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Top 10 Classic Live Action Disney Movies

Welcome back readers to another top 10 list.  Today I want to look at classic live action Disney movies.  When I say classic I’m talking from 1940s to 1999.  Disney is known for lots of great animated movies but they also have quite a few live action movies under their belt as well.  Sit back and enjoy.

 10.  Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Based on the book of the same name, Swiss Family Robinson is about the Robinson family as they set sail to a new land only to be caught up in a storm and shipwrecked on an island.  This movie is fun for the whole family.  The settings, the inventions and the adventures all captivate those young and old.  I love this movie because they had great actors in it.  Each person fit their role well.  Also it was fun watching how the animals interacted with the actors and their surroundings.  For an older Disney movie it still stands up well against time.

 9.  Flight of the Navigator (1986)

Ever wonder what would happen if you got abducted by aliens?  Look no further.  Flight of the Navigator is the story of a young boy named David who is taken by an alien space ship in the year 1978.  He wakes up 8 years later to a changed world. His mission is to get himself and the ship, the "Navigator", home.  It’s a fun movie with great actors like Sarah Jessica Parker and Paul Reubens taking on very memorable rolls.  This movie I saw as an adult.  I never knew it existed when I was kid but I know I would have loved it.

 8.  The Mighty Ducks (1992)

I may not be the biggest hockey fan but I love this movie.  Gordon Bombay taking on a bunch of misfit kids and turning them into force to be reckoned with is the best part of movie.  Released in 1992, The Mighty Ducks sent out a positive message that with hard work and dedication you can do whatever your heart desires.  The two sequels went on to further that point with different challenges. A great movie.

 7.  Man of the House (1995)

Chevy Chase, Farah Fawcett and Jonathan Taylor Thomas star in this laugh out loud movie.  Jonathan and Farah play a mother and son and the son likes things the way they are. But when the mother brings a new man into their lives, hilarity begins.  This was one movie I tracked down on DVD because I loved it that much.  It didn’t help that I really liked Jonathan Taylor Thomas back in the day.

 6.  The Parent Trap (1961)

This, folks, is the original Parent Trap with Hailey Mills. Not the Lindsay Lohan version.  I was not a happy camper when they remade this.  What I loved about The Parent Trap is how they were able to film Hailey Mills side by side.  This was trick camera work at is finest.  There was catchy music and great jokes.  I also love the part with the bear.  This movie always puts a smile on my face not matter what is going on.  The movie also starred Maureen O’Hara who just recently passed away on October 24, 2015.

5.  Freaky Friday (1976)

Again, the original. Not the Lindsey Lohan remake (although that one wasn’t too bad thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis). This was one of Jodie Foster’s early roles and she was amazing in it.  One thing I love about this movie is they did not try to fem up her character at all.  She was allowed to be a tomboy throughout the entire movie even in the mother’s body.  This is another movie I’m proud to own on DVD because I love it that much.

 4.  Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

What happens when your dad is the crazy inventor and one of his inventions goes on the fritz; you get Honey I Shrunk the Kids.  This movie has some of the best scenes ever.  Between green screens, giant sets, and crazy camera tricks, you feel like you are part of the action.  Rick Moranis is great as always in this movie.  When I found this movie on DVD for $5 I was right on top buying it.

 3.  Pete’s Dragon (1977)

One thing I love about Disney is their animation. When they combine animation and live action it is always a wonderful treat.  Pete’s Dragon is the story of an orphan boy, Pete, and his friend Elliot who is a dragon.  Helen Reddy, Mickey Rooney and Shelly Winters all star in the movie.  It’s a great mix of laughs and tears.  A beautiful, heartwarming film that the entire family can enjoy together. The animation works seamlessly into the movie. 

2.  Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

Set on the back drop of World War 2, three children escaping war torn London and a lonely witch go on an adventure of a lifetime with the help of a magic bedknob.  Angela Lansbury stars in this classic along with David Thomlinson (who also starred in my number 1 pick).  Two of the most memorable scenes for me are when they went into the book and when they scared the bad guys away with the motion spell.

1.  Mary Poppins (1964)

Mary Poppins is hands down one of my all-time favorite movies.  Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke star in this wonderful classic of a nanny who teaches a family how to get along and love each other.  All the songs in this movie can get me singing right along (just ask some of my friends who went to Incredible Pizza with me one day).  In fact my family likes to say I sound like Julie Andrews when singing a couple of the songs. “A Spoonful of Sugar,” comes to mind for that.  Mary Poppins has its silly moments but there is always a lesson with each moment in the movie.  Just “practically perfect in every way.”

There it is. Another top 10 list from me.  Another hard one to choose for because there are so many different live action Disney movies out there that are just as wonderful as the next.  I hope you enjoyed this list and many more to come

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jkatz Posted on Nov 10, 2015 at 08:23 AM

Yup, Swiss Family Robinson and 20,000 Leagues are great examples of light hearted adventure...they don't make movies like that anymore.

echidna64 Posted on Nov 09, 2015 at 10:12 PM

Swiss Family Robinson is one of my favorite Disney movies along with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the Davy Crockett movies. Davy and the River Pirates is hilarious

Vaporman87 Posted on Nov 09, 2015 at 09:21 PM

The best of this bunch in my humble opinion, is Bedknobs and Broomsticks. That movie was repeatedly viewed by my brother and I, as we both loved the final sequence of events. The suits of armor versus the Nazis was just awesome.

It has many catchy songs (Portabello Road, Beautiful Briny Sea, etc.) and the mix of animation and live action is well done.

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