Top Disney Movies of the 80’s


Most of us have that one Disney movie that makes our hearts skip a beat even with just the mere mention of its title. That Disney movie that transports you back to the cinema where you first saw it. Disney movies are different for every generation but one thing they have in common is being unforgettable.

If you’re an 80’s kid and you want to travel back in those times when Disney movies are one of the simple things that can make you happy, then we will be glad to help you with that. Today, we’re giving you a list of the top Disney movies of the 80s. You should be able to pick up any of these from a DVD rental service, and enjoy the movie the old-school way at home!

1. The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Released in 1989, The Little Mermaid is based on a Danish fairytale that tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who dreams to become a human. One day, she fell in love with a dashingly handsome human named Prince Eric. Because her urge to become a human became stronger, she seek the help of an evil sea witch named Ursula. They then made a deal to transform Ariel into a human for three days. She must receive a true love’s kiss from Eric or else she will turn back into a mermaid on the third day. Things got messed up and Ariel’s father found out what she did, he must make an ultimate sacrifice to save her daughter.

The little mermaid earned a total of 211 million dollars worldwide. It was also known as Disney’s lifesaver after a series of commercial failures that they produced.

2. The Fox and the Hound

This 1981 animated drama film is based on a novel that was about two best friends, a fox named Tod and the hound dog, Cooper. Unfortunately, Copper was owned by a hunter who wants him to be a hunting dog. As they grew older, they start to become enemies than best friends. His owner once sent him to kill Todd because he almost killed one of his dog. Copper and Tod must face the consequences to overcome their differences in order to save what’s left of their friendship.

The release of the Fox and the Hound was a theatrical success. It was one of Disney’s most expensive animated film with the budget of 12 million dollars. It had a sequel entitled The Fox and the Hound 2 that was released in 2006 on DVD.

3. The Great Mouse Detective

This 1986 mystery, comedy animated film was adapted from a book by Eve Titus entitled “Basil of Baker Street.” The Great Mouse Detective is about a mouse named Basil who acts like the detective, Sherlock Holmes. He embarked on his greatest case when a toymaker in London was kidnapped. The case inflates until he discovered that the kidnapping was related to a plot to steal the Queen’s crown. This film received positive reviews and earned financial success.

4. Where the Toys Come From

This film was created in 1983 but was released in 1984. It tells the story of Zoom and Peepers, they are toys who are in a quest to find out where they came from. Their owner named Robin helps them in their search. He later took Zoom and Peepers to the toy shop where he purchased them and they soon find out that they will have to go to Japan. In Japan, they met with their maker and who answered all their questions.

5. Popeye

This 1980 musical comedy film that stars Robin Williams tells the story of Popeye, a sailor, who is in search for his father. His search brought him to the town of Sweethaven and met a girl named Olive Oyl, the daughter of the owner of the boarding house he is staying in. Popeye soon found out that the evil pirate Bluto, Olive Oyl’s fiancée, kidnapped his father. Together with his friends and Olive Oyl, they set out on an adventure to stop Bluto and free the town of Sweethaven from his hands.

6. Tron

Tron is a sci-fi action adventure film that was released in 1982. The film tells the story of a computer hacker named Kevin Flynn. He was digitally broken down and sent into a computer. Inside the computer there is a program named Master Control who rule the digital world like a dictator. Flynn then teamed up with his girlfriend and a bookkeeping program to replace the Master Control with Tron who is a security program that monitors the communication between Master Control and the world.

Tron’s story was developed in 1976 but different film studios rejected the storyboards until it ended up in Walt Disney Productions and they agreed to produce and finance the film. Tron received a nomination from the Academy for Best Costume Design and Best Sound. And fourteen years later, Tron also received an Academy Award for Technical Advancement. The film eventually turned into a franchise consisting of video games, animated television series and comic books.

7. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

This 1989 comedy, science fiction film that stars Rick Monaris. He plays the inventor named Wayne Szalinski who accidentally shrinks his kids and their friend into a quarter of an inch with an electromagnetic shrinking machine he invented. Then he accidentally sweeps them up and put throw them in the trash. The kids have to travel through tall and thick grasses to get back to the house. Along the way they challenged their way through giant bugs, sprinklers and a lawn mower and much more.

The film became a box office success earning 222 million dollars worldwide. It was one of Disney’s highest grossing live action film ever. It even had two successful sequels and a TV show that aired from 1997 to 2000.

8. Herbie Goes Bananas

This was the fourth installment of the Herbie series that was released in 1980. It stars the legendary white Volkswagen beetle that has a mind of its own. In this movie, he embarks on a journey on a cruise ship with his owner, Pete, to Rio de Janeiro. It was supposed to be a relaxing journey until they got into a mess because Herbie wants to help out his new friend named Paco.  But little do they know, Paco was being chased by criminals because apparently, he picks pockets for a living and Paco stole some film that shows where some Incan treasures were hidden.

9. One Magic Christmas

One Magic Christmas

One Magic Christmas is a Christmas fantasy film released in 1985. This film tells the story of a Christmas angel who is sent by Santa Claus to help a woman named Ginny Grainger. Ginny hates Christmas because she and her family is experiencing hard times and financial issues. With the help of Gideon, the Christmas Angel, and Ginny’s daughter, Abbie, they went on a journey to the North Pole and to see Santa Claus. They must find a way to may Ginny believe in the magic of Christmas again.

10. Return to Oz

This 1985 movie tells the story of Dorothy Gale six months after she left the land of Oz. She is almost back to her full health after surviving the tornado. But she cannot get the magical and wonderful world of Oz out of her head. She cannot sleep and can’t stop talking about it. Her aunt Em got worried and brought her to see a doctor. They thought she was suffering insomnia and delusional depression. They admitted Dorothy into a mental hospital to get electrotherapy treatments. But one day, a thunderstorm came and the lab went encountered a blackout. During that blackout, Dorothy was rescued by a mysterious girl and found herself back in Oz. there, she met a new set of  friends and they set off on an adventure to save the Scarecrow from the evil Nome King and restore the Land of Oz to its former glory. The film received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

11. The Black Cauldron

The black cauldron was a hit Disney movie released in 1985, based on the first two books of an originally five-part series. This movie follows a young boy called Taran, who needs to protect an oracular pig, Hen Wen, who knows where the mystical black cauldron is. However, this task is not as simple as it seems because the Evil Horned King is also after the same cauldron as it will help him conquer the world. The movie features incredible animation and detailed designs of the Horned King, making it a technically brilliant work.

The black cauldron is also one of the first animated movies to receive a PG rating because the imagery depicted was a little too disturbing compared to the studio’s previous movies. 

12. Adventures in Babysitting

Adventures in Babysitting was released in 1987, featuring Elisabeth Sue as Chris Parker, who agrees to babysit three kids and expects her night to consist of watching TV. However, her friend calls her from a bus stop in Chicago, where she is caught up in danger and needs to be rescued. Unable to ignore her friend’s pleas for help, Chris packs up the kids and brings them with her to the big city, where their night is full of adventure. 

The movie was initially released under the Touchstone Pictures label, which is why it was financed and produced by Walt Disney Studios. It follows the trope of other teen comedies and even includes a musical number to keep things interesting. 

13. Oliver & Company

Oliver and Company is a 1988 movie based on Oliver Twist, a Charles Dickens classic. The film follows a homeless kitten called Oliver who roams the streets of New York alone when he is eventually adopted into a group of mutts who survive by stealing. While carrying out one of their schemes, the group chance upon a little girl called Jenny, who belongs to a wealthy family, and changes their life for the better.

The movie was a success and featured a talented voice cast, including Billy Joel and Cheech Marin. The former performed ‘Why Should I Worry?’ a popular song sung by his character Dodger. 

14. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 movie set in 1947 in a world where cartoons and human beings co-exist. The film follows Eddie Valiant, who is a toon-hating private detective hired to solve the case of who framed Rodger Rabbit, a cartoon actor, for the murder of the creator of Acme Cartoons. 


These are the top Disney movies of the 80s. Though they have been filmed years ago, it’s still very entertaining to watch them over and over until today. So, which of these 80s Disney movies is your most favorite?

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