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1. 'Fantasia' (1940)
Best character: Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Best movie moment: The great demon Chernabog rising above Bald Mountain.
Why it's one of Disney's best: While Walt Disney Feature Animation is synonymous with family entertainment now, it wasn't always a given that would be the case. Disney seemed to be willing to experiment in those early days, and "Fantasia" is probably the most adult film he was ever able to get made. Experimental, especially for the era, it was long considered to be too esoteric, almost like the company was embarrassed by it, but it is filled with sweeping images of power and beauty. More than that, the very notion of introducing young audiences to classical music using Mickey Mouse seems downright subversive. More than any other film on this list, "Fantasia" is a celebration of the sheer potential of animation.
- Drew McWeeny