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The Disney Renaissance

After the embarrassing years known as the Dark Age of Disney, Disney was tired of making bad movies and making not much money. They decided to make 2 test movies to see what audiences wanted to see. Musical adventures seemed to be what the audience wanted. So for the next few years Disney made movies much quicker but they had better quality than their predecessors. All of these movies did well, though some did better than others. This era put Disney back in the spotlight in a good way and let everyone know that Disney can still make movies that are as good as the Disney movies of the Golden Era. This time was known as the Disney Renaissance.

The Little Mermaid

The first movie to kick off the Disney Renaissance was a movie that Walt Disney had been trying to bring to the big screen for years…. The Little Mermaid. This movie is the one that started it all. It showed the world that Disney could still make good movies. The Little Mermaid is awesome and has nice characters as well. The music is probably the best feature about this movie. Part of Your World is a song that almost didn’t make it in because some thought it was too boring. But we couldn’t imagine the Little Mermaid without Ariel’s trademark song. Ariel is a fun little mermaid who loves adventure and exploring and the human world. This was Disney’s first fairy tale movie since Sleeping Beauty, but unlike Sleeping Beauty, the Little Mermaid was an immediate success. Ursula is our villain and she is a good one. She is clever and takes Ariel’s voice because she knows that is the link between Ariel and Eric. Without her voice, Ariel would have to use other methods to get Eric to kiss her. Her final battle with Eric is one of the best Disney villain vs hero battles. We other awesome characters such as Flounder and Sebastian. Flounder is one of the best friends a princess could have. He just loves to see Ariel happy and is supportive of her love for the human world. He does all he can to see Ariel’s dreams come true. Sebastian is a music loving crab who loves Ariel too, but wishes that she would stay under the sea. And then we have King Triton, Ariel’s father. He is a good Disney dad but he often clashes with Ariel’s love of the human world. But in the end he just want to see his daughter happy. The music is what makes this movie so awesome. All of the songs are singable and we love them all. Under the Sea won the Best Original Song award and Kiss the Girl was also nominated. Poor Unfortunate Souls is an awesome villain song. And Part of Your World is my favorite Little Mermaid song. The Little Mermaid spawned to movies, a TV series and is seen on House of Mouse. The Little Mermaid is also featured in the game Kingdom Hearts. Being a Disney princess in a successful movie, Ariel and her movie have a massive presence in the Disney parks. With a dark ride, meet and greet characters also appearing in just about every parade and firework show. The Little Mermaid is an awesome movie and it made an awesome start to the Disney Renaissance.

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The Rescuers Down Under

Due to the success of the Rescuers, a sequel was granted and we are once again on a journey to save a kid with Miss Bianca and Bernard in the Rescuers Down Under. This movie did not do as well as the first Rescuers and is the weakest film in the Disney Renaissance. That being said, I like this movie more than the original. I love the Australia setting, the animals and Cody the boy. Being an animal lover, I hate the villain Mcleach. And when he dies, I smile. But other than that I love the eagle scene where Cody and the giant eagle Marahute fly through the air together when they first meet. A wonderful score is with them and they just soar through the clouds. Bernard and Bianca are back and Bernard keeps trying to propose to her and he keeps getting interrupted. Bernard shows that even little mice can make a difference and he is the hero of the story. Other characters include a crazy frilled lizard Frank, and a koala voiced by Douglas Seale who would be the voice of the Sultan in Aladdin. Due to the Rescuers Down Under not doing well, there is practically nothing of this awesome movie in the Disney Parks which is a shame because the eagle scene would make a great Soarin episode. Go see this movie it is worth a watch.

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Beauty and the Beast

It is the tale that is old as time the movie that gave a beast his soul. Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s greatest achievements and one awesome movie. From start to finish everything about this movie is epic. The music, animation and the characters are all perfect. There is not one annoying character or sidekick that doesn’t need to be there. I love the music and the songs. Of course, the iconic yellow dress and the ballroom dance and that wonderful song just add to this movie’s greatness. This movie was so great that it was the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture. I love Belle, she is my favorite Disney princess. She cares for her father, is smart and well-read and has a huge vocabulary because of this. She doesn’t let anyone walk over her or control her. She only begins to fall in love with Beast after he starts being nice. And no Belle does not suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. She loves the Beast because he has a good soul and she sees that. The Beast is great as well. Now Gaston may not be my favorite villain but he is a good one. He can stand to not have what he wants. So, when Belle tells him that she will not marry him. This turns Gaston from the town hero to the town villain. Oh, this movie is just so wonderful. What else is there to say. Beauty and the Beast is my 4th favorite Disney movie of all time. Being a popular movie, Beauty and the Beast has a large presence in the Disney parks. Belle and Beast appear in parades and in Hollywood Studios there is a stage show. You can eat in the Beast’s castle in the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom and hang out with Belle in Story time with Belle. I was a soldier. Beauty and the Beast for some reason spawned midquels but only one (although some say both) in my opinion is worth watching. And that is Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Enchanted Christmas. This movie is not bad but not as good as the original.  The other one is called Belle’s Magical World. Avoid this one like the plague. I will give that movie a Z because it is so bad that an F is being kind to it. But the original is so majestic and beautiful and one of Disney’s greatest movies ever. I am going to give Beauty and the Beast an A. So, until next time Disney family…. May all your dreams come true.

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Aladdin

After Lion King and Peter Pan, Aladdin is my 3rd favorite Disney movie. I love Aladdin, it has everything a boy would want. Action, adventure, magic, a hot girl and an awesome villain. Aladdin is just one of those movies that is great from beginning to end. Aladdin is a nice guy who is a street rat but cares for those who have even less than him. He has a problem with honesty but he soon learns from his mistakes and is able to marry the girl of his dreams when he does. Jafar is an awesome villain who loves being evil and loves to see others bow before him. He also loves power and wants as much as he can get. The Magic Carpet is my favorite Aladdin character. He doesn’t speak but from the moment you meet him, he demonstrates his bravery, speed and loyalty to Aladdin. This movie is also known for its songs. A Whole New World is an awesome song that won Best Song. There is just so much I could say about Aladdin. Aladdin vs. Jafar is another great battle. Jafar is unique among Disney villains in that he gets more screen time than most other villains. He gets kissed by a princess and uses a song and bad puns to defeat his enemies. And he doesn’t kill his victims unless he needs to. He would rather see them suffer and finds enjoyment in their suffering. Jafar is a very good villain. But there are other great things about Aladdin besides Jafar. The Genie is probably one of the funniest characters in the Disney universe. Most of his lines were improvised by his awesome voice actor the late Robin Williams. Robin Williams but his heart and soul into this character and we love him for that. Aladdin has a presence in the Disney Parks. With the Magic Carpet rides, appearing in parades and meet and greets as well as appearing in stage and firework shows. Aladdin is awesome and is a wonderful addition to the Disney Renaissance.

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Lion King

. I remember like it was yesterday, I had just gotten the movie Aladdin on VHS and got home and plugged it in. One of the previews was of a lion movie. I immediately got excited and ran to my mom and told her about it. Of course, mothers know everything and she already knew about it and knew that I would love it. She then told me that I could either see Aladdin on Ice or go see Lion King. Of course, I said go see Lion King. So, we go to the theaters and I ask my mom what we are going to see? She says the Flintstones. The Flintstones! I don’t want to see the Flintstones. I want to see Lion King. So, then she says 4 tickets to the Lion King please. I even said but you said we were going to see the Flintstones. Oops she says. And with that my life changed forever. Up until that point, Peter Pan was my favorite movie. I still love Peter Pan but Lion King replaced Peter Pan as my favorite movie. Peter Pan became my second favorite Disney movie.  I love everything about this movie. The epic story, the animation and the music and I love the characters. My favorite character is Scar! I love this guy and I hate it when he gets defeated. I also love Simba and Nala and Mufasa too. I love them all. Mufasa is the best Disney dad in the world and we got one of the saddest deaths because we loved him so much. The opening and ending scenes are great. I just love that moment when Simba climbs Pride Rock and the epic music is playing and then Simba roars and everything returns to normal. Oh, I love it! I could go on forever talking about how much I love the Lion King. I used to think that Lion King has gotten snubbed in the Disney Parks but I am wrong. While I wish Lion King had a ride, what Lion King does have is awesome. First off Lion King has the Festival of the Lion King in Animal Kingdom and it is a must do for me and I cry like a baby every time. Also Circle of Life is the anthem of the Animal Kingdom. Also, Timon and Rafiki are walk around characters and I have met Rafiki. An attraction that used to be in the Magic Kingdom was Legend of the Lion King which was a show that retold the story using awesome puppets. I never saw it though. Also, Lion King can be seen in Mickey’s Philharmagic and Fantasmic and the new Magic Kingdom’s firework show Happily Ever After. Also in Disneyland, the World of Color show features Lion King. In a Disney World resort the Art of Animation there is a Lion King area complete with a Lion King walk-through. Also, the Magic Kingdom Game Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom features Lion King cards and Rafiki and Scar are in the game itself. Simba was a summon in the game Kingdom Hearts and the Pridelands was a world in Kingdom Hearts 2 where I had to battle Scar and I loved and hated doing that. Lion King has spawned 3 sequels and 2 TV shows and lots of other cool stuff. And soon Lion King will be remade with a live action version. I look forward to seeing that but even that version will never surpass the wonder and awe that is the greatest Disney movie in the world! I give Lion King a capital A! So, tell me do you love the Lion King? Let me know in the comments below and if you like this please leave a like and share.  Long Live the Lion King!

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Pocahontas

After the major success of the Lion King, Disney was ready for its next big hit. This movie went into production at the same time as Lion King and most animators chose this movie over the Lion King thinking that this movie would be another Beauty and the Beast. Well it wasn’t. Pocahontas did do well but nowhere near as well as Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King. I think what hurt this movie is that it was based on real life events and the movie doesn’t follow these events at all. They got so many things wrong about the Jamestown settlement and the events that took place. There was no romantic relationship with Pocahontas and John Smith. And there are many other elements that are not in the real-life events. But aside from that is Pocahontas a good Disney movie? In my opinion yes. We can just call this the myth tale of Pocahontas. Pocahontas is a beautiful Disney princess with her long flowing black hair and the love of her people. She does all she can to find her path and protect her people. Along the way she meets John Smith a white man who loves adventure and exploring and loves to fight. He soon changes his view toward savages once he meets Pocahontas. Ratcliffe is just another greedy villain who hates anyone who gets in the way of his gold. But attempted genocide might be going a bit too far. The songs once again are awesome and we love singing Colors of the Wind and Just Around the River-bend. Even if this movie had followed its story more, I don’t know if it would have helped. Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King are just 2 very good and strong movies. It would have been hard to top them. It still is hard to top them. And in my opinion, nothing will top Lion King. Pocahontas has a small presence in the Disney parks. She used to have a show at Animal Kingdom. But now she is the Disney Princess that you can meet at Animal Kingdom along with Meeko. And she is featured in Disney World’s Fantasmic. And in World of Color in Disneyland. Pocahontas is just around the river bend, go watch her movie.

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now we come to the movie that is dark and mature but is such a good Disney movie. Basically, this is what the Black Cauldron could have been. This movie is about the novel the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Some changes were made and we have a happier ending than the novel. The music and score are once again amazing and the score might be one of my favorites in all of Disney. Those bells probably help with the awesomeness of the score. Quasimodo is our underdog hero who is forced to live alone in this bell tower all while being raised by an evil man Judge Claude Frollo. Frollo believes that he can do no wrong and that everyone else especially the gypsies are wicked and evil and they should all go to hell. This man is one of the most wicked villains in all of Disney. His crimes include attempted infanticide, abuse of power and destruction of religious property. He seems to enjoy tormenting Quasimodo too. Esmeralda is a kind soul who despite being a gypsy helps those in need. She is kind to Quasimodo when the rest of the world is cruel to him. She is one of my favorite heroines. If there characters that I wish didn’t exist it would be the gargoyles. Added to the story for comic relief, these idiots do nothing for the story and when their song comes on I always skip it. It is just a filler song and has no reason to exist except to make the movie longer But aside from them, the movie is a good movie and I love it. It is definitely not for young children. But older kids who love dark movies and can handle rough scenes they should be fine. Hunchback did better than Pocahontas but of course was not as successful as the movies before Pocahontas. Hunchback has a small presence in the Disney Parks with only a few merchandise items and being featured in Happily Ever After and a few other shows. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a very good Disney movie.

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Hercules

Hercules came out the same year that Titanic came out and Hercules may be strong but not strong enough to stop this massive boat from sinking it at the box office. I love this movie. I have always been fascinated with mythologies and Greek mythology, I love the stories and most of the gods. I like Zeus and Athena the best I think. But the movie Hercules, to be rated G and be suitable for kids obviously some things had to be changed. Such as the adulterous schemes of Zeus and the jealous hatred of Hera. In this version, Hera is Hercules’ mother and Alcmene becomes Hercules’ adopted mother. And Hades who usually was a calm and silent figure in Greek Mythology, is the villain of the story. These changes are fine and they make an interesting plot twist. Now there are some plot holes and questions that need answering mainly on Hades’ part. First, where did he get that potion that turns gods mortal? Also, Hades is lord of the underworld and seems to know when mortals are going to die or are dead. So, why doesn’t Hades know that Hercules was not killed 18 years ago when he sent Pain and Panic to do the deed? Also, why didn’t Hades when Hercules was mortal just cut Hercules’ thread of life. Thread cut, Hercules dead, Hades rules the cosmos. But enough of that. Overall Hercules is a good movie despite the plot holes and continuity issues. The music is awesome and I love the instrumental as well as the songs. Hercules is a cool, fun character that is fun and funny to watch. Sometimes he can be a bit absent-minded but he has a good heart and is always there to be a hero and save those in need. Phil is also crazy but a good friend and mentor to Hercules. Meg is a unique heroine in that she is sort a villain in the beginning or at least she works for a villain. She also has been in love before and had her heart-broken. So, now she doesn’t trust people and would rather be alone so she doesn’t hurt anyone or gets hurt herself. I really wish she had become a Disney princess but since her movie did not do very well thanks to that big boat, she will never be a princess. Although, she was a candidate for a while. Hades is a fun and hot-tempered villain who relies a little bit too much on others to do his evil bidding. I wonder what would happen if Hades did more than just scheme and make deals, I wonder if Hades would have been an even better villain. Interesting thing about Hades, he has blue fire for hair, but when he gets mad his blue fire turns orange. Blue fire is much hotter than orange fire. So, does Hades cool down when he gets mad? Hades is one cool villain. Hercules, though it did not do well has managed to maintain a presence in the Disney Parks. Hercules and some of the other characters such has Meg and Hades have been walk around characters, and Hades has been featured with the Disney villains. Hercules is used in some night-time shows as well, such as the beloved but now extinct Wishes and the new fireworks show Happily Ever After. Hercules also spawned a TV series based on Hercules going through high school. Also, in almost every Kingdom Heart series game there has been a Olympus world with many Hercules characters. Hercules is also a summon in that game. Hercules is a great Disney movie and I would watch it more than Titanic. I will give Hercules a C for great music and characters. Needs a little work on the story with plot holes and continuity issues but overall is a good Disney movie. So, what do you think about Hercules? Let me know in the comments below and if you like this like it and share it.

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Mulan

Another awesome movie that came out during the Disney Renaissance is Mulan. Set in China, Mulan is based on  the Legend of Hua Mulan. Mulan is an awesome movie that used watercolors much like Bambi and a few other Disney movies during the Golden Era. Mulan is about a war versus the Huns and China. Mulan wants to bring honor to her family while being herself. She is clumsy and is often late but she has a good heart. She decides to go in her father’s place to fight in the war disguised as a boy. If she is discovered she will be killed. She starts out clumsy and makes a lot of mistakes but over time she learns and becomes a great soldier. She is able to come up with good plans that help win the war. Shan Yu is the leader of the Huns and is a good villain. He doesn’t say much but we do know that he is clever and takes pride in his army. He also doesn’t judge a person by gender like the rest of the people do in China. When he realizes that Mulan is his biggest threat and not the rest of the Chinese Army, he goes after Mulan. Mulan is one of the few Disney movies to actually have a body count. The songs are pretty good and memorable. Reflections and I’ll Make a Man Out of You are our favorites. Mushu and Cri-Kee are cool sidekicks that don’t hurt the plot of the movie. And Khan is one of the best Disney horses. He braves avalanches and lives to tell about it. Mulan is one very cool Disney movie. Mulan did better than Hercules and Hunchback but couldn’t beat its new rival Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. But despite that Mulan has a presence in the Disney Parks. You can meet her in the China Pavilion in Epcot. Go see Mulan, it is amazing.

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Tarzan

And now we come to the final movie of the awesome Disney Renaissance, Tarzan. Tarzan was the most expensive animated movie to make to this point. And you remember that Sleeping Beauty once held this title. But while Sleeping Beauty did not make money, Tarzan did. While once again it did not match Lion King’s greatness but it did out-gross Pocahontas, Hunchback, Hercules and Mulan. As well as A Bug’s Life. This movie saw a shift in the way that Disney movies were made. While Tarzan is still a musical, none of the characters except for one song, sing a song. All the other songs are “montage songs” and Phil Collins sings over the actions. Now the songs are still awesome but I think it would have been better if the characters sang some of the songs and not some random singer. Tarzan is the only animated version of the story Tarzan and the Apes. Which is a nice little fact for Disney’s Tarzan and it makes it unique to all the other Tarzan adaptations. Tarzan is a nice Disney character who loves his family, ape and human. He is a skilled fighter and loves adventure and is very curious about the outside world. Clayton is our villain who is another greedy poacher who wants to kill the apes. His death is quite tragic though. Jane is kind of forgettable but she has good chemistry with Tarzan. Terk and Tantor are awesome friends to Tarzan and do all they can to help Tarzan. Kerchak in the books is actually a villain but, in this version, he is the tough leader of the troop who doesn’t like Tarzan but, in the end, finally accepts him as one of them and his son. Kala is a sweet mother who loves Tarzan and just wants him to be happy. Despite doing very well Tarzan has a rather small presence in the Disney Parks. In Disneyland you can climb Tarzan’s Tree-house. And in Animal Kingdom he used to have a stage show, but now he can be met as well as Terk. And he appears sometimes in firework shows. Tarzan is the last great movie of the Disney Renaissance and is worth a watch.

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So there we have it. Those are the awesome movies of the Disney Renaissance. Unfortunately this era has come to an end but the movies will be apart of our lives forever. So be sure to come back for the era known as the 2000 Slump. Great things are in store for Disney.

The Dark Age of Disney

After the Golden, Silver and Bronze Eras of Disney, the time when Walt Disney was alive, Disney was now  trying to survive without its leader. And the company struggled. Most of the next movies were made with cheap animation, some were  box office bombs while others had to deal with a rival animation studio that was born from disgruntled Disney animators. There are some good movies during this era but none of them were as great as the Disney movies that came before them. So, now lets look at the Disney movies that came during the era known as the Dark Age of Disney.

 

 

Robin Hood

Robin Hood is the first movie in the Dark Era and it is one of the better films. Everyone knows about the recycled animation from other Disney films being used to cut costs. And And Little John is a brown bear that wears clothes but looks exactly like Baloo. But beyond all of that, I think Robin Hood is a nice Disney movie. It tells the story of  Robin Hood but with animals. And I love it. I love just about every character. You have Robin Hood who is a fox and is clever and very good with a bow and arrow. He cares for his kingdom and does all he can to bring happiness back to the people of Nottingham. Maid Marian is sweet and not just a damsel in distress character. She fights for those she loves just as much as Robin Hood. All the other characters are nice such as Friar Tuck and Little John. Now lets talk about the villains. Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. They may be comical villains but Prince John is a ruthless villain who takes pleasure in seeing others suffer and even allowed an execution to take place in front of children, it didn’t happen but still it would have if it wasn’t stopped. The Sheriff is more the like the brawn behind Prince John’s brain. Prince John  comes up with an idea and the Sheriff carries it out. This movie was a success at the box office during its run so this movie should not be called a bad movie just for recycled animation. Robin Hood is a nice Disney movie that is worth a watch. Sometimes Robin Hood and his fellow movie companions make an appearance in the Disney Parks but it not very often I am afraid. Robin Hood was also the first Disney animated feature to be released on Home Video. Give Robin Hood some love, he deserves it.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

If there was one movie that was never going to fail during this era it was the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This is the movie that started the love for Winnie the Pooh and his many friends. We love this bear and this movie took us to his home in the 100 Acre Wood. And we have loved him ever since. This film is actually 3 Winnie the Pooh stories linked together to tell one story. The story is about a stuffed bear and his friend Christopher Robin. These two have always been together and they can never be separated. Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is the first segment and it show Pooh’s love for honey and the many ways he tries to get some. The Honey Tree was actually produced while Walt was alive and was shown in front of the Ugly Dachshund before being out in this movie. This is the only Winnie the Pooh story that does not feature Tigger or Piglet. Due to the popularity of the Honey Tree, Disney decided to make a sequel to it called the Blustery Day. This is the longest segment in the movie and introduces Piglet and Tigger and gives us his famous song. This segment showed us what Heffalumps and Woozles are. Walt never saw this one completed but he did give pointers on who Piglet’s voice actor should be. And finally the last segment is called And Tigger Too which features Tigger and his love for bouncing and how it bothers Rabbit so much. In 1975, this feature was nominated for Best Animated Short. Paul Winchell voiced Tigger and to honor this when the Winnie the Pooh ride in Disney World opened Paul Winchell’s Tigger voices the safety regulations for the ride. It’s so nice to hear the original Tigger’s voice while waiting to ride this ride. So after all these features were made, Disney decided to compile them into 1 movie to connect the stories. It was a success and it spawned a massive franchise that rivals Mickey Mouse’s franchise. Winnie the Pooh and his friends are featured in all Disney Parks and I believe there is a ride in just about every Disney park for Winnie the Pooh. I would tell you to see this movie but I know you already have.

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The Rescuers

And now we come to the most successful movie of the Dark Age. This movie is said to be as good as 101 Dalmatians, Sword in the Stone and the Jungle Book. It did very well and helped everyone remember that Disney can be a good thing. This is an adventure story about 2 mice who seek to save a little orphan girl who was kidnapped by a mad woman with pet alligators. Bernard and Miss Bianca are very cool and I love that no matter what happens they never give up. And they do rescue Penny and her dreams come true and she gets adopted by loving people. Medusa is the mad woman and she is determined to find the Devil’s Eye the largest diamond in the world. But it is in a small hole and she needs someone small enough to get it for her. Medusa is an evil woman who only cares about herself and her precious diamond. She drives like Cruella and in early development of this movie, Cruella was considered to be the villain. But Disney wasn’t into making sequels yet and so Medusa was created. Bernard and Miss Bianca are a sweet couple and after this mission they go on many other adventures rescuing people. The Rescuers was so successful that they became the first movie to get a sequel, the Rescuers Down Under. Despite the film being a success, there are very few references to the Rescuers in the Disney Parks. You might find a pin of the Rescuers but that is about it. Bernard and Miss Bianca were walk around characters in the past, but they are now retired. Go see the Rescuers, but watch out for alligators and madwomen.

The Fox and the Hound

Fox and the Hound is one of my favorite Disney movies. It did OK but not as good as the Rescuers. This movie had a lot of new animators that would become well known by Disney fans in years to come. Such as John Lasseter, Tim Burton and Brad Bird. And John Musker and Ron Clements. Another animator worked on this film, Don Bluth. Don Bluth left the Disney Company when he thought that the director of the movie was too stern and out of touch. Don Bluth went on to make his own animation company and it would be a thorn in Disney’s side for the rest of the Dark Age. A lot went into making Fox and the Hound and if you know anything about the book you know that it is a very dark book with a lot of death. Well Disney’s version while not as dark is still pretty dark. We have another Disney mother death and a little fox kit is left without a mother. A widow finds the kit and nurses it and decides to keep it as a  pet and named him Tod. On the other side of the tracks a hunter has gotten a new puppy to help his hunting career. Chief is the older dog and is looked up to by Copper as a father figure, despite Chief’s not so nice nature. Eventually Copper and Tod meet and become friends and vow that nothing will come between them. But as life goes on, this promise becomes harder to keep. Especially when Chief wants to kill Tod and gets hit by a train and knocked off the tracks. Copper believes that Tod is responsible and vows revenge. Chief does not die unlike the book, even though many of the animators wanted him to die like he does in the book. And you know the rest. Tod is released, the hunter and Copper come to the forest to kill him. They come across a huge bear and Tod risks his life to save Copper and the hunter that are trying to kill him from the bear. This movie is funny and sad and will make you cry. It doesn’t end in a traditional happy ending either. Tod and Copper go their separate ways, both knowing that despite all the challenges their friendship faced, they will always be friends. This was one of the weaker films during the Dark Age and did not do has well as the previous films. Fox and the Hound can only be found in the parks through merchandise. There is a long-tailed Tod stuffed animal and I have found a pin of them. And I was shocked to find it. But like I said I love Fox and the Hound and watch it often.

The Black Cauldron

Now we come to the lowest of the low and probably the only reason this era is called the Dark Age. The Black Cauldron was Disney’s first animated movie to be rated PG and it had to be heavily edited to not get a PG-13 or R rating. This movie is scary and gross and has an awful story and was a huge box office bomb. The bomb was so bad that this movie lost money to the Care Bears Movie. It was such an embarrassment for Disney, that they did not release it on home video until 1998. It was made in 1985. I have seen this movie and it is worth a watch at least once. If you don’t mind characters that have no redeeming qualities and a story that is very bland but violent and scary. This was just something that Disney should have never made. I have never read the books that this movie is based on, but fans of the books say this version doesn’t do the books any favors and heavily omits things. I will say the villain is creepy and has a scary voice and eerie music that accompanies him. But other than that avoid this movie at all costs. I do know there is a small cult following of this movie but don’t expect to see this movie anywhere on Disney property. But if this movie wasn’t so bad I don’t know if things would have changed for Disney. Luckily the next 2 movies would help bring Disney out of the Dark Age.

The Great Mouse Detective

After a period of what most Disney fans call the Dark Era, Disney was tired of producing mediocre movies that never performed well or flat out bombed. Disney started looking for new ways to tell stories. The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver and Company were “test movies”. Movies that would test what audiences wanted to see. The Great Mouse Detective is about the famous mouse detective Basil of Baker Street. Based off of Sherlock Holmes, whom he lives under. Basil loves crime solving and has spent years trying to stop the evil Professor Ratigan. This movie is awesome. It is a full-on adventure in the sewers of London. Alan Young the voice of Scrooge McDuck voiced Olivia’s father. Vincent Prince voiced Ratigan. While the Great Mouse Detective did well, it good not trump the other mouse movie that came out about the same time, American Tail. It did help pave the way to an era that would remind people that Disney is awesome and a force to be reckoned with… The Disney Renaissance. This movie could be scary at times and even has a few jump scares. And the fight scene at the end is pretty brutal. But this movie is so awesome, I know you will enjoy it. A few Easter eggs to look for in this movie. Dumbo can be seen in the toy shop; the snarls and howls of Toby are recycled from Trusty from Lady and the Tramp. The Great Mouse Detective is quite an underrated Disney movie. Not many people even know this movie exists or that it is a Disney movie. But I love it and would give this movie a C. The Great Mouse Detective has a very small presence in the Disney parks. Basil and Ratigan used to be walk around characters, but they have been retired. It was said that Ratigan would scare children. Well he did drown orphans so I would be scared of him too. Ratigan is a pretty nasty Disney villain. He has a history of villainous schemes and always getting away with them.  Also, in this movie was the some of the first uses of computers in animated films. Computers were used to help animate the Big Ben gears during the Big Ben scene. The Great Mouse Detective is a great Disney movie that I hope you enjoy  as much as I do.

Oliver and Company

Now we come to the final Disney movie of the Dark Age. This movie is Oliver and Company a movie based off  on Oliver Twist. This movie is a good Disney  movie that is no reason to hate it. it’s got dogs and cats and Bette Midler as a poodle and awesome songs. The villain is kind of lame and one dimensional when compared to the previous wicked Professor Ratigan. But if you borrow money from Sykes, you better pay it back or else. Dodger is one cool canine and loves a good beat. Oliver is cute and awesome and just a really cool character. This movie was the return of a musical style movie for Disney and it was a success. Now it did not do as well because it was going up against Land Before Time from Don Bluth Productions. Land Before Time smashed Oliver and Company, but it showed Disney that audiences liked adventure and musicals. Disney learns from this and the next movie would be Don Bluth’s undoing. But back to Oliver and Company. This was one of the few Disney movies to be set in the present day and New York. I love the music in Oliver and Company especially Why Should I Worry and Streets of Gold. Despite it being moderately successful, Oliver and Company is one movie I have yet to find a reference to in the Disney parks. But Oliver and Company is worth a watch. I bet you will be tapping your foot to the beat too.

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And those are the movies that came out during Disney’s Dark Age of Animation. Disney would learn from their mistakes and soon the world would know that Disney will never die. And next time the era is awesome.

Coming soon the Disney Renaissance.

The Disney Silver Age/Bronze Age

This next age is sometimes viewed as one era or two but there is no distinction on where one age begins and ends. So I am joining them together and we will call this era the Disney Silver Era. This is the era was the era that the rest of the Disney animated movies that came out during Walt Disney’s life. From Cinderella to Jungle Book, though some argue that the Aristocats should be included in this era while others don’t. But more on the Aristocats later. So without further adieu here are the Disney animated movies that came out during the Disney Silver Era.

 

Cinderella

 

It is 1948 and Disney is in tremendous debt and facing bankruptcy. After the many box office bombs, the war and having to produce low budget packaged films, Walt Disney is not doing to well. He needs his next movie to be the movie of his dreams that will put his company on the map and keep it alive. He decided to return to a full length feature and this was going to be the first movie that all of the Nine Old Men would work on together. And this movie had to be a hit or it would be the end of Disney. Two years go by and it is 1950 and this movie opens in theaters and it is a massive hit. This movie was Cinderella. This movie was a dream come true for Disney. This movie became the biggest hit since Snow White. The music is awesome as well as the story. You know the story and it is a simple tale of a girl is abused and forced to work in her own house as a servant girl. She is forced to live in the attic and must serve these selfish brats and their evil mother. Cinderella remains kind and hopes that one day her dreams will come true. This movie is one of Disney’s best. We love the mice and hate to see Cinderella treated so horribly. We cry with her when the stepsisters tear her mother’s dress to shreds and jump for joy when she finally succeeds in having her dreams come true. Lady Tremaine is one of Disney’s best villains too. She doesn’t want magic or want to rule a kingdom, although she wouldn’t mind that. But what she does have is complete control of one person’s life. And she makes it her life goal to make sure that Cinderella remain a scullery maid serving them for the rest of Cinderella’s life. And she has a wicked cat who just loves to torment Cinderella and her mice friends just for his own evil pleasure. We love A Dream is Wish your Heart Makes and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo. This movie is a classic and Cinderella is a wonderful addition to the Disney library. This movie gives us the Disney castle that is in Disney World and Cinderella and most of the cast appear in some manor in the parks. For the mice they can be meet and greet characters and they might be on parade floats as decorations, but they do have a presence. Cinderella can be met in the Princess Fairytale hall.  In other media Cinderella and her friend have been in Kingdom Hearts, House of Mouse and will be in Ralph Breaks the Internet. So than you Cinderella for helping Walt keep his company alive and keep making dreams come true.

 

Alice in Wonderland

 

After the success of Cinderella, Disney returned to making full length animated features. He had always wanted to make Alice in Wonderland but had never been able to do it until now. In Pinocchio, the books Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan can be seen by Jiminy Cricket in the beginning of the movie. Alice went down the rabbit hole on July 28, 1951. It did not do well at first but as with most Disney movies, through re-releases it became more popular. Alice in Wonderland is featured in the parks through rides such as the famous Tea Cups and the dark ride in Disneyland. Alice in Wonderland is a Disney classic and deserves a watch every now and then.

Peter Pan

 

Today is a very special day, I get to talk about one of my favorite Disney movies.   65 years ago, on February 5, 1953 the boy who never grew up flew into our lives. This was during the heart of the Silver Era and Peter Pan did very well. It was more popular than Alice in Wonderland and it was the highest grossing film of 1953. When I was growing up, Peter Pan was my movie and we have been together for a long time. Before there was Lion King there was Peter Pan. I loved playing Captain Hook and Wendy with my cousin. In our story Peter Pan was the bad guy and Hook was the hero and guess who was Hook? Me! I can remember being in my aunt’s wedding and singing follow the leader. Yes, now that Lion King has arrived Peter Pan has moved to my second favorite Disney movie, but I still love Peter Pan a lot. The Story. The story is about this boy who never grows up and the children who believe in him. These children are like me, who love Peter Pan and make him the hero of their nursery games. Peter Pan is this boy who can fly, fight pirates and hang out with pixies and mermaids and never grow up. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Peter Pan. So, when Peter Pan arrives at these children’s home in search of his shadow, he takes the children on the adventure of a life time. The story is awesome, full of fighting and songs and Captain Hook. The characters. I love almost all the characters in Peter Pan, but the one I love the most is Captain Hook. I loved everything about this guy, his long black hair, his red coat, his sword and of course his hook. He is a clever villain who loves loop holes in contracts and will blow you up if you make him mad. He lost his hand to the crocodile and now is out for revenge for that. He will stop at nothing to capture Peter Pan and kill him. He is also a master swordsman. I love Captain Hook. Other characters are cool as well. I think I like Michael out of all the children. The Lost Boys can be annoying, and I hate the crocodile since all he wants to do is eat Captain Hook. The songs. The songs are wonderful and memorable You Can Fly is probably my favorite, followed by The Second Star to the Right. Peter Pan is heavily featured in the Disney Parks, appearing in most parades and has his own ride Peter Pan’s Flight which is my favorite ride. Peter Pan is a wonderful Disney movie and Captain Hook is an awesome villain. Peter Pan is one of those movies that when you watch it, you know it is a Disney movie. With all of the pixie dust and having dreams come true. It just screams Disney. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. Peter Pan is awesome. So, go watch Peter Pan tonight you won’t regret it.

 

Lady and the Tramp

It is one of Disney’s greatest love story and it is about dogs. Lady and the Tramp is another movie that not many people liked at first but now it has become an icon and has one of the most famous scenes of all. I love Lady and the Tramp. I love that since this is a dog movie, we see things from the dog’s point of view not their owners.  I love how Lady doesn’t understand what a baby is and how she loves and cares for her owners and will do anything to keep them safe. Tramp is a dog that loves the carefree life and  uses humans to get what he needs out of life, but he would never want to be put on a leash. It’s a sweet story that has heart and love and also one of Disney’s memorable songs in Bella Notte. The way that Jim Dear gives Lady to Darling in the beginning is similar to the way that Walt gave his wife a puppy in a hat box. For some reason critics didn’t like this movie and they didn’t like the new technology that was used to film this movie. CinemaScope was a widescreen format and it made everything look bigger. For more info on CinemaScope I recommend you wiki it. Despite all that I think Lady and the Tramp is a great Disney movie and it should be watched and loved. Lady and the Tramp appear in small references in the Disney parks. They have a restaurant named after Tony’s Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom that unfortunately is not very good. Other things like Fantasmic and Happily Ever After feature Lady and the Tramp.

Sleeping Beauty

After the success of Cinderella, Walt began production of another fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. This movie was very expensive to make and once again used a widescreen format. Unfortunately like most of these movies in the Silver Era it did not well at all. It was so bad that Disney never made another fairy tale movie during his lifetime. But also with most of these movies during the Silver Era it became considered a classic and one of Disney’s best.  I think that what maybe hurt this movie was that the focus was not on the princess and her prince but rather side characters and an awesome villain who try to steal the show. This movie is supposed to be about Princess Aurora but we know more about her fairy guardians than we do Aurora. This is the first time that a Disney prince as a name and an actual role in the movie. So it does get points for that. But in the last half of the movie, neither Aurora or Prince Philip say a word. Now Aurora has an excuse because she is under a curse but why couldn’t Philip talk after the first half?That being said there are some great things about this movie. Mainly the villain. Maleficent is one of the most iconic Disney villains and is scary and powerful and is a forced to be reckoned with. She is one of the few villains to actually succeed in her goal. And when she faces Philip and becomes the powerful dragon, they give us one of the best Disney battles ever. The songs are nice and Once Upon A Dream is a wonderful song to sing along with A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes. So despite it’s shortcomings it is a good movie and definitely a Disney Classic. It is also one of the castles in Disney parks. The Sleeping Beauty and castle was the first Disney castle in Disneyland. I just wish Aurora was more involved in her own movie. I would tell you to see but I am sure you already have.

101 Dalmatians

Another great Disney movie that came out during the Silver Era was a movie that did very well right from the beginning was 101 Dalmatians. It was the highest grossing movie of 1961 and everyone loved it. And to this day it remains one of Disney’s best. A story about a mad woman who wants to wear puppies and 2 dogs who risk everything to bring them  home. Pongo and Perdita are awesome and so is Cruella. She is one of the few villains that I do not like but that does not mean she is a bad villain. She is another force to be reckoned with. But while Prince Philip could fight back, it seems that the only way to get away from Cruella is to run. It starts out slow with Pongo looking for a mate.  Then just builds when the thought of puppies are coming and then Cruella enters the movie and it just explodes as this race against time to get these puppies home for Christmas. The dogs have a lesser presence in the parks but if there is something to do with villains, Cruella is right there. Dodie Smith wrote the novel a year earlier and hoped that Walt would make a movie out of it. In the novel Cruella had a husband and a cat and there were other characters. But they were removed from the movie. Dodie Smith said that the changes Walt made, improved her story and she was very proud that her novel had become a Disney movie. 101 Dalmatians also has one of the best Disney dads. I love Pongo and the lengths he goes through to bring not only his 15 puppies home but 84 extra puppies and adopt them with no questions asked. Pongo is awesome and so is 101 Dalmatians.

Sword in the Stone

The next movie to me is the weakest of the Silver/Bronze age which is now nearing the end. Though this movie did do well and I love the opening song, there is just not much content with this story. It is a story about an orphan boy who is mistreated by his adopted family. He meets Merlin a powerful wizard who wants to teach Wart about how to use his head over brawn. Eventually Wart pulls the sword from the stone ans becomes king. There are some memorable moments such as the pulling of the sword but also the wizards duel against Merlin and Madam Mim, an evil witch who only appears once but makes an impact on how to use brain over brawn. This was the last movie to be released in Walt’s lifetime. I don’t hate this movie, I just wish there was something more than what we got. Merlin is the most famous character of the movie and he is the only one who can be seen in the Disney parks. The Sword in the Stone is worth a watch if you have never seen it.

The Jungle Book

And now we come to the last movie that Walt Disney himself produced. The Jungle Book is an awesome story about a boy named Mowgli and his adventures in the jungles of India. This movie is one of my favorite Disney movies. I love Baloo, Bagheera and Shere Khan. They are awesome characters that helped make this movie amazing. I also love the songs and used to dance to Bare Necessitates as a kid. Jungle Book is not a true retelling of the novel the Jungle Book. Disney found some of the stories too dark for a his film and a one point walked into his the room of animators tossed them the book and said don’t read it. So much of the story is sort of Disney’s version of the Jungle Book. I like it as I have already stated. And I am not the only one. It did very well at the box office and is often considered one of Disney’s best. Baloo and King Louie can be met for meet and greets and Jungle Book is featured in a lot of shows and parades. So go watch the Jungle Book and dance and sing along with Baloo.

The Aristocats

And now we come to the final movie of the Silver/Bronze age. The Aristocats is the last movie that Disney green-lit himself before his death. This movie tells the story of a cat who loves her owner and always wants to be there for her. Duchess wants her kittens to do the same and grow up to be charming ladies and gentlemen. But her kittens are known for fighting and often times not being very nice. But deep down the kittens  are cute kids who just love to have fun. And they all love music. So when their butler Edgar tries to get rid of them to inherit Duchess’s owners millions, Duchess must find her way home. Along the way she meets an alley cat that teaches her how to be a swinger and enjoy a new kind of music. Thomas O’Malley is a cool cat who loves the kittens and Duchess and does all he can to help Duchess and her kittens get home and stop the butler. This movie is fun and energetic and funny and is a very good movie. And it did very well which is why it doesn’t belong in our next era the Dark Age of Disney.

 

So there we have it, Those are the movies that came out during Disney’s Silver/Bronze era. A recurring theme with these movies is that some were instant hits while others eventually became classics. But overall these movies helped shaped Disney to what it is today. Walt Disney is dead and the company begins to spiral downward into what is known as the Dark Age of Disney. So come back to learn about this era in Disney history.

The Many Eras of Disney

The Packaged Film Era

 

 

For the rest of the 1940’s Disney had to tremendously cut back on his film production. Most of his staff had been drafted for the war so Disney was forced to stop producing full length animated films. Disney started producing packaged films, films that have segments all loosely connected by a certain theme. Disney produced 6 packaged films before returning to full length animated features. They are Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time and the Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

 

 

 

 

 

Saludos Amigos was the first of these packaged films and it’s central theme is South America. It is Disney shortest feature at only 42 minutes. Saludos Amigos danced into our lives on February 6, 1943. One segment has Donald Duck dealing with a stubborn llama while touring the city of Lake Titicaca. The next segment is about Pedro a small airplane who loves to fly and deliver the mail, even if it means flying over the massive Mount Aconcagua. Another segment features Goofy as a cowboy and Donald meets Jose Carioca and they dance the samba together. Saludos Amigos is not a bad movie and it helped keep Disney alive during the war.

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The Three Caballeros is a sequel to Saludos Amigos and centers around Donald’s birthday. The Three Caballeros came out on February 3, 1945. In this film Donald meets various birds from around the world such as Pablo the cold blooded penguin and Panchito Pistoles from Mexico and with the returning character of Jose Carioca they become along with Donald the Three Caballeros. This movie is an improvement on Saludos Amigos and has become very popular over the years. The Three Caballeros can be seen mostly in Epcot around Mexico and you ride the Gran Fiesta featuring the Three Caballeros in the Mexico Pavilion.

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Make Mine Music is an awesome addition to the packaged era. And if you guessed that music is the theme then you guessed correctly. There are many segments in this movie and my favorites are the Johniee Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet, Peter and the Wolf and The Whale Who wanted to sing at the Met. The hat song is a story about 2 hats who are in love and desperately try to stay with each other. It is very sweet and a nice story. Peter and the Wolf is a unique feature in that all of the characters have an assigned instrument that plays whenever they are on screen. And the final segment is a bittersweet tale of a whale who can sing and has a dream of preforming at the Met. Also Casey at the Bat is also in this film. There are a few nods to this film in the Disney parks. Casey’s which is a restaurant on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom is based off of this movie, Willie the whale can be seen in a picture in Mickey’s Philharmagic show. Make Mine Music is very good Disney movie that needs to be watch at least once. One of the segments called Blue Bayou was supposed to be featured in Fantasia. Go watch Make Mine Music, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Fun and Fancy Free only 2 segments but these have become some of Disney’s best work. Jiminy Cricket connects the 2 shorts together and sings a song that was deleted from Pinocchio. We hear the tales of how Bongo the circus bear finds love and Mickey and the Beanstalk. This is also the last time that Walt Disney voiced Mickey Mouse. Bongo is a sweet story about a circus bear who answers the call of the wild and meets his dream girl Lulubelle. And Mickey and the Beanstalk is the story of Jack and the Beanstalk but instead of Jack we get Mickey, Donald and Goofy. Both stories are awesome and iconic. Overall Fun and Fancy Free is one of the better packaged films that we got during this era and I love it a lot. Willie the giant has become a supporting character in other Mickey Mouse related projects although I am not sure if Bongo is featured as much. I do know that he spawned some comic stories. In the Disney parks Sir Mickey’s is a shop in the Magic Kingdom in Disney World and has a Mickey and the Beanstalk theme. Give this movie some love, you won’t regret it.

 

The second to last packaged film is another classic that many people love. Melody Time. It is an awesome packaged film once again with the theme being music. There are many gems here. Little Toot is an awesome story about a little tugboat which became very popular. Johnny Appleseed is another favorite of mine, but the most famous segment has to be Pecos Bill. Told by a live action cast about a cowboy who defies logic. He is awesome and can ride tornadoes and shoot stars and howls at the moon. The Pecos Bill cafe in the Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite places to eat at in the Magic Kingdom. There is not many other references to the movie however, which is a shame because this movie is great. That is the thing about these packaged films, they may not be full length animated features but all of them are awesome in there own right. I can’t think of any of them I dislike. Almost all of them have some presence in the parks too. Watch Melody Time and see what you think.

 

And now we come to the final and possibly the most famous of the packaged films The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. These two stories don’t have a lot in common other than they are famous American novels. The Wind in the Willows tells of Mr. Toad and his many manias. It is a nice story and is funny and has heart and is not hard to watch. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is a famous and beloved ride that used to live in the Magic Kingdom. But since Toad gave the deed to the ride to Owl it is now a Winnie the Pooh ride. However you can still visit Toad in Disneyland. I like Moley the best in this story. He is cute and timid and really tries to be there for his friend Toad even if he shouldn’t be. Now lets talk about the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is not for the faint of heart and is rather spooky. Told by Bing Crosby the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is about this weird schoolmaster and his rivalry with the predecessor to Gaston, Brom Bones. Both of them have their eyes on the lovely Katrina who looks an awful lot like Cinderella. Brom Bones tells the tale of the Headless Horseman and that night Ichabod come face to no face with the Headless Horseman. This Horseman has a crazy spooky laugh and all he wants to do is chop Ichabod’s head off. We don’t know exactly what happens to Crane but I can tell you this, he will never forget the tale of the Headless Horseman. These 2 cartoons are featured in the Disney parks. Although Ichabod doesn’t have a ride, but the Headless Horseman leads the parade on Halloween. Watch this movie it is a good one.

 

 

So there we have it. Those are the packaged films that were produced by Disney to stay in business during the war. It was a very rough time. Disney was facing bankruptcy. If nothing changed Disney would have no choice but to close it’s doors. But luckily for us dreams do come true. And we enter the Silver Era.

Coming soon the Silver Era

 

 

 

The Many Eras of Disney

The Golden Era.

 

Throughout Disney’s life it has had it’s ups and downs but through it all Disney never gave up and kept moving forward and gave us a wonderful library of entertainment. Walt Disney started his company so long ago and many people told him that it couldn’t be done. Well no matter the challenge, Disney always found a way to pull through. The many eras of the Disney Company started with the Golden Era. This was the time when Disney first showed what his awesome company can do. Now some people say that the Golden Era went from Snow White to Ichabod and Mr. Toad. But I like split those eras into two. The Golden Era and the Packaged Era. The Golden Era is what started it all and showed the world what one man can do with a dream. The Golden Era in my opinion was the first 5 full length animated films Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. And I am going to talk about these movies now.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs gloriously entered our lives on December 21, 1937. It took the world by storm and changed it as well. Snow White was the first full length animated feature. We love Snow White and we are right to do so. Snow White has a great story and awesome characters. Other than Snow White’s naivety I can’t think of one negative thing to say about the movie. We love the dwarfs, who doesn’t love Dopey or Grumpy or any of the others. Each is awesome in their own way. This movie made us long for romance and sing with the dwarfs and cry as well. Snow White is a very moving movie as well. The funeral scene is one of the saddest in all of Disney history. Snow White and the Dwarfs are frequently seen in the Disney parks and we have the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Disney World and Snow White’s Scary Adventures in Disneyland. Disney would be ashamed to not honor the movie that made them a force to be reckoned with. Snow White remains one of the highest grossing Disney movie of all time. I could keep talking about Snow White but we have more awesome movies to discuss.

12 December 1

Pinocchio

After Snow White the pressure was on to produce another great masterpiece. Well WW2 hit during this time and it was pretty hard to produce a movie but Disney did it. The 2nd Disney movie was the wonderful Pinocchio! However, Pinocchio did not do well at the box office at first and Disney actually lost money because of Pinocchio. But with a war nothing is as it should be. But over time and re-releases Pinocchio did start to make money. Into today’s world, Pinocchio is a classic, loved by many. The story is very good. And the characters are awesome as well. And the villains are very memorable. But the songs are what probably makes Pinocchio very popular. When You Wish Upon a Star is the anthem of Disney and probably one of the most recognized of all of Disney songs. The character Pinocchio learns a lot from the Blue Fairy and Jiminy Cricket on how to be brave, truthful and unselfish to  become a real boy. Pinocchio is seen often in the Disney Parks and has a restaurant in Disney World and a ride in Disneyland. Pinocchio is a wonderful follow up to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Disney would not be the same without it.

2 February 1

Fantasia

Fantasia is a rather unique movie in the Golden Era in that it is a packaged film. It is a series of shorts that either have a story or are just works of art. Each segment is accompanied by a famous musical number. This movie is long. And I often find myself skipping the talking parts of Deem Taylor and go right to the cartoon itself. Each one is memorable and awesome though some are better than others. Rite of Spring is a great piece that tells the story about dinosaurs. Pastoral Symphony is about Greek Mythology creatures enjoying a bacchanal and probably the most famous pieces are the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Night on Bald Mountain. Sorcerer’s Apprentice gave us Mickey Mouse’s most famous role as he tries to fill water with a magic broom with the sorcerer’s magic hat. And then we have Night on Bald Mountain where the awesome villain Chernabog wreaks havoc on a Halloween night before being repelled by church bells and the Ava Maria. Fantasia is a very unique classic that is not done anymore. There were a lot of things that went wrong, had to be changed during production. Fantasia came into our lives on November 13, 1940 and like Pinocchio it didn’t do well at first. But overtime people began to love Fantasia and it is one of Disney’s best. Fantasia is scattered all over the Disney parks. Chernabog is a frequent villain that is seen in shows and parades, Mickey wears his sorcerer’s outfit in the nighttime show Fantasmic that is heavily influenced by Fantasia itself. Also much like Pinocchio, Disney would not be the same without Fantasia and Mickey would not have hi famous role. Fantasia is a great Disney movie.

 

 

 

11 November 1

Dumbo

After the failures of both Pinocchio and Fantasia, Disney was really hurting to produce a movie that did as well as Snow White. Disney turned to a simpler and much shorter and less expensive source. The world’s only flying elephant flew into our lives on October 23, 1941. And it was the answer that Disney needed. It did tremendously well. An immediate hit. The story is about a baby elephant with big ears who’s mother gets locked away for protecting him. The movie is short and sweet but has heart and is a wonderful story. There are not a whole lot of characters but the characters that we do have are amazing, for the most part. While I am not a huge fan of the elephants and the ringmaster and clowns, I do love Dumbo. He is just a cute sad animal that never asked for these ears. But with the help of his friend Timothy Q. Mouse and some crows he is able to put those ears to use and show everyone just how awesome he is. Much like the rest of the Golden Era movies, Dumbo is present in the Disney parks in one of the most iconic Disney ride. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is one of those rides that will never leave and everyone should ride at least once in their life.  Overall Dumbo is a great Disney movie and I am glad that is exists.

 

10 October 1

 

Bambi

Bambi was the 5th animated classic that was produced by Walt Disney. It came out in 1942 during the heart of World War 2. So naturally it didn’t do very well at first. But overtime Bambi became known as a classic. The Story. The story of Bambi is very simple, life in the forest through the eyes of a young fawn named Bambi. This movie is slow paced and doesn’t really have a drive. It is just every day life in a forest. There are some intense moments but most of the movie is calm and gentle. So, let’s talk about some of these intense moments. Bambi’s mother dies, we all know this and it has never been forgotten and has affected millions. It effected Walt so much that during the rest of his life no major character besides villains died. We see this in Lady and the Tramp and Jungle Book. Where both Trusty and Baloo miraculously survive their battles. We did not get another major character death until the Lion King with Mufasa being killed. Another parent death that no one forgets. But anyway, back to Bambi, another intense moment is whenever Man is in the forest. During the last half of the movie the forest is in terror of Man. There are many this time and they mean death for who ever encounters them. The only thing they can do is run. The Characters. Bambi has some of the best characters in all of Disney. We have Bambi, Bambi’s mother, The Great Prince of the Forest, Thumper, Flower and Friend Owl and also some few minor characters such as the squirrel and chipmunk. Oh and of course Faline the love of Bambi’s life. Thumper and Flower were added by Disney and were not in the book that the movie is based on. And we love these two. Flower only really gets 2 scenes but they are so iconic and memorable that we just adore Flower. I am sure that all of us can quote Bambi meeting Flower word for word. And when Flower gets twitterpated is very memorable and cute. Thumper is Bambi’s best friend and teaches him about the forest. He likes to thump, eat blossoms not greens and has a love/hate relationship with his sisters. Bambi is a fun character who learns a lot from his mother, Thumper and the Great Prince. He loves life and really loves his mother. He is a pretty obedient fawn. He never disobeys his mother and listens to her. When he rushes out the meadow without thinking, his mother rushes to stop him and warns him that there might be danger. He learns from this and follows her every word. He is very sad when he loses her. He also learns from his father, the Great Prince. When he grows up he becomes a strong young buck who can hold his own in a fight and triumph and protects the love of his life, Faline with all his might. He meets Faline after being told what being twitterpated is by Friend Owl. At first, he is nervous and tries to get away from her, but after one kiss he is hooked. He defends her and stays by her side for the rest of the movie. And becomes the father of two adorable fawns. The Songs. All of the songs are memorable as well, I like them all except for Let’s Sing a Gay Little Spring Song. Not for the song itself but for where it is placed in the movie. The song comes right after Bambi learns about his mother’s death. We never get to see him deal with it he just looks back at his childhood and walks off and we get happy little birds singing about being twitterpated and happy and it just should not have been done that way. But aside from where it was put in the movie it’s a cute song. And Love Is a Song being a wonderful opening song and I love it a lot. Looking for Romance is a nice love song about Bambi and Faline falling in love and all that comes with that. April Showers is a nice filler song that everyone loves as well. I think it would have been cute if we could have heard Bambi’s mother sing him a lullaby as he goes to sleep. Bambi is a great Disney movie that I love and really have nothing negative to say about other than where they placed a song. But thanks to Bambi 2 we do get to see Bambi deal with his mother’s death and we get to see his relationship with the Great Prince develop. Something that we never really saw in the original. Yes, the Great Prince comes to help him in the end but before that he had no real relationship with Bambi. That’s something to note, as a fawn he had his mother, as a buck he had his father looking after him. Pretty cool if you think about it. There are a few goofs to look for next time you watch. During the whole Man scene at the end Faline’s eyes change from blue to yellow. Which I actually like. Yellow means alarm, something’s wrong so I like that clever goof. Also, during one scene can’t remember which, the gray squirrel that hangs out with the chipmunk turns into a red squirrel at one point. Bambi has a presence in the Disney parks, he doesn’t have a ride but he does appear in Fantasmic and a few other shows such as Happily Ever After and World of Color.  Thumper and his wife are walk around characters. Flower used to be a creepy walk around character but he has been retired. You can find Bambi on merchandise and in topiaries. Bambi is a great Disney movie and I am going to give Bambi an A-. Thanks for stopping by and remember …. May all your dreams come true.

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The Golden Era is a wonderful era of Disney that gave us 5 awesome Disney movies to cherish forever. And these movies would help keep Disney alive til its next great era. But that era was years away and right now Disney was facing a war. Did Disney have what it took to survive WW2? Find out in the next era.

Coming soon the Packaged Era

 

Disney World

One thing I love about Disney is going to Disney World. Magic Kingdom is probably my favorite park, There are so many wonderful things to do in the Magic Kingdom. I usually ride the train first thing. Then I pretty much always head to Peter Pan’s Flight. I mentioned in my last Disney blog that Peter Pan is my second favorite Disney movie, so naturally Peter Pan’s Flight is my favorite and must to ride in Disney World. It is an awesome ride. Unfortunately it always has a long line but that has never bothered me. On very rare occasions I have been able to walk right on. And this last trip I was lucky enough to catch it at a 45 minute wait time instead of its usual 90. The only thing I don’t like about Peter Pan’s Flight is the new queue. Not that it’s a bad queue or anything like that, but because you go through the scene twice. The queue is going through Wendy and her brother’s house. But you do that in the ride as well. So it seems redundant to make the queue the same as something that you experience in the ride itself.  I love going to the Magic Kingdom and riding Peter Pan’s Flight. But what are some of your favorite things to do in Disney World? Let me know in the comments below and as always until next time Disney friends… May all your dreams come true.

 

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Happy Fathers Day

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Today we honor all of the great Disney dads. Disney has given us so many wonderful fathers. Some have to endure so much. Such as dying, forced to be without their child for a length of time. While other fathers got are willing to do whatever they need to get their children back. Mufasa is an awesome father who paid the ultimate price to safe his cub. But even after death, Mufasa was a voice of reason to his son and helps Simba fulfill his destiny. I think about the Disney princesses and their fathers. Ariel and Triton, Maurice and Belle. Ariel is a rebellious teenager who does what she wants no matter the cost. But Triton does his best to keep her safe. Both have tempers and opinions but at the end of the day they both love each other very much. And Triton allows Ariel to leave him to have her dreams come true. Belle actually is the one who sacrifices for her father. She will do whatever she can to keep her father safe. Even if this means becoming a prisoner in a beast’s castle forever. Pongo is another awesome Disney dad, who faces  cold temperatures and evil villains to get his puppies back. But that is not all. When Pongo learns that Cruella obtained many more puppies for her evil plans, he takes them in without a second thought. There are so many other wonderful Disney fathers. However, where there is good there is also bad. Some fathers never have what it takes to be a good father. Some wish their son was never born so he would embarrass his father. Buck Cluck is such a father. He only likes his son when he is not embarrassing him. But in the end even Buck learns to love his son and support him no matter how it makes you look. Some Disney fathers were not able to see their child grow up or see their dreams come true. But they often left some of their wisdom behind to learn from. Like Tiana;s father, he never got the place he always dreamed of but he had something better, he had love. And as long as his ‘babycakes’ was happy, so was he. Tiana takes quite a while to learn this, but she never forgot what her father told her. and his advice is what helped overcome the powers of the Shadow Man. So wish your father a Happy Fathers day and give him a big hug. And as always may all your dreams come true.