Sleeping Beauty (1959)

It’s got its bad archaic bits (a 16-year old getting non-consensually kissed by and married to a guy who looks like he’s 30, for one) and some sleepy ones too (the entire sequence in the forest) but the fairies’ surprisingly strong role in the action climax as well as their comedic chemistry (shout out to the drunk bard too) help counter them. The excellent villain and underlying thread of dramatic irony in the dual identities of the “stranger” and the “peasant girl” are nice additions as well.

The Sword in the Stone (1963)


A poor boy named Arthur learns the power of love, kindness, knowledge and bravery with the help of a wizard called Merlin in the path to become one of the most beloved kings in England history. (IMDb)
The book-ending bits after which the film is named end up feeling like unnecessary additions to its central story-a charmingly aimless little tale of a bumbling old wizard taking a gangly young boy under his wing and teaching him life lessons (see his line about love and gravity) through experiencing the lives of three different animals. Full of fun slapstick (see the recurring wolf gag) and whimsical animation (literally–see the live dishes), with one particularly enjoyable wizard’s duel.
7/10 (Good)

The AristoCats (1970)


With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country. (IMDb)
A lazily written adventure plot here is boosted by its three-fold setting (an elegant mansion, the rustic countryside, and a ramshackle city house) and bevy of charming characters, from piano-playing kittens to simpleton farm dogs to a gaggle of giggling geese. Throw in a devious butler, a heroic tomcat, and a rag-tag group of jazzy alley-cats and you have the ingredients for some hysterical slapstick, exciting escapades, and one particularly catchy tune (“Everybody wants to be a cat!”).
7/10 (Good)