Lists of all things Disney


This blog is an extension of my upcoming book "The Top 100 Top Ten of Disney" (available in the spring. Contact if you'd like to be notified when it is published) which is a collection of one hundred "top ten" lists of all things Disney, from the man to the mouse and beyond.

The problem is that I have more than one hundred lists, and others wanted to share theirs, so that's why I created this blog.

When I can, I will post relevant Top Ten lists here, based on the events of the day, special occasions, Disney history or just because an idea came to me or someone suggested it.

These lists are not rankings, as I do not presume to say which fims, stars or characters are better than others. They are just lists of the ten that stand out in their particular category.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the lists as well.


- Chris Lucas

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ten Live Action Disney Villains (Classic Era)

At the request of my friend Matt Baker, one of the best tour guides in New York City (If you are planning a trip to NYC, or even live there  and want to know more about your great city, visit Matt's website: Beautiful New York Tours) I've taken one of the lists from my book for the blog.

It's a list of ten of Disney's best Live Action Villains from the classic era

For purposes of my book and blog, I define Disney's classic era as 1923 - 1983, roughly the time period that Walt and his closest associates ran the company. The modern era starts with Michael Eisner and his crew, just after Walt's son-in-law left his leadership position at Disney.

Disney has a rogues gallery of great villains, not all of them animated.

The cartoon bad guys got a three decade jump on their live action counterparts, but the tally was quickly matched.

Here now are ten of the most fearsome and conniving live action Disney Villains of the classic era (the odd part is that they are all male - I tried to include a female, but there were only two worth mentioning and just missed the cut - 8 are British, and 6 of the ten are pictured wearing hats of some sort):

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ten Little Known Disney Facts

There's so much information about Disney out there on the world wide web that it's hard for even the most dedicated fans to be surprised or to find trivia nuggets they haven't seen before. 

I thought I'd start today with a quick top ten list filled with interesting bits from different areas of the company's history that I've found while wearing my detectives hat (with Mickey ears, natch.)

Here now are Ten Little Known Disney Facts:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Disney's Irish Connections (The People)

First, to my faithful readers, apologies for the one month gap between posts. My "day job" is as an actor and days on the set can be long (a lot of "hurry up and wait" involved) and laptops are often not permitted. I wrote lots of posts in my head, but as for getting them to the keyboard, well..... I hope to keep current in the future.

Now some might say, "aren't you a bit late for a St. Patrick's Day themed post?" Well, I live in the North Eastern United States and with the big Irish-American population centers around here (I'm a proud member of  that group) there seems to be a parade every weekend from March 1st to April Fool's Day. It's more like St. Patrick's Month.

In that spirit, I have compiled a list of Disney's Irish connections. The list was so big, I had to break it into two parts. This is the list of Disney notable people that have an Irish background. the other list (to follow shortly) is of some of Walt's films and locations that also have a link to the Emerald Isle.

Most people don't realize that Disney himself was of Irish ancestry. His forebears came from County Kilkenny. Walt's Great Grandfather, Arundel Disney, moved to Canada in the 1830's.  Walt's Grandfather, Kepple, was actually born in Ireland just before the move.  Later, the Disney clan would move to the Midwestern U.S. to seek their fortune. It was there that Walt was raised with a keen appreciation for his Irish background, which would continue throughout his life. (Take a good look at any photos of Walt, you'll notice that he only wore two pieces of jewlery, his wedding ring on one hand and an Irish Claddagh ring on the other. The "Partners" statue in the Disney parks also feature Walt wearing this tribute to his heritage.)

In addition to a few trips to Ireland in his lifetime (including for the Dublin premiere of "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" in 1959) Walt's career got a boost from some Irishmen.

In 1922, when his animation career was just beginning and he was struggling to make ends meet, Walt got a break (and a much needed infusion of cash) from a Kansas City based Irish dentist named Tom McCrum, who commissioned Disney to make an educational live action/cartoon film called "Tommy Tucker's Tooth." The $500 from that film set Walt on his way. There was even a sequel (1926's "Clara Cleans Her Teeth") made after Walt moved to California.

When Disney wanted to make his groundbreaking move to add sound to his Mickey cartoons in 1928, he needed to find a partner with a sound system that could deliver quality, but with affordable prices. He wound up with Pat Powers, a charming Irish immigrant who was also a con man. At first Powers was an asset to Walt (with pirated technology, no less) but the relationship soured as Powers tried to take more and more control and profit from Disney. Walt learned a lesson from that relationship, that a brogue and a twinkle from business partner don't always make up for bad business practices.

Here now, in no particular order, are ten other Irishmen (and women) who made an impact on the Disney company:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ten Disney Moments At The Oscars

Look in any record book about the Academy Awards and you'll see one name pop up over and over again... Disney.

Whether it's an Oscar personally given to Walt (who holds the record with over 60 nominations, half of those resulting in wins) or to his company (this year alone Disney has 12 nominations, with an almost certain lock on Best Animated Picture) Disney and Oscar have had a great relationship.

Oscar and Mickey Mouse were even born the same year (1928) so there's lots of history between them. The only thing missing for Disney is a Best Picture win. They are still the only major studio left from the "golden days" of the 1920's to remain winless at Best Picture (unless you count the four wins for Miramax, which Disney bought in 1993 and sold just a few years ago.)

Here now are Ten Disney Moments at the Oscars.....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ten Disney Presidential Connections

President's Day is upon us once again.

Originally two holidays (Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday) that were combined into one by an Executive Order of President Nixon in 1971, it was renamed President's Day. The third Monday of February is now used to ostensibly honor all US Presidents. It's also a day (and sometimes a week) off for most schools - probably not a good time to visit a Disney park.

Walt Disney himself was pretty apolitical. In his lifetime he supported both Democrats and Republicans alike, and he had friends on both sides of the aisle, including a few Presidents.

Every US President, from Dwight Eisenhower (pictured at right with Walt in 1961) on, has paid a visit to a Disney park at least once in their life. Most visited either before or after their terms, but some came while still in office. (Harry S. Truman, while enjoying his retirement, came to Disneyland and famously refused to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant because he said it reminded him too much of the Republican's mascot.)

Yes, The Hall of Presidents is on this list. Though it's the best known, that's not the Mouse's only link to the Oval Office. 

Here now, in chronological order, are Ten Presidential Disney Connections: 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ten Romantic Disney Moments

Romance and Disney.
Those two words seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper or pineapples and ice cream (OK, maybe that last one's not as common, but I just now had a craving for an Adventureland Dole Whip.)
I can't say this for sure, but I'd venture a guess that more people have been proposed to, married in or spent their honeymoon at a Disney property than any other places on the planet. (So long Niagara Falls, Las Vegas and Miami, it was nice knowing you.) 

There's just something about the magic of Disney that brings out special feelings in everyone.
I'm not immune to it - see the picture above - I proposed to my wife using a paver at Disney's "Walk Around the World." It was a question literally written in stone. (If you look closely you'll see that even her engagement ring has a familiar shape to it.)

So with thoughts of love in the air, and St. Valentine's Day once again upon us, I decided to put together a list of ten romantic moments in Disney history.

By "moment", I mean just that. I'm not covering a whole film, TV show or play, I mean a singular moment contained in one of those productions. These moments stand out, because we can all feel them when they happen. They either make us sigh, go "awww", or sometimes even weep at two people dedicating themselves to the course of true love in the face of dire circumstances. 

Yes, some of these moments will be sad or bittersweet. Throughout the history of the arts, great romances have often involved tragedy ("Romeo and Juliet", "Madame Butterfly", "Love Story", "Titanic", etc.)

I've also tried to be fair in this list and cover all areas and eras of Disney's 88 year history. You might wonder why I've left out a particular film or character that seems obvious given the love and romance theme. I already covered many of those in my book (The Top 100 Top 10 of Disney) with lists like "Ten Greatest Love Songs' and "Ten Great Disney Couples" so I didn't want to repeat them here. (If you are interested in reading the book, please email me at for release date info.)
So cue the violins, break out the tissues, here are Ten Romantic Disney Moments:    

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ten Most Unusual Disney Films

If you ask people what type of film a “Disney” film is, you’ll get a variety of answers. Everyone seems to have a feel for what a Disney motion picture constitutes, but nobody can quite articulate it clearly.

Even Walt himself had an opinion on this. During a meeting  with his staff to discuss future projects, one of his employees supposedly said  about an upcoming film “We can’t make that, it’s not a typical Disney film.” Walt immediately replied, “heck, I’m Walt Disney and even I don’t know what a “typical Disney” film is!”

It’s more of an instinctual thing, we grew up with these films, so we recognize them immediately without ever having to see the name “Disney” on the poster. That’s why it’s so jarring when we come across a film made by Disney that just doesn’t seem to jibe with our preconceived notions. 

Here are ten that fall into this "unusual" category.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ten Stars Whose Careers Blossomed At Disney

When most people think of Disney films, the classic cartoon characters are what come to mind first. 

That might have remained the case had Walt not branched out to live action films in the 1950’s. 

He was, of course, just hoping to increase the revenue stream for the studio during a tough time. He inadvertently wound up creating his own star making machine. 

Over the years many actors have used Disney as the launch pad for successful Hollywood careers. Here are ten of the most notable (a few Academy Award winners and nominees among them):

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ten Disney Football Connections

With the big game just a few hours away, I thought I'd make a list of some of the most interesting Disney links to the game of football (Sorry to any readers from other countries, I don't mean the internationally popular game of futbol. I mean good old American Football, the game you don't actually play with your feet - except for the kicker and punter, of course, but that's another story)

 Here are Ten Disney Football Connections (in no particular order):

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ten Disney Icons

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Most companies are lucky if they have one identifiable icon that the general public can immediately recognize and associate with that particular brand.  Disney has been blessed to have so many of them that each generation for the last eighty or so years can almost claim one as their own. Here are ten that have been the face of the company at different periods in its history.