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Favorite Disney Animation Moments

Disney is full of grand sweeping animation. Beautiful colors, vast landscapes, fluid motion, unique character design. But it’s the little things that make Disney movies so magical. Little shots, fragments of film, half-seconds that demonstrate the talent of the animators there.

Cinderella – Lucifer’s Tea Cups

The people on the Cinderella commentary made great mention of this. Partially it’s what inspired this article. Animation is more than just making characters move. It’s adding those little touches. Look at how happy he is when he sees the cup. Look at how his head wobbles so silly. It’s a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, but once you see it, you start noticing all those other moments.

Frozen – Elsa’s Foot Stomp

This was the only good gif I could find, which surprised me. Elsa’s foot stomp represents more than just the ultimate expression of her power. It’s also putting her foot down, refusing to stay in the dark any longer.

The Little Mermaid – Ariel Adjusts Her Hair

Ariel’s hair could have a movie of its own. But interestingly, it’s best shot is out of the water. Even after she tames it down, spare sprigs wisp in front of her face.
Lilo and Stitch – Scrump

For my money, there’s no more heartbreaking scene than this. Lilo tries to play dolls with her “friends” (people she’s trying to be friends with at least). She shows them Scrump, the doll she made herself. The other girls gasp in horror (especially since she made up a story that there are bugs laid in her ear). The girls leave. Lilo throws her doll on the ground and walks down the hill, abandoning something she clearly spent time and devotion to. The camera stays on the scene for a few seconds. Lilo totters back up, picks up Scrump, and hugs it affectionately, then walks back down. So good.
The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book – Dog Attack and Face Wipe

I’m now realizing that caption is going to get me a few google hits I don’t want. Anyway, Disney’s no stranger to reusing animation, especially in its leaner days. But for some reason, this clip gets to me. Especially the way he wipes his face at the end. It’s as quintessential as the “Whoa, what? WHOA!” sound bite.
Winnie the Pooh – Pooh Does Stuff

The way they animated Winnie the Pooh was perfect. He acts exactly like a stuffed animal. Kinda boneless, kinda obese. But fluffy and giggly and huggable.

Brave – Mom’s Butterfly Kisses

I really could pick any moment from Brave involving Merida’s curls. I could watch those bounce all day. But this caught my eye because Brave is about a daughter and mother. That means a big Disney romantic kiss at the end doesn’t seem appropriate. Instead, mom shows her affection in a method both modern and classic.

Peter Pan – Most of Tink in the Nursery

I’m pretty sure they used a model for just about all these shots. And I think they made big furniture for her to climb on for reference. The result captures Tinkerbell’s personality in a few short shots.

Bambi — “Thumper Gets an Erection Kissed”

This is the one scene from Bambi that I don’t totally hate, although it’s really because of this video. I like how Thumper tries resisting, but his ears keep giving him away. There’s something that twisted itself in my little kid mind about this scene, about women and love and eroticism.

Beauty and the Beast — “How’m’I Doin’?”

While Beast is dancing with Belle (a move which every guy thinks will make or break the date, but really has no influence whatsoever) she places her hand on his hip. He checks his household-object friends and gives them the ultimate bro look.

Dumbo — “Baby Mine”

You can’t be a parent and not shed tears at this scene. Dumbo’s mother has been locked away in the circus equivalent of an insane asylum. Her leg’s are shackled, she’s in a near windowless room. She’s cut off from her baby, except for one thing. The thing elephants are famous for.

Honorable Mention – A Goofy Movie — Goofy Does This

While wandering backstage at the Powerline concert, Goofy walks in on a partially dressed opera singer. She screams. He does. WTF is this? I’ve watched it over and over and still can’t figure it out.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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