Adaptations
148 voters

The Best Disney Movies Based on Books

Updated January 12, 2021 4.4k votes 148 voters 2.9k views57 items

List RulesVote up the best Disney movies that are based on or inspired by literature.

Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse, but some of his company's most beloved characters come from literature. The best Disney movies based on books feature complex stories told simply. Many Disney movies based on fiction are also fairy tales. Some of the best Disney films based off books have even been nominated for Academy Awards.

What Disney movies adapted from books will you find on this list. Alice in Wonderland has to be near the top. Based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, this 1951 Disney film follows a precocious young girl as she journeys down the rabbit hole. Disney revisited the story in 2010 with a live-action film starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. The Little Mermaid is another good Disney movie based on a book.

The Brothers Grimm's “Rapunzel” served as the inspiration for the 2010 Disney musical Tangled. Other good Disney movies based on books include The Jungle Book, Cinderella, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Did you know so many Disney movies were based on books? Vote the best films up to the top of this list and please add any good flicks we may have missed.

Photo:
  • Sleeping Beauty1
    81
    31

    Sleeping Beauty

    Marvin Miller, Mary Costa

    Released1959

    Directed byClyde Geronimi

    Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney based... more on Wikipedia
  • Cinderella2
    83
    34

    Cinderella

    June Foray, Mike Douglas

    Released1950

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi

    Cinderella is a 1950 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and... more on Wikipedia
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs3
    72
    27

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    Billy Gilbert, Pinto Colvig

    Released1937

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen, William Cottrell

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated musical fantasy film produced by... more on Wikipedia
  • Lady and the Tramp4
    65
    21

    Lady and the Tramp

    Peggy Lee, Stan Freberg

    Released1955

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi

    Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 American animated musical romance film directed by Clyde... more on Wikipedia
  • 101 Dalmations5
    64
    22

    101 Dalmations

    Rod Taylor, Paul Frees

    Released1961

    Directed byHamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Wolfgang Reitherman

    One Hundred and One Dalmatians, often written 101 Dalmatians, is a 1961 American animated... more on Wikipedia

    More 101 Dalmations 

    #192 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books#260 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • Pinocchio6
    67
    27

    Pinocchio

    Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards

    Released1940

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, T. Hee, Bill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen

    Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions... more on Wikipedia
  • The Little Mermaid7
    73
    34

    The Little Mermaid

    Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

    The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney... more on Wikipedia
  • The Absent-Minded Professor8
    59
    21

    The Absent-Minded Professor

    Fred MacMurray, Keenan Wynn

    Released1961

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    The Absent-Minded Professor is a 1961 American film distributed by Walt Disney Productions... more on Wikipedia
  • The Parent Trap9
    64
    26

    The Parent Trap

    Maureen O'Hara, John Mills

    Released1961

    Directed byDavid Swift

    The Parent Trap is a 1961 Walt Disney film. It stars Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian... more on Wikipedia
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea10
    60
    22

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

    Kirk Douglas, Peter Lorre

    Released1954

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 American Technicolor adventure film starring Kirk... more on Wikipedia

    More 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 

    #192 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#16 of 51 The Best Submarine Movies Of All Time

  • Old Yeller11
    66
    29

    Old Yeller

    Chuck Connors, Fess Parker

    Released1957

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    Old Yeller is a 1957 American family tragedy film produced by Walt Disney. It stars Tommy... more on Wikipedia

    More Old Yeller 

    #417 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys#10 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • The Jungle Book12
    72
    35

    The Jungle Book

    Clint Howard, George Sanders

    Released1967

    Directed byWolfgang Reitherman

    The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Inspired... more on Wikipedia
  • Treasure Island13
    59
    24

    Treasure Island

    Patrick Troughton, Bobby Driscoll

    Released1950

    Directed byByron Haskin

    Treasure Island is a 1950 live action adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions,... more on Wikipedia
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe14

    Released2005

    Directed byAndrew Adamson

    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure... more on Wikipedia
  • Bambi15
    59
    24

    Bambi

    Sterling Holloway, Sam Edwards

    Released1942

    Directed byJames Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Paul Satterfield, Bill Roberts, Norman Wright

    Bambi is a 1942 American animated drama film directed by David Hand, produced by Walt Disney... more on Wikipedia
  • Swiss Family Robinson16
    56
    24

    Swiss Family Robinson

    John Mills, Dorothy McGuire

    Released1960

    Directed byKen Annakin

    Swiss Family Robinson is a 1960 British-American family film starring John Mills, Dorothy... more on Wikipedia

    More Swiss Family Robinson 

    #20 of 97 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies#14 of 33 The Greatest Classic Films the Whole Family Will Love

  • Mary Poppins17
    68
    39

    Mary Poppins

    Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke

    Released1964

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced... more on Wikipedia

    More Mary Poppins 

    Behind The Scenes, The Making Of 'Mary Poppins' Was Not As Magical As You'd ThinkEvery Song in Mary Poppins, Ranked by Singability

  • Peter Pan18
    58
    31

    Peter Pan

    June Foray, Bobby Driscoll

    Released1953

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney

    Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based... more on Wikipedia
  • Winnie the Pooh19
    55
    31

    Winnie the Pooh

    John Cleese, Craig Ferguson

    Released2011

    Directed byStephen J. Anderson, Don Hall

    Winnie the Pooh is a 2011 film directed By Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall, and written by... more on Wikipedia

    More Winnie the Pooh 

    #239 of 356 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time#90 of 291 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

  • The Jungle Book20
    62
    39

    The Jungle Book

    Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley

    Directed byJon Favreau

    The Jungle Book is a 2016 fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Jon Favreau.... more on Wikipedia

    More 

    #65 of 97 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms#12 of 136 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked

  • The Fox and the Hound21
    49
    26

    The Fox and the Hound

    Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney

    Released1981

    Directed byRichard Rich, Art Stevens, Ted Berman

    he Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated drama film based on the Daniel P. Mannix... more on Wikipedia
  • Beauty and the Beast22
    68
    46

    Beauty and the Beast

    Emma Watson, Dan Stevens

    Released2017

    Directed byBill Condon

    Beauty and the Beast is a 2017 romantic/dark fantasy musical film directed by Bill Condon. The... more on Wikipedia

    More 

    Every Song in Beauty and the Beast, Ranked by Singability#385 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • Oliver & Company23
    55
    33

    Oliver & Company

    Billy Joel, Bette Midler

    Released1988

    Directed byGeorge Scribner

    Oliver & Company is a 1988 American animated musical buddy comedy-drama film produced by Walt... more on Wikipedia

    More Oliver & Company 

    #53 of 575 The Best Animated Films Ever#30 of 206 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

  • Mary Poppins Returns24
    57
    36

    Mary Poppins Returns

    Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Released2018

    Directed byRob Marshall

    Mary Poppins Returns is a 2018 American musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall. In... more on Wikipedia
  • The Rescuers25
    45
    28

    The Rescuers

    Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor

    Released1977

    Directed byJohn Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Art Stevens

    The Rescuers is a 1977 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions... more on Wikipedia