The Classic Disney Project

An ongoing project where we work our way through the entire Disney catalogue of animated features with an eye toward relevance for today's kids.

You'll Warm to Disney's "Frozen"
I know. It’s been months since I’ve posted a story. I’ve been too busy being a mom to be a mom blogger, but Disney’s Frozen is worth coming out of semi-retirement. (more)

Late to the Game: Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph”
Disney’s Fifty-Second Animated Feature – 2012
I was literally in the dark when this film opened last week, put in the dark by Hurricane Sandy. (more)

To Serve Animals: Disney’s “The Lion King”
Disney’s Thirty-Second Animated Feature - 1994 (original release) 2011 (3D release)
I have a confession to make: I’ve never been a huge fan of The Lion King. (more)

I Give It Five Hurrahs and Twelve Hip-Hips! Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast in 3-D”
Disney’s Thirtieth Animated Feature – 1991 (original release) 2012 (3D release)
As a woman, a feminist, and as the mother of a little girl, I must say I’ve always loved Beauty and the Beast. (more)

Barely Necessary, But Fun: Disney’s “The Jungle Book”
Disney’s Nineteenth Animated Feature – 1967
The Jungle Book is a fun and lively feature, loosely adapted from the stories about “man cub” Mowgli from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. (more)

More Blunt Than Sharp: Disney’s “The Sword In the Stone”
Disney’s Eighteenth Animated Feature – 1963
The sixties were a turbulent decade for, well … the entire planet. (more)

Spot-On Disney Fun: “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”
Disney’s Seventeenth Animated Feature – 1961
This movie is a treat, tip to tail. (more)

Beautiful Dreamer: Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”
Disney’s Sixteenth Animated Feature - 1959
Sleeping Beauty, or rather Princess Aurora (or maybe you know her as Briar Rose) has been given new life as one of the Disney Princesses (trademark symbol most definitely here). (more)

Putting On the Dog: Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp”
Disney’s Fifteenth Animated Feature — 1955
The opening theme music to Lady and the Tramp is a full-blooded love song, “Bella Notte.” (more)

A Story With Wings (And a Hook): Disney’s “Peter Pan”
Disney’s Fourteenth Animated Feature – 1953
Walt Disney’s project to become the primary shaper of children’s entertainment went full-tilt in the early 1950’s, when in the space of four years, the studio released three feature-length cartoons: the fairy tale Cinderella, the whimsical Alice in Wonderland, and the action-packed Peter Pan. (more)

Curiously Brilliant: Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland”
Disney’s Thirteenth Animated Feature - 1951
Disney’s Alice In Wonderland doesn’t open in the classic Disney fashion, showing the opening of an animated storybook. (more)

Night and Day It’s “Cinderella”
Disney’s Twelfth Animated Feature – 1950
The 1950s were a magical decade for Disney. (more)

A Disney Halloween Treat: “Ichabod and Mr. Toad” by Maggie Hames
Disney's Eleventh Animated Feature - 1949
We’ve made a point of covering the classic Disney features in the order of their production, but in honor of Halloween, we’re allowing Disney’s 1949 feature, Ichabod and Mr. Toad to jump the line. (more)

There’s No “Me” in “Melody Time” … Oh, Wait …
Disney’s Tenth Animated Feature – 1948
Melody Time is a package film in the style of Make Mine Music: seven different shorts that rely on songs and rhyme to tell their tales. (more)

My Funny Valentine: Disney’s “Fun and Fancy Free”
Disney’s Ninth Animated Feature – 1947
Fun and Fancy Free is another post-war package film, made up of two short narrative films—Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk—that were originally planned as separate feature films. (more)

All You Cats Join In and “Make Mine Music” by Maggie Hames
Disney’s Eighth Animated Feature – 1946
Make Mine Music was Disney’s fourth “package” film, a feature-length film made up of a series of shorts. (more)

Three’s A Charmer: Disney’s “The Three Caballeros” by Regina Robbins
Disney’s Seventh Animated Feature – 1944
Having seen The Three Caballeros as a child, a college student, and a fully-grown adult, I can confirm that it has more layers than you may think it does. (more)

Why Can’t We Be Friends? Disney’s “Saludos Amigos” by Maggie Hames
Disney's Sixth Animated Feature - 1942
The year was 1941, before our entry into WWII, and the Department of State commissioned a goodwill tour of South America for Walt Disney and his creative team. (more)

It’s “Bambi” Versus Time. And “Bambi” Wins! by Maggie Hames
Disney's Fifth Animated Feature - 1942
Short and sweet, Walt Disney’s 1942 animated feature Bambi is a magnificent film, well worth your time, energy, and dollar. (more)

The Flap Over Disney’s “Dumbo” by Regina Robbins
Disney's Fourth Animated Feature - 1941
When I was a little girl, my parents put up wallpaper in my room. It was decorated with characters from Disney films. (more)

Disney’s “Fantasia” Encourages Your Imagination to Soar by Maggie Hames
Disney's Third Animated Feature - 1940
Back in June, when we ran Regina Robbins’s essay on Disney’s Dumbo, I included a short sidebar on 1940’s Fantasia. In retrospect, I believe I gave this film short shrift. (more)

Disney’s “Pinocchio”? Proceed With Caution by Maggie Hames
Disney's Second Animated Feature - 1940
I’ve shared my thoughts on Disney’s first animated feature, Snow White and found it still has a lot to say to today’s kids. In this installment, I look at Disney’s second feature, Pinocchio, released in 1940 and based on the 19th century Carlo Collodi tale of a marionette who becomes a real boy. (more)

"Snow White"—Disney’s First Feminist? by Maggie Hames
Disney's First Animated Feature - 1937
Does Disney’s Snow White hold its own among today’s “girl power” films? (more)