The Top 10 Disney Films From The 1980s!

Every child loves a good Disney film, and let’s be honest  – most adults do too! They’re the perfect feel-good films, loved from generation to generation. In the 1980s, Disney lovers were spoilt for choice with every film that the House of Mouse released. With that in mind, in the article below we’ve taken a look at the top 10 Disney films from the 1980s. See how many you can remember – enjoy!


10. Popeye, the Movie

A film poster for Popeye

Made in 1980, this was a musical comedy with Robin Williams in the lead role as Popeye and a perfectly cast Shelley Duvall as Olive Oil.

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Popeye goes in search of his Father, meeting a whole host of characters along the way, and he falls in love with Olive Oil! The spinach-eating sailor also discovers an abandoned baby, Sweet Pea, who he raises as his own.

Bluto kidnaps Olive Oil and Sweet Pea, but Popeye – with a little help from some spinach – comes to the rescue!

9. The Watcher in the Woods

Film poster for The Watcher In The Woods

This was a horror movie first released in 1980 and starring the legendary actress, Bette Davis.

A teenager, Jan, and her little sister Ellie (played by a young Kyle Richards, now more famous for appearing in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) go to a mansion in the English countryside. The owner of the mansion is Mrs Aylwood (Davis) who lives in the cottage next door.

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Jan Curtis soon discovers a supernatural mystery linked to a missing girl in the woods around the mansion…

8. One Magic Christmas

A scene from One Magic Christmas

This was a Christmas fantasy film from 1985. Ginny (Mary Steenburgen) is not in the Christmas spirit due to her husband, Jack, being unemployed. Ginny’s daughter Abbie is feeling the blues too. Yet she still delivers her letter for Santa, hopeful for some presents. Abbie meets an Angel, Gideon, who wants to show her that things could be much worse than they actually are!

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7. Return To Oz

A scene from Return To Oz

This movie was the unofficial sequel to the 1939 timeless classic, The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy.

In Return To Oz, made in 1985, Fairuza Bulk takes on the role of Dorothy.

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Dorothy finds herself back in Oz, where she discovers that a vain witch and a Nome King have destroyed everything that makes Oz beautiful… even the yellow brick road is in ruins!

Dorothy and her hen, Bellina, make friends with Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead and Gump. Together they set about saving Oz and restoring the land to its former glory.

Naturally we see some ruby slippers at one point too!

6. Oliver and Company

A scene from Oliver and Company

An animated musical comedy from 1988, this Disney film takes on the beloved Charles Dickens story, Oliver Twist.

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The movie featured the voices of Billy Joel as the Artful Dodger, Bette Midler as Georgette, and Joey Lawrence as the orphan that wanted more aka Oliver.

5. The Fox and the Hound

A scene from The Fox and the Hound

Who didn’t enjoy this animated drama from 1981? After his Mother is killed, Tod the Fox (voiced by showbiz veteran, Mickey Rooney) is taken in by Widow Tweed.

Tod befriends a dog named Cooper (Kurt Russell) and they become best buddies!

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In nature a fox and a dog are enemies, and consequently as the pair grow older, the differences in their natures appear and they grow apart. They must overcome their differences in order to save their friendship.

4. The Great Mouse Detective

A scene from The Great Mouse Detective

This was a 1986 animated mystery comedy. The main storyline revolved around Basil, a rodent who must stop the evil Professor Ratigan’s plot to destroy Queen Mouse!

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Did you know that Professor Ratigan was voiced by the King of the Horror films, Vincent Price?

3. The Little Mermaid

Ariel from The Little Mermaid

In this 1989 animation, Ariel the mermaid makes one of her trips to the surface of the sea and becomes interested in life on land (trips to the surface were forbidden by her Father, King Triton).

Ariel falls in love with a Prince, and makes a deal to be a human for three days. She ignores the warnings from her Father the King, and the King’s adviser and Court Composer, Sebastian the crab.

When things go wrong for Ariel, the King has to make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter!

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2. Flight Of The Navigator

A scene from Flight of the Navigator

Flight of the Navigator was a popular sci-fi movie and was first released in 1986. It begins in 1978, when a twelve year old boy named David awakes from an accident in the forest to find that eight years have passed! But David hasn’t aged a day…

David wants to go back to 1978, saying that he doesn’t belong in 1986. He escapes NASA and an adventure with an alien spaceship begins!

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The movie features a young Sarah Jessica Parker as a NASA employee with a very 80s punk streak of purple in her hair.

1. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids

A scene from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids

This has to be number one. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids is the 1989 adventure comedy starred Rick Moranis as an inventor who accidentally shrinks the kids!

The kids then have to survive a journey through the back garden to get back to the house. Naturally there were many obstacles awaiting, including, water sprinklers and giant ants.

Do you remember all of these Disney films from the 1980s? Let us know in the comments section below!