Post #3: Looking at the Disney Eras

13 Feb
Disney movies come in all sorts of types, and the easiest way to break down the type of Disney movie you are watching is through the various eras and sub-eras of Disney movies, that stretch from the very beginning in 1937 all the way to today.
We start with the Golden Era, which is all your classic movies, including Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Peter Pan. These were traditionally animated, hand drawn in cells, and tended to be big budget productions.
Within the Golden Era, there was the Wartime Era. This was during WWII when many Disney animators were participating in the war effort, leading to many compilation films, such as Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Saludos Amigos, and Three Caballeros.
Then there was the Silver Era, which was when Walt and the Disney corporation was using cheaper methods to make movies, such as 101 Dalmatians, Jungle Book, and the Aristocats.
What becomes tough is the next era, which some argue is part of the Silver Era, but others argue is a bit more of the Transitional Era, as it was just after Walt Disney died. This time period had a lot of non-musical, unsuccessful films, but the ones that still live on to an extent are Robin Hood, the Rescuers, and Oliver and Company, which was a return to the musical and set the stage for the next era of Disney films.
Next was the Disney Renaissance, which was the most successful point in Disney theatrical releases, both economically and critically. This time period started with The Little Mermaid in 1989, and included such classics as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan, Lion King, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas, Hercules, and ended with Tarzan in 1999.
The period after that has not exactly been defined yet, so most people just call it the “Modern Age” for now. Again, a number of less than successful releases, but notable ones were Fantasia 2000, Lilo and Stitch, the Princess and the Frog, and Tangled.
Personally, my favorite era of Disney movies the Renaissance. Part of it is because it was going on during the time I woke up, but part of it is because I just feel it was the perfect blend of impressive animation, fun characters, strong storylines, and spectacular music.
But hey, that’s just my opinion, how about yours?

6 Responses to “Post #3: Looking at the Disney Eras”

  1. oliviacgreen February 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    While the Golden era has all of Disney’s pure classics, the Renaissance era has to be the greatest. It has a sense of nostalgia for those who grew up with characters like Simba and the little mermaid. Disney’s recent modern movies don’t quite have the same appeal, perhaps it’s just because we aren’t children anymore. I think that Renaissance classics will definitely outlast all of Disney’s other movies.

  2. thataintallfolks February 18, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    We were lucky to be able to grow up during the “Disney Renaissance.” It would seem like a void would be intact if these films weren’t produced in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It has been argued that Disney’s modern age has been less successful than previous ages, particularly giving a defining end to the Renaissance due to computer-generated animations from companies like Pixar and DreamWorks. There have been much less clear definitions on what is true animation, or if all animation, be it hand-drawn or computer animation can be classified in the same group.

  3. capgmu2012 March 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    I definitely think that being born in 1989 and growing up in the 90’s I associate myself with the Transitional group. The style of animation was simple, and the plot was understanding and enjoyable enough for kids and adults. When the Disney renaissance came about, it changed to game for Disney completely. Films were viewed more than just animated features, they were seen as films up to par with drama films. With multiple films being nominated for Academy Awards, the Disney company saw that their movies could be more than just entertainment. They embraced this ideal, and it is definitely seen in the Modern Era.


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