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

Treasure Island - 1950

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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

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - 1954

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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

Old Yeller - 1957

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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

The Shaggy Dog - 1959

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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

Swiss Family Robinson - 1960

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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

Pollyanna - 1960

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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

Babes in Toyland - 1961

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Starring: Ray Bolger, Annette Funicello

A Christmas classic about toys and other things.

8. The Absent-Minded Professor – 1961

The Absent-Minded Professor - 1961

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Starring: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson

One of the few black-and-white movies that Disney produced after 1941.

9. The Parent Trap – 1961

The Parent Trap - 1961

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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

The Three Lives of Thomasina - 1963

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Starring: Patrick McGoohan, Karen Dotrice

Thomasina would have RULED the internet, had it existed in 1963.

11. Mary Poppins – 1964

Mary Poppins - 1964

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Starring: Julie Andrew, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson

One of the all-time greatest Disney movies ever made. Period.

12. Moonspinners – 1964

Moonspinners - 1964

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Starring: Hayley Mills, Pola Negri, Eli Wallach

Hayley Mills + Greece + Jewel thieves = watch this movie.

13. That Darn Cat! – 1965

That Darn Cat! - 1965

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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

The Love Bug - 1968

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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

Bedknobs and Broomsticks - 1971

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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

Escape to Witch Mountain - 1975

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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

Freaky Friday - 1976

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Starring: Jodie Foster, Barbara Harris

Hello young Jodie Foster!

18. Candleshoe – 1977

Candleshoe - 1977

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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

The Cat from Outer Space - 1978

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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

Tron - 1982

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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

The Journey of Natty Gann - 1985

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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

Honey, I Shrank The Kids - 1989

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Starring: Rick Moranis, Marcia Strassman, Amy O’Neill

Remember that scene with the cereal bowl? Classic.

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