The pinnacle of classical 2D animation reaches incredible heights in Walt Disney's second theatrical feature, Pinocchio. I have a biased love for this film because I can still remember watching it with my parents and brothers and sisters when I was very young.
The film opens with the classic song, "When You Wish Upon A Star" that still manages to give me goosebumps and puts a lump in my throat all at the same time. From a technical standpoint, there are scenes in this movie that are still unmatched in its perfection. One scene that comes to mind is the sequence when Pinocchio sings "I've Got No Strings". He starts out feeling insecure and a bit scared but as he realizes the audience loves his performance, he becomes more confident and bombastic.
Also amazing are the watercolors used for the backgrounds. They are so rich in detail and warmth that it immediately puts audiences right in the scene without calling too much attention to themselves. My favorite example of this is in the beginning when they show all the wooden clocks and toys.
This is still the high standard for me each time I see an animated film and I only hope I get to work on one as good as this in my lifetime. Maybe if I wish upon a star!