The Disney Animated Canon (sometimes known as the Disney animated features canon) is the name given to the series of Disney theatrical animated feature films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios since 1937.
It's one of Disney's four main branches, and one of the four main Disney shared universes, the other three being Pixar (which takes place in the Pixar Universe, a universe often called the Pixar Theory), the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars (which takes place in an universe called "The Galaxy Far, Far Away" or just "The Galaxy").
For advertising purposes, the Walt Disney Company began to affix numbers to each of the films in the late 1980s. Through this method, they could proclaim the film to be "Disney's X full-length animated film". When the numbering system was introduced, the group of films included became collectively known as the "Disney Animation Canon." Many film historians and animation fans refer to them as Disney "classics" or Disney "features". The numbering system remains today, as recent press releases for such products as the 20th anniversary edition of Oliver & Company, as well as the opening and closing logos and marketing materials for Tangled, still refer to the film's number. Some foreign numbering systems of Disney Animated Classics exclude Dinosaur and include The Wild. However, The Wild was neither produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios nor Disney in that matter, let alone owning the films' distribution rights. In some countries, Winnie the Pooh does not count as a classic, leaving Wreck-It Ralph in 51st place.
Films in the Disney animated canon
During Walt Disney's lifetime
After Walt Disney's lifetime