Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Disney Climaxes: My Top 10 Favorites

Disney doesn’t exactly market action, but they sure do have some action packed climaxes, I’d dare say that some of the best climaxes ever come from Disney and here are my personal top ten favorites.  

#10 The Lion King climax

I’ll admit I have some small problems with this finally, ranging from some annoying comedic moments, too one of the stupidest villain death's I’ve ever seen. However, when this climax gets good, it gets really good. It’s probably one of the most action packed brawls to come from an animated Disney film and the final slow motion battle between Simba and Scar is genuinely thrilling. 

#9 The Little Mermaid climax

This was one of the first really epic climaxes that Disney had ever produced, even though the concept of a villain turning into a monter had been done once before, this thrilling battle with a giant octopus woman really set the tone and the standared for the really cool climaxes that would follow for years to come. Plus, coming from a colorful princes themed film like "The Little Mermaid", that made this final battle all the more special. 

#8 The Great Mouse Detective climax

You wouldn't think that a big fight scene involving cute little mice in clothing could possibly be the least bit thrilling but the climax for this movie is actually quiet intense. First of all, setting this battle in the gears and on the hands of Big Bin was a brilliant idea. It’s just such a perfect location for mice characters because everything seems so much larger and more dangerous. The angles, the music, the shadows and the effects are all awesome. Plus, when the villain Rattigan transforms into a monstrous rat, things get really intense. It’s actually a pretty brutal fight and as a child it both thrilled me and terrified me. I honestly didn’t know if the hero was going to make it out of this alive. It’s intense, frightening and easily one of Disney’s finest. 

#7 Beauty and the Beast climax


This is the formula that Disney would use for their finales, we start by having a really fun time watching the supporting characters fighting off the evil henchmen and then we get an intense battle between the lead hero and villain. “Beauty and the Beast” is the Disney movie that really nails this formula perfectly, it’s just a real joy watching all these fun side characters take out these goons and personally, the final fight between the Beast and Gaston is my favorite one on one showdown between a hero and a villain to come from an animated feature, I just can’t think of any other hero villain dual that gets me as thrilled as this. Plus, this is another perfect location for a big fight, with all the statues and levels to cover, it makes the rooftop of the castle an almost ideal location for a final showdown.

#6 Atlantis: The Lost Empire climax
I’ll admit, I didn’t think that “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” was a great movie by any means but it certainly isn’t a bad film and it definitely has it’s worthwhile excitement, most especially the climax. I mean “holly crap”, just look at this scene, it has to be one of the most exhilarating action scenes in animated film history. There’s planes flying around shooting at other flying vehicles, energy weapons are going off, lots of explosions, lots of fist fighting, lots of gun fire, volcano’s are erupting, giant statues are coming to life, it’s just one big feast for the eyes.        

#5 Robin Hood climax
Even though “Robin Hood” is an adventure film for little kids and features cute animals as the main characters, it still features one of the best Climaxes in Disney History. Everything starts in silence, with the hero’s quietly sneaking around, trying to free the prisoners and it builds some legitimist suspense. Then when the cover is blown, it’s just fast passed action and adrenalin as our lead hero is constantly fighting off the guards, jumping off of towers, climbing all over the castle grounds, dodging axes, weapons, fire, henchmen and it all builds and builds, it just awesome. The music is exciting, the setting is great, the suspense is genuine and like I said, despite being a movie with cute animals and childish charms, this is still one heck of a thrilling climax.       

#4 Aladdin climax

When I was a little kid, this was always my favorite final battle, why, because it seemed to have everything, there’s sword fighting, comedy, giant monsters and beautiful damsel that needs to be rescued and a hero going up against an awesome villain. Jafar was always my favorite Disney bad guy, so it was always a thrill to see him unleash all of his powers. Plus, I loved snakes more than anything at that age and you can probably imagine how excited I got when I saw him transform into that giant King Cobra. The lighting in this battle is especially cool, sort of a stylish red tinted look. Finally, I really like how the hero concurs his enemy, not through shire force but through tricks and smarts.      

 #3 Treasure Planet climax

Wow, as far as spectacles and entertainment go, this climax is a romp. With lots of pirates, explosions, laser beams and an excellent scene with the villain giving up everything to save the hero, this is simply one of Disney’s most thrilling endings. Seeing Jim Hawkins, surf his way through a planet that’s falling apart around him is an exhilarating experience that I’ve never felt before and with a ticking time bomb on the verge of going supernova, it makes this escape sequence all the more intense. It’s thrilling, fast past and still gives the characters a lot of humanity. 

#2 The Hunchback of Notradame climax

Now here’s a climax that’s nothing short of epic, everything is brought up on a grand scale with big visuals and a lot at stake. There’s lava, armies of solders getting into fist fights, hero’s defending a tower from invasion and it's all brought to life through one of the most epic quires I’ve ever heard, seriously, this quire doesn't just make everything feel large, it draws you right into the action. However, the film never forgets that it’s a Disney movie and provides just enough hummer (including a fun little Wizard of OZ reference) to balance everything out. The battle then ends with one of the best villain deaths I’ve ever seen in movie. It’s just an awesome climax and could have easily made the number one spot if it wasn’t for this one other scene.

Before I reveal my #1 Favorite, here are some Honorable Mentions ...
The Climax to Peter Pan
The Climax to Tarzan
The Climax to the Black Cauldron
The Climax to Mulan
The climax to Hercules 

#1 Sleeping Beauty climax 

It’s kind of ironic that an early princess themed Disney movie would feature my favorite climax but that’s what makes this so spectacular. It’s not only epic because it’s an awesome battle featured at the end of a princes flick but it’s also featured in an animated movie from the 1950’s.  Most animated films at the time would end on a very light and simple note but this climax is just blazing with top notch animation, lots of energy and a thrilling musical score that keeps building and building. We get to see the fairies work their magic, we get to see the prince swing his sword and of cores we get to see one of Disney’s greatest villains show off all her power and transform into a giant, fire breathing dragon! Kids today see stuff like this all the time, but this dragon battle still holds up very well and I can’t even begin to imagine how awesome this must have been for kids back in 1959, they must have been jumping out of their seats. For all the awesome final battles to come from Disney, this final battle will always be my absolute favorite.      

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