Best Disney Movies of 2021, Ranked According to IMDb

Content Warning: This article contains discussions about sexual assault

Disney fans had no shortage of new movies to watch in 2021, and fans might like a recap of the best of the year. Disney releases don’t just include Walt Disney Studios and Disney Animation anymore, of course. Disney-owned Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm (which had no new films in 2021) and 20th Century Studios have greatly expanded their list of annual releases.

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With an array of new images released just weeks apart, it’s no surprise that many moviegoers struggled to choose one when they all turned out to be memorable and made a big impact on the world. . However, if someone takes a look at the reviews and scores on IMDb, they might be able to get a general idea of ​​which ones were deeper.

ten Encanto – 7.3


Encanto is Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 60th feature film. It was directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, and co-directed by Charise Castro Smith. The story follows a Colombian family, whose members are blessed with magical gifts. Lin-Manuel Miranda composed the songs for the film.

Critics of the film applauded its setting, songs and animation, with the song “Dos Oruguitas” being particularly acclaimed. Fans responded well to the depiction of Colombia in the film and the unique personalities of the characters. In an interview with The AV Club, one of the main actors, Stephanie Beatriz, said that she felt the film was linked to her Colombian heritage and allowed her to spend more time with her ancestors and her family. [2:05].

9 Raya and the last dragon – 7.3


raya and the last dragon - home outing

Disney Animations Raya and the last dragon was directed by Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada. He follows a warrior princess who seeks the help of the last dragon in the world to try to reassemble the Dragon Gem and save her people.

Fans and critics alike responded well to the film’s portrayal of strong female characters, along with the action and detailed settings. Kelly Marie Tran also received a lot of praise, as many fans loved the way she helped create a more developed and nuanced character. However, despite the many positive reviews, many people responded negatively to the lack of representation from Southeast Asia, given the context of Southeast Asia.


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8 Alley of Nightmares – 7.4


Searchlight Pictures released the thriller Alley of nightmares, which was directed by Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro. The film is based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham and follows a mentalist-turned-professional as he increases his fame and fortune by fooling others.

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The film received widespread acclaim upon its release. He received numerous nominations for awards, including for “Best Picture”, “Best Director” and for performances by Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett.


seven The French Dispatch – 7.4


Bill Murray, Timothee Chalamet, Tilda Swinton in French Dispatch

Another highly rated film for Searchlight in 2021 was that of Wes Anderson The French dispatch. The film follows the release of the latest issue of a French newspaper, including behind the scenes of each article in the issue. Many of Anderson’s trademarks can be found in the film as well.

Critics pointed to Anderson’s usual vibrant visuals, tribute to journalism, and the ensemble’s performances. Among others, the film stars Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Timothee Chalamet, Frances McDormand and Saoirse Ronan.


6 The last duel – 7.4


The Last Duel Matt Damon Adam Driver

by Ridley Scott The last duel was released by 20th Century Studios. The film is based on Eric Jager’s book and tells the true story of a judicial duel to the death after a man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman. This then leads to three versions of the story being told, showing the perspective of the woman named Marguerite, her husband, and the man who assaulted her.

Critics applauded Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s return to screenwriting, as well as Scott’s directing and handling of a misogynist culture. The film has also been positively compared to Akira Kurosawa’s film. Rashomon.


5 Cruel – 7.4


Cruella's origin story

Craig Gillespie directed Cruel for Walt Disney Studios. The film features Emma Stone as the classic Disney villain Cruella de Vil, who was first seen in the 1961s. 101 Dalmatians. It presents Cruella’s origins, including how she went from fashion designer to villain.

Critics have indicated that the film has a great revenge story, great costumes, and an interesting take on the Disney character. The performances of Stone, Emma Thompson and Paul Walter Hauser were also much appreciated.


4 Luca – 7.5


luca review

Pixar Animation has regained its usual success with Luca, which was directed by Enrico Casarosa. The film follows two young sea monsters as they take on human form and spend a summer in an Italian town.

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Casarosa highlighted the film’s themes of friendship and what it’s like to be a stranger. He was also keen to welcome all fan interpretations of the sea monster side of the story, including representation of the LGBTQ + community and refugees. Critics also applauded the film’s animation and the coming-of-age elements.




3 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – 7.5


Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings was directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. It was the first Marvel Studios film to have an Asian-led superhero and follow a young man who must come to terms with his past and his dangerous father.

The film was praised for its visual effects, martial arts, Asian-American portrayal, and what it brought to the MCU. Some critics admired the film for avoiding clichés and fully developing its characters. Not only were the performances of Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and Tony Leung highlighted, but many fans also rated it as one of the best MCU movies to watch on Disney Plus.


2 West Side Story – 7.9


Rachel Zegler West Side Story

Steven Spielberg’s remake West Side Story is one of the top rated films of the year, released by 20th Century Studios. The film tells the classic musical tale of two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, and the loving couple who find themselves in the midst of gangs and the turmoil they cause.

The film’s classic musical feel was praised, and many critics felt it stood out from Spielberg’s legendary work. Ariana DeBose and Rita Moreno’s performances were particularly praised, and newcomer Rachel Zegler was also considered a star. DeBose was also noted for having the best singing and dancing skills among the West Side Story to throw.


1 Summer of the Soul – 8.2


Sly Stone in the summer of the soul

Summer of the soul is a Searchlight Pictures documentary, directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. The film follows the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which lasted six weeks and featured performances by artists (such as Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight). It was released on Hulu.

Questlove wanted to bring the film to life due to the fact that the footage had gone unused for so long and because of the impact music had on his life. Critics praised the restoration of the footage and how the film captured such an important moment. Critic Mark Kermode also called it “the best musical documentary I have ever seen”. (via the BBC).

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About the Author

James C. Tibbs