#19. Beauty and the Beast – 1991
(#22 on the AFI list)
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the only animated film on AFI’s list of essential musicals, and I’m not wild about its inclusion. While the film is indeed a musical in the traditional sense, for me the animation puts it in another category, one that shouldn’t be compared to the live-action films on this list.
Additionally, if we are to include animated musicals, I can think of at least a half dozen I would rank above this one (Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog, Tangled and Moana leap to mind, for starters).