I have been going back through and re-watching the Top 10 Animated Movies (as according to AFI) and reviewing them for my list (http://dinojim.com/Cultural/Movies/10Top10.html).
The current film I am re-watching is The Lion King.
Although The Lion King is not the first of the revamped Disney animated lineup, which started with The Little Mermaid, it is often considered the best animated Disney movie ever made. Looking back on this movie it is easy to see why. The basis of the movie is another timeless story, Hamlet, which is also considered one of Shakespeare's best. So it is no wonder that The Lion King stands the test of time so well. But it isn't just the story that provides the movie with staying power. The animation throughout the movie is fantastic and often looks like an artist's interpretation of a Disney movie. The songs are some of the best to ever come out of a Disney musical, and I think it says something that although they were created by Elton John and Tim Rice, Elton John doesn't perform any of the music himself (within the main movie). This is likely a fault that is found in later Disney movies, where there is music just for music's sake and none of it progresses the story along. Overall, The Lion King is a beautifully crafted story from the animation, to the music and the story. A perfect movie if there ever was one.