
Cinema great Maureen O’Hara and Disney staple Hayley Mills were fantastic in the Disney original that led to Lindsay Lohan’s finest film.
10. The Three Lives of Thomasina – 1963
Starring: Patrick McGoohan, Karen Dotrice
Thomasina would have RULED the internet, had it existed in 1963.
11. Mary Poppins – 1964
Starring: Julie Andrew, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson
One of the all-time greatest Disney movies ever made. Period.
12. Moonspinners – 1964
Starring: Hayley Mills, Pola Negri, Eli Wallach
Hayley Mills + Greece + Jewel thieves = watch this movie.
13. That Darn Cat! – 1965
Starring: Hayley Mills, Dean Jones
I strongly believe DC (Darn Cat) and Thomasina were the Grumpy Cat and Lil’ Bub of the 1960s.
14. The Love Bug – 1968
Starring: Dean Jones, Michele Lee
If you are going to watch a Herbie movie, for the love of God, watch this one.
15. Bedknobs and Broomsticks – 1971
Starring: Angela Lansburg, David Tomlinson
Great songs (Portobello Road), Angela Lansbury, and Nazis make Bedknobs and Broomsticks a sentimental favorite.
16. Escape to Witch Mountain – 1975
Starring: Eddie Albert, Kim Richards, Ray Milliand
Alien twins with special powers go on an adventure in an RV. Alas, the Rock is not in this version, which is the only barrier from it being perfect.
17. Freaky Friday – 1976
Starring: Jodie Foster, Barbara Harris
Hello young Jodie Foster!
18. Candleshoe – 1977
Starring: Jodie Foster, Helen Hayes, David Niven
Jodie Foster plays a tomboy in search of a hidden treasure. 100% believable.
19. The Cat from Outer Space – 1978
Starring: Cat, Ronnie Schell
This movie is about cat who comes to Earth from outer space. Why this movie doesn’t have a larger fanbase is very confusing.
20. Tron – 1982
Starring: Jeff Brides, Bruce Boxleitner
Tron completely revolutionized computer animation for movies. But also a young Jeff Bridges!
21. The Journey of Natty Gann – 1985
Starring: Meredith Salenger, John Cusack, Ray Wise
Depression-era girl has a wolf and a romance with John Cusack.
22. Honey, I Shrank The Kids – 1989
Starring: Rick Moranis, Marcia Strassman, Amy O’Neill
Remember that scene with the cereal bowl? Classic.
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