The Lion King
Label: Walt Disney
Elton John, one of the most reliable artists of the 1970s, was creatively energized by this huge 1994 success (which later spawned an inventive Broadway musical). Kids go nuts over "Hakuna Matata," the "light-rock-less-talk" crowd relaxes to Elton's own recording of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," and the faux African excess of "Circle of Life" remains an impressive, if bombastic, experience. Hans Zimmer's sweeping score turned him into Hollywood's hottest composer. The wimpy 1990s parents who thought the cartoon was too harsh for their kids must never have experienced the tragic worlds of Bambi or Dumbo.