Disney classic movies have been a part of the childhood of many people around the world, and, just this year, the animation studios are expected to revisit a couple of them, such as Buzz Lightyear‘s much-awaited origin story. Movies like Snow White And The Seven Dwarves or Alice In The Wonderland make up more than 50 length features that deserved to be rewatched and re-appreciated.
Many of those who grew up knowing these stories by heart also eagerly followed the phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From defenders of Iron Man to Wandaists, this fandom has it all. Here are ten Disney classics to rewatch inspired by fans’ favorite MCU characters.
Iron Man: Pinocchio (1940)
Tony Stark/Iron Man has had quite the development. For ten years, audiences have seen him grow from a spoiled and egocentric millionaire into a caring friend and father.
Similarly, Pinocchio starts out with the title character as a wooden toy magically brought to life who is naive but mischievous. Both characters are developed through their experiences and deal with grief and trauma. Throughout the movie, Pinocchio easily deviates from his duties at school and at home. Eventually, he grows up and becomes a “real boy” – a somewhat striking parallel to Stark, who has learned to accept the two parts of his identity: Tony and Iron Man.
Black Widow: Bambi (1942)
Ever since her introduction to the MCU, Scarlett Johansson has been a key part of this universe. Her Natasha Romanoff is a fearless and outspoken hero whose end was met with sadness for many fans.
Just like Nat’s, Bambi’s backstory is full of sweet moments followed by heart-wrenching ones. They both learn the inner workings of friendships and how they should be built on a basis of trust. And just like Bambi’s mother, Nat’s demise is bittersweet and traumatic, as each of them sacrifices herself to save someone else they cared about. In the end, their legacy lives on in those characters that loved them. In Black Widow’s case, Hawkeye/Clint Barton has a hard time coming to terms with her death.
Doctor Strange: Alice In The Wonderland (1951)
Fans of Stephen Strange love magic and mysticism accompanied by a good plot and characters that matter. The 2016 Doctor Strange movie combines all this with breathtaking special effects.
Alice In The Wonderland is based on the homonymous classic by Lewis Carroll and it tells the story of a young girl who falls into a whimsical world where animals and flowers speak. In his origin story, Strange is introduced to the idea of time and dimension travel, begins also exploring the mystical realms of the MCU, and becomes one of the most powerful Marvel magic users. The special effects in the two productions are out of this world, allowing the audiences to be fully immersed in the story.
Wanda Maximoff: Fantasia (1940)
For those who love the dynamic energy that Elizabeth Olsen brings to the screens, Disney 1940 feature Fantasia is the way to go.
A feast for the eyes and ears of any audience member, it is full of character. Famous composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven are re-interpreted by an orchestra, in a magical blend of classical western music and animated storytelling. Not only is it a cinematic masterpiece, but it was actually one of the 9 times Walt Disney himself made a cameo in a project of his own. He appears at the end, complimenting the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski, who conducted the performance.
Thor: Peter Pan (1953)
Heavily inspired by Norse mythology, Thor Odinson is the Asgardian God of Thunder.
Peter Pan focuses on a group of children who flies into Neverland, a magical land where they do not grow up. After many adventures, Wendy and her brothers decide to go back home and accept their responsibilities. Banished to Earth following his role in the outset of hostilities between Asgard and Jotunheim, Thor also had to mature in order to get his powers back. Both stories center on the struggles of growing up.
Clint Barton: Robin Hood (1973)
Clint Barton is an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who first appeared on Thor, retiring and going rogue at times, but always provided audiences with equal doses of sorrows and laughs.
Disney’s famous take on the archer hero in the 1973 Robin Hood is a funny, lighthearted re-imagination of the rogue who steals from the rich to give to the poor. Hawkeye suits this profile in a darker way. He does not exactly steal from the rich, but his desire to bring to justice those who deserve it plays a big role in his, however questionable, moral compass. Neither of them can bear to see innocents hurt without doing something about it.
Spiderman: The Fox and the Hound (1981)
Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is a relatable and caring character, literally the “friendly neighborhood” of the Spider-Man comics.
A similar vibe permeates 1981 The Fox and the Hound. Just like the Homecoming trilogy, it focuses on the meaning of friendship and on how these can go through obstacles and come out stronger. It is packed with both impactful scenes and comic relief moments. In the end, those friends go their separate ways, mirroring the final instants in No Way Home when Parker decides that leaving MJ and Ned alone would be in their best interests.
Steve Rogers: The Lion King (1994)
Steven Rogers is a brave superhero known for his strong morals and sense of duty. So is Simba, the main character of Heir to King Mufasa forced into hiding after his father’s murder. He returns to his lands as an adult lion to ascend the throne, fulfilling his destiny as King. Rogers and Simba are characters deeply concerned with doing the right thing, which makes The Lion King the perfect movie for fans of Cap.
The Guardians of The Galaxy: The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Guardians of the Galaxy is about a group of heroes adventuring across the broader universe.
Audiences love their movies because of their lighthearted comedy and the superb soundtrack. Moreover, it is with them that outer space is explored in MCU, similar to how the lost Inca world is presented in The Emperor’s New Groove. The 2000 movie relies on comedy to tell the story of Kuzko, an emperor that gets transformed into a llama and features some of the best Disney songs ever.
Black Panther: Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
In the first Black Panther installment, T’Challa becomes king of Wakanda, a country hidden in the depths of the African lowland.
Anyone who loved this premise will certainly enjoy Atlantis. Based on the famous Greek legend, the mythical island of the same name is discovered by a linguist who finds out that it has been protected by an energy crystal for millennia. Each movie explores its own world in detail, highlighting vivid character arcs, as well as troubling moral dilemmas.
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