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Chicken Little with a worried look on his face in front of reporters in this image from Walt Disney Animation Studios
Ace “Chicken Little” Cluck (Zach Braff) (Image: Walt Disney Animation Studios)

There’s something nostalgic about watching your favorite cartoon movies that you loved as a child. Nowadays, walking down memory lane by sitting on your couch and watching reruns of your favorite films as an adult has become a popular way to pass the time. Disney has taken note of this and invested heavily in producing sequels and remakes of these beloved movies, which garnered mixed reviews from the public. While the idea of a part two sounds enticing, we’ve put together a list of classic cartoon movies that should absolutely stay as childhood classics.

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‘Dumbo’ (1941)

Dumbo and Timothy flying in the sky in this image from Walt Disney Animation Studios
Dumbo, Timothy Q. Mouse (Edward Brophy) (Image: Walt Disney Animation Studios)

He was mocked by others for his big ears, but it’s these ears that make him a circus star. “Dumbo” is a heartfelt tale about an elephant named Jumbo Junior, who gets the nickname “Dumbo because of his oversized ears. Being as big as they are, they catch the attention of Timothy Q. Mouse (Edward Brophy), who brings Dumbo into a traveling circus that brings new light to the “flaw” he was born with.

Although Dumbo and the rest of the characters are adorable little creatures, the movie is also a product of its time and has underlying tones of racism throughout its story. When it comes to finding sequels, it’s best to leave this one alone.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ (1951)

Cheshire Cat hanging out near a tree in this image from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Cheshire Cat (Sterling Holloway) (Image: Walt Disney Animation Studios)

“Alice in Wonderland” is a timeless classic known universally for its quirky characters and infamous world. From the Mad Hatter’s tea party to a game of croquet with the Queen of Hearts, there’s always something in Wonderland for Alice (Kathryn Beaumont) to explore and marvel at. Because of how well the movie has been received, there have been multiple adaptations of the Lewis Carroll tale, including a dark fantasy live-action version.

What most people may not know is that “Alice in Wonderland” already has a sequel in book form, “Through the Looking-Glass.” With “Alice in Wonderland” already being such a great hit, we’d prefer the sequel stay on book pages — and away from the camera.

‘The Aristocats’ (1970)

Toulouse, Marie, and Berlioz sitting in a basket looking forward in this image from Walt Disney Animation Studios
Toulouse (Gary Dubin), Marie (Liz English), and Berlioz (Dean Clark) (Image: Walt Disney Animation Studios)

If you’re a huge Disney fan, you’ll likely know of the three mischievous Parisian kittens in the popular classic, “The Aristocats.” Abandoned by their mother Duchess (Eva Gabor) in order to inherit a fortune from her owner, the cats eventually make their way to Thomas O’Malley (Phil Harris), who is willing to help them return to their home in Paris.

While the movie is full of laughs and songs, “The Aristocats” is a product of its time, using dated cultural references in its narrative. If Disney wants a second run of any of its media, they’d be wise to skip over this one.

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993)

Sally feeding soup to Dr. Finkelstein in this image from Skellington Productions
Sally (Catherine O’Hara) and Dr. Finkelstein (William Hickey) (Image: Skellington Productions)

Every Tim Burton film has a signature style to it, a look and feel that is immediately recognized by fans of his work. Arguably his most well-known film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is no exception. This magical tale tells the story of Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman) and his journey into bringing the mysterious holiday of Christmas to Halloweentown, with characters like Sally (Catherine O’Hara) and Oogie Boogie (Ken Page) trying to stop him from happening.

With the film being roughly an hour and a half, it can be tempting to want more stories on Halloweentown’s citizens and an update on how Santa’s doing in Christmas Town. However, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” prides itself on its eerie stop-motion animations, and its small but memorable cast of characters makes it a great standalone film. Just like holidays, it’s best to limit its celebration to once per year — or once per story.

‘Chicken Little’ (2005)

Chicken Little jumping on a bed in this image from Walt Disney Animation Studios
Ace “Chicken Little” Cluck (Zach Braff) (Image: Walt Disney Animation Studios)

They say you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch, but I think “Chicken Little” can be the one exception here. Ace “Chicken” Little” Cluck (Zach Braff) is the little bird that cries wolf in the film of the same name. He, along with a crew of outcasts, work together to save the town of Oakey Oaks after a mysterious piece of sky hits his head.

Whether or not the film’s creation of a brand new story through classic bedtime characters was a happy accident, one thing’s for certain: Disney should make the choice to leave the film as is — and that’s no accident.

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