Ranking Don Bluth's Films


As I was writing my post on little seen 90's shows, I couldn't help but think of Don Bluth. He is a legendary animator who walked away from Disney and made his own films with varying results. I've seen all of his feature films with the exception of Bartok the Magnificent, a straight to DVD spin off of Anastasia he did. He didn't write all of these films, but he directed them. Here are my rankings of his films from worst to best.


10) A Troll in Central Park

I used to love this movie when I was a kid, but when I happened to catch it again when I was older it just did not hold up. One thing I always appreciated about Bluth's films growing up is they were a little creepy, and I liked that. But the animation in this one is creepy for all the wrong reasons. 

9) Titan AE

It may seem strange that this one is so low, but honestly it's not memorable to me at all. I think I actually remember more from A Troll in Central Park even though it's ranked lower. This one probably did what it was supposed to do, but it completely left my brain after watching. 

8)The Pebble and the Penguin

I'll give this movie one thing, it made the killer whales and leopard seals look terrifying. I find most penguin cartoons make them looks too cutesy even though they're the enemy, but this didn't even try to go for that. But the main character is annoying and it definitely shouldn't have been a musical. Those songs left just about everything to be desired. 


7)Thumbelina

Like I talked about in my 90's post. I'm sure this would not hold up if I watched it again now, but I bet it's unintentionally hilarious.

6)Rock-A-Doodle

I like this one. People call it a hot mess but it's so different and the songs are catchy. I still feel the same way watching it now. You'll be hearing a bit more about this one in a separate post. 

5) An American Tail

My husband have gotten into a few debates about this one. It came out in 1986, so he was barely one and I wasn't born yet. The sequel, Fievel Goes West came out in the early 90's, so both of us saw that one before going back to this. He prefers the sequel, where I always liked this one better. We have the same debate about The Rescuers vs The Rescuers Down Under, and again, I like the older one better. There's just something more beautiful about it.

4) The Land Before Time

Ahh, the original. Done before its million sequels besmirched its name. This really was a masterpiece to me as a kid. I was so bummed when my own child couldn't get into it at all. I remember Little Foot always getting on my nerves, even more so with the sequels (Yes, I watched about 5 of those before I grew out of them) but that never distracted me from how much I liked this one.
Though it's sad to me now for reasons I'll elaborate on when I get to #2.

3) Anastasia

This was Bluth's "Disney Princess" Anastasia was a beautifully animated film with a scary villain, an animal side kick, and just about everything else you could ask for. "Once Upon A December" is still one of my favorite songs to come from an animated movie.  

2) All Dogs Go To Heaven

You'd think I wouldn't be able to handle a movie about dogs literally going to heaven with how sensitive I am about puppy death in films, but I love this movie so much. But the thing that makes this and Land Before Time sad to me now is the voice actress Judith Barsi, who was tragically murdered at the age of 10, along with her mother by her father. She voiced Anne-Marie here, and Ducky in Land Before Time. I can't help but think of her. She didn't live to see either of those movies released.

1) The Secret of NIMH

The undisputed champ for me. I like the film far better than the book. There is something about this cartoon that still makes me gravitate towards it. It's probably because it's so dark, and I tend to like those types of things. But I liked how Mrs. Brisby didn't think she was brave enough to do anything, but ends up saving her family and many other's lives. Plus, the villain in this was freaky, and I appreciated that even more after finding out that entire part of the book didn't exist.  

6 comments:

  1. I've only seen 3 from the list, but I loved Anastasia! It's one of my favorite childhood movies.

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    1. Anastasia is lovely, writing this made me want to watch it again.

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  2. Sadly, I've never seen any of these. A couple of them have been in my house several times. My kids watched them, bit those must have been the ones I used as babysitters while I did something else. I know, I know, bad parent.

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    1. I can't judge anyone with using a TV as a baby sitter, I do it too. I'd recommend Secret of NIMH though, I think even adults can enjoy it. I still like watching it.

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  3. For me, An American Tale is my favorite film of that bunch as I saw it as a kid and it's a film that my mother loves. I also love The Secret of NIHM as well. All Dogs Go to Heaven is another Bluth film I love but I didn't like The Land Before Time. I'm not sure if I want to rewatch that one. I didn't know about that young girl who did the voices in those 2 films. That is horrible.

    I've seen Anastasia which I think is mediocre. The other ones I haven't seen.

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    1. It is. That really messed me up reading what happened to her.

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