The Disney Golden Age refers to the beginning of the Disney Animated Canon. It is predicted that the era started when Walt Disney made his first full-length animated feature, beginning with the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, and ending in 1942 with Bambi.

The animated films released during this period are Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942).

History

Snow White Poster.jpg

In 1934, Walt Disney gathered several key staff members and announced his plans to make his first feature animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The production was dubbed "Disney's Folly" due to many doubting its success. The film became the first animated feature in English and in Technicolor. Silly Symphonies such as The Goddess of Spring (1934) and The Old Mill (1937) served as experimentation grounds for new techniques for the production.

Walt Disney introduced each of the Seven Dwarfs in a scene from the original 1937 Snow White theatrical trailer.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cost Disney an expensive sum of $1.4 million to complete (including $100,000 on story development alone), and was an unprecedented success when released in February 1938 by RKO Radio Pictures, which had assumed distribution of Disney product from United Artists in 1937. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was briefly the highest grossing film of all time before the success of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Selznick's Gone with the Wind two years later, grossing over $8 million on its initial release, the equivalent of $134,033,100 in 1999 dollars.

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The studio launched into the production of new animated features, the first of which was Pinocchio, released in February 1940. Pinocchio was not initially a box office success. Of the film's $2.289 million cost – twice of Snow White – Disney only recouped $1 million by late 1940, with studio reports of the film's final original box office take varying between $1.4 million and $1.9 million. However, Pinocchio was a critical success, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song and Best Original Score, making it the first film of the studio to win not only either Oscar, but both at the same time.

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Fantasia, was released in November 1940 by Disney itself in a series of limited-seating roadshow engagements. The film cost $2 million to produce, and although the film earned $1.4 million in its roadshow engagements, the high cost ($85,000 per theater) of installing Fantasound placed Fantasia at an even greater loss than Pinocchio. Despite its financial failure, Fantasia was the subject of two Academy Honorary Awards on February 26, 1942, one for the development of the innovative Fantasound system used to create the film's stereoscopic soundtrack, and the other for Leopold Stokowski and his contributions to the film.

Much of the character animation on these productions and all subsequent features until the late 1970s was supervised by a brain-trust of animators Walt Disney dubbed the "Nine Old Men," many of whom also served as directors and later producers on the Disney features. Other head animators at Disney during this period included Norm Ferguson, Bill Tytla, and Fred Moore. The development of the feature animation department created a caste system at the Disney studio: lesser animators (and feature animators in-between assignments) were assigned to work on the short subjects, while animators higher in status such as the Nine Old Men worked on the features. Concern over Walt Disney accepting credit for the artists' work as well as debates over compensation led to many of the newer and lower-ranked animators seeking to unionize the Disney studio.

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Dumbo, in production during the midst of the animators' strike, premiered in October 1941, and proved to be a financial success. The film only cost $950,000 to produce, half the cost of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio, and two-fifths of the cost of Fantasia. Dumbo eventually grossed $1.6 million during its original release. In August 1942, Bambi was released, and as with Pinocchio and Fantasia, did not perform well at the box office. Out of its $1.7 million budget, it only grossed $1.64 million. While Fantasia, Pinocchio and Bambi were initially disappointments, their success would rewrite themselves after some very successful re-releases.

The first five Disney films are today, some of the most acclaimed animated films of all time, and each are still huge financial successes. It is considered the best era of Disney films, as these groundbreaking films established the genre of the animated film.


See also


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Walt Disney Animation Studios (Disney Animated Canon)
Disney Golden Age: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) · Pinocchio (1940) · Fantasia (1940) · Dumbo (1941) · Bambi (1942)

Disney Package Film Era: Saludos Amigos (1942) · The Three Caballeros (1944) · Make Mine Music (1946) · Fun and Fancy Free (1947) · Melody Time (1948) · The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
Disney Silver Age: Cinderella (1950) · Alice in Wonderland (1951) · Peter Pan (1953) · Lady and the Tramp (1955) · Sleeping Beauty (1959) · One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) · The Sword in the Stone (1963) · The Jungle Book (1967)
Disney Bronze Age: The Aristocats (1970) · Robin Hood (1973) · The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) · The Rescuers (1977) · The Fox and the Hound (1981) · The Black Cauldron (1985) · The Great Mouse Detective (1986) · Oliver & Company (1988)
Disney Renaissance: The Little Mermaid (1989) · The Rescuers Down Under (1990) · Beauty and the Beast (1991) · Aladdin (1992) · The Lion King (1994) · Pocahontas (1995) · The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) · Hercules (1997) · Mulan (1998) · Tarzan (1999)
Disney Post-Renaissance: Fantasia 2000 (1999) · Dinosaur (2000) · The Emperor's New Groove (2000) · Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) · Lilo & Stitch (2002) · Treasure Planet (2002) · Brother Bear (2003) · Home on the Range (2004) · Chicken Little (2005) · Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Disney Revival: Bolt (2008) · The Princess and the Frog (2009) · Tangled (2010) · Winnie the Pooh (2011) · Wreck-It Ralph (2012) · Frozen (2013) · Big Hero 6 (2014) · Zootopia (2016) · Moana (2016) · Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) · Frozen II (2019)
Upcoming: Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) · Encanto (2021)

Pixar
Toy Story (1995) · A Bug's Life (1998) · Toy Story 2 (1999) · Monsters, Inc. (2001) ·Finding Nemo (2003) · The Incredibles (2004) · Cars (2006) · Ratatouille (2007) · WALL-E (2008) · Up (2009) · Toy Story 3 (2010) · Cars 2 (2011) · Brave (2012) · Monsters University (2013) · Inside Out (2015) · The Good Dinosaur (2015) · Finding Dory (2016) . Cars 3 (2017) · Coco (2017) · Incredibles 2 (2018) · Toy Story 4 (2019) · Onward (2020)

Upcoming: Soul (2020) · Luca (2021)

Disneytoon Studios
DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990) · A Goofy Movie (1995) · Doug's 1st Movie (1999) · The Tigger Movie (2000) · Recess: School's Out (2001) · Peter Pan: Return to Never Land (2002) · The Jungle Book 2 (2003) · Piglet's Big Movie (2003) · Teacher's Pet (2004) · Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005) · Tinker Bell (2008) · Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009) · Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010) · Secret of the Wings (2012) · Planes (2013) · The Pirate Fairy (2014) · Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014) · Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2015)
Lucasfilm Animation Studios
Strange Magic (2015)
Live-Action Films with Non-CG Animation
The Reluctant Dragon (1941) · Victory Through Air Power (1943) · Song of the South (1946) · So Dear to My Heart (1949) ·Mary Poppins (1964) · Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) · Pete's Dragon (1977) · Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) ·James and the Giant Peach (1996) · Enchanted (2007) · Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Animated Films Distributed by Disney
The Brave Little Toaster (1987) · The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) · Valiant (2005) · The Wild (2006) · A Christmas Carol (2009) · Mars Needs Moms (2011) · Frankenweenie (2012)
Studio Ghibli Films Distributed by Disney
Princess Mononoke (1997) · Spirited Away (2001) · Howl's Moving Castle (2004) · Tales from Earthsea (2006) · Ponyo (2008) · The Secret World of Arietty (2010) · The Wind Rises (2013)


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Media
Film: Snow White and the Seven DwarfsVideoThe Seven DwarfsRose RedLive-action remake

Television: A Poem Is...The 7D
Video games: Video gameKingdom Hearts Birth by SleepKingdom Hearts χKingdom Hearts Unchained χ/Union χ
Music: Soundtrack
Books: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked QueenRoyal WeddingsDisney Princess Beginnings

Disney Parks
Castle of Magical DreamsCinderella Castle Mystery TourClub VillainDisney Animation BuildingFairy Tale ForestMickey Mouse RevueOnce Upon a Time AdventurePrincess PavilionSeven Dwarfs Mine TrainSnow White's AdventuresSnow White's Scary AdventuresSnow White GrottoStorybook Land Canal Boats

Entertainment: Cinderella's Surprise CelebrationCinderellabration: Lights of RomanceDisney Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDream Along with MickeyFantasmic!Golden Fairytale FanfareMickey's Magical Music WorldMickey's Gift of DreamsMickey's Magical CelebrationOnce Upon a MouseOne Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!Royal Princess Music CelebrationSingin', Dancin', Heigh Ho!Snow White: An Enchanting MusicalThe Golden MickeysThe Starlit Princess WaltzVillains Tonight!
Parades: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's Dreams On Parade: Moving OnDisney's FantillusionDisney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney's Party ExpressDisney Carnivale ParadeDisney on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeDisney Stars 'n' CarsDreaming Up!Festival of Fantasy ParadeFlights of Fantasy ParadeHappiness is Here ParadeMain Street Electrical ParadeMickey's Rainy Day ExpressMickey's Soundsational ParadeMickey's Storybook ExpressSpectroMagicSnow White's Golden Anniversary CelebrationThe Wonderful World of Disney Parade
Fireworks: Fantasy in the SkyOnce Upon a TimeRemember... Dreams Come TrueWishesWonderful World of AnimationWorld of Color: Celebrate!
Spring: Disney Friends Springtime ProcessionalDisney Pirate or Princess: Make Your Choice
Summer: Mickey's WaterWorks
Halloween: Disney's Maleficious Halloween PartyHocus Pocus Villain SpelltacularInferno Dance PartyIt's Good to be Bad with the Disney VillainsJack Skellington’s Villainous GatheringKooky Spooky Halloween NightMickey's Boo-to-You Halloween ParadeRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeThe Villains WorldVillains GroveVillains Mix and MingleVillains Night Out!
Christmas: Disney Christmas StoriesMickey's Most Merriest CelebrationRoyal Christmas Wishes

Characters
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Snow WhiteThe Evil QueenThe PrinceThe HuntsmanDocGrumpyHappyBashfulSleepySneezyDopeyForest AnimalsRavenVultures

Rose Red: Rose Red
Deleted: The First KingThe First Queen

Objects
Magic MirrorPoisoned AppleHeart Box
Locations
The Queen's CastleCottage of the Seven DwarfsDwarfs' MineThe ForestThe Prince's Castle
Songs
Original: I'm WishingOne SongWith a Smile and a SongWhistle While You WorkHeigh HoBluddle-Uddle-Um-DumThe Silly SongSomeday My Prince Will Come

Deleted: Music in Your SoupYou're Never Too Old
Other Songs: Will I Ever See Her Again?

See Also
Unused DwarfsMerchandiseLegacyMusicalDisney Sing Along Songs: Heigh-HoSnow White ReturnsOne Hour in WonderlandThe 7D


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Media
Films: Pinocchio (Soundtrack) • RemakeVideoGeppetto (Soundtrack)

Television: House of MouseA Poem Is...
Shorts: Figaro and Cleo
Video games: Video gameKingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop DistanceDisney Emoji Blitz
Books: Classic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingGolden Sight 'n' Sound BookLittle Golden BookPinocchio's Adventures

Disney Parks
Cinderella Castle Mystery TourDisney Animation BuildingDisney Friends of the MonthIt's a Small WorldPinocchio's Daring JourneyStorybook Land Canal Boats

Entertainment: AnimagiqueDisney Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney's WishesFantasmic!Fantasy FestivalMickey's Magical Music WorldOne Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!Once Upon a Mouse
Restaurants: Cleo'sPinocchio Village Haus Restaurant
Shops: Geppetto's Holiday WorkshopPleasure Island CandiesStromboli's Wagon
Parades: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's Dreams On Parade: Moving OnDisney's FantillusionDisney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney's Party ExpressDisney Carnivale ParadeDisney Cinema ParadeDisney Magic on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeDreaming Up!Festival of Fantasy ParadeHappiness is Here ParadeJubilation!Magic HappensMain Street Electrical ParadeMickey's Rainy Day ExpressMickey's Storybook ExpressSpectroMagicThe Wonderful World of Disney ParadeWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Fireworks: Believe... There's Magic in the StarsDisneyland ForeverFantasy in the SkyMagicalOnce Upon a TimeRemember... Dreams Come TrueWishesWonderful World of Animation
Spring: Disney's Spring Promenade
Summer: Mickey's WaterWorksStitch and Friends Summer Surprise
Halloween: Kooky Spooky Halloween NightMaze of Madness: The Nightmare Experiment Continues
Christmas: Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration

Characters
PinocchioJiminy CricketThe Blue FairyGeppettoFigaroCleoHonest JohnGideonStromboliThe CoachmanThe Coachman's GoonsLampwickThe Stupid Little BoysMonstro
Locations
VillageGeppetto's WorkshopStromboli's CaravanThe Red Lobster InnPleasure IslandGeppetto's Boat
Songs
Pinocchio: When You Wish Upon a StarLittle Wooden HeadGive a Little WhistleHi-Diddle-Dee-DeeI've Got No Strings

Geppetto: ToysEmpty HeartAnd SonJust Because It's MagicBravo, Stromboli!Satisfaction GuaranteedPleasure IslandSince I Gave My Heart Away
Deleted: Jiminy CricketHonest JohnAs I Was Sayin' to the DuchessTurn On the Old Music BoxNo StringsRolling Along to Pleasure IslandThree Cheers for AnythingMonstro the Whale


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Media
Films: Fantasia (Video) (Soundtrack) • Fantasia 2000 (Video) (Soundtrack) • The Sorcerer's ApprenticeNight on Bald Mountain

Video Games: FantasiaKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop DistanceDisney InfinityFantasia: Music EvolvedDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Sorcerer's Arena

Disney Parks
Cinderella Castle Mystery TourDisney Animation BuildingFantasia CarouselFantasia Gardens Miniature GolfFantasy GardensPrimeval WorldLe Pays des Contes de FéesMickey's PhilharMagicSorcerers of the Magic KingdomThe Sorcerer's HatVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: Disney Classics: The Music & The MagicFantasmic! • Mickey's Magical Book • Mickey's Gift of DreamsMickey's Magical CelebrationMickey and the Magical MapRivers of Light: We are OneOnce Upon a MouseVillains Tonight!
Restaurants: Fantasia Gelati
Parades: Disney's FantillusionDisney's Party ExpressDreaming Up!Festival of Fantasy ParadeJubilation!Magic HappensParade of the StarsSpectroMagic
Fireworks: Celebrate! Tokyo DisneylandWe Love Mickey!WishesWonderful World of AnimationWorld of Color
Halloween: Celebrate the MagicHappy Hallowishes

Characters
Fantasia: Sorcerer MickeySugar Plum FairiesNutcracker Suite DancersYen SidMagic BroomsTyrannosaurus RexStegosaurusTriceratopsPteranodonCorythosaurusApatosaurusDiplodocusOrnithomimusBrachiosaurusCeratosaurusKannemeyeriaEdmontosaurusParasaurolophusDimetrodonTylosaurusPlateosaurusAnkylosaurusCompsognathusArchaeopteryxTroodonOviraptorBacchusJacchusCentaursCentaurettesMelindaBrudusIrisMorpheusDianaZeusApolloVulcanBoreasMother PegasusFather PegasusPegasi SiblingsPeter PegasusCherubsSatyrsUnicornsMadame UpanovaOstrichesHyacinth HippoHipposElephanchineBen Ali GatorAlligatorsChernabogChernabog's Minions

Fantasia 2000: Donald DuckDaisy DuckColorful TrianglesBlack TrianglesHumpback WhalesDukeFlying JohnKilljoy MargaretFoo-FooJoeRachelNasty NannyTin SoldierBallerinaJack-in-the-BoxYo Yo FlamingoSnooty FlamingosNoahSpring SpriteThe ElkThe Firebird
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Balthazar BlakeDavid "Dave" StutlerMaxim HorvathRebecca "Becky" BarnesDrake StoneVeronica GorloisenMorgana le FayMerlinAbigail WilliamsSun Lok
Deleted/Unused: OtikaSunflowerNutcracker SentriesDahliaChronosLorenzoMolly

Segments
Fantasia: Toccata and Fugue in D MinorNutcracker SuiteThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe Rite of SpringThe Pastoral SymphonyDance of the HoursNight on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria

Fantasia 2000: Symphony No. 5Pines of RomeRhapsody in BluePiano Concerto No. 2The Carnival of the AnimalsPomp and CircumstanceThe Firebird Suite

Locations
Yen Sid's TowerBald MountainNew York CityPrehistory
Deleted and unused concepts
Unused Fantasia SegmentsClair de LuneSunflowerOtikaEgret CoupleNaiadsDestinoThe Little MatchgirlOne by OneLorenzo
Objects
Sorcerer HatGrimholdMerlin's RingEncantus


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Media
Films and Television: DumboSoundtrackMickey Mouse ClubDumbo's CircusHouse of MouseDumbo II (cancelled) • 2019 Live-Action FilmVideo

Video Games: Disney's Villains' RevengeDisney Emoji Blitz
Books: Disney's Wonderful World of ReadingDumbo's Circus

Disney Parks
Casey Jr. Circus TrainCasey Jr. Splash 'n' Soak StationDisney Animation BuildingDumbo the Flying ElephantGames of the Boardwalk

Entertainment: AnimagiqueFantasmic!Once Upon a Mouse
Restaurants: Timothy's Treats
Shops: Casey Jr. Trinket Train
Parades: Disney's Dreams On Parade: Moving OnFlights of Fantasy ParadeFestival of Fantasy ParadeHappiness is Here ParadeJubilation!Main Street Electrical ParadeMickey's Storybook ExpressThe Wonderful World of Disney Parade (The Float)
Fireworks: Celebrate the MagicDisneyland ForeverHappily Ever AfterMagicalOnce Upon a TimeRemember... Dreams Come TrueWonderful World of Animation
Halloween: Happy Hallowishes

Characters
Original: DumboTimothy Q. MouseMrs. JumboCircus ElephantsRingmasterMr. StorkCasey JuniorPink ElephantsThe CrowsCircus AnimalsClowns

Dumbo's Circus: LionelFair DinkumQ.T.BarnabyLilliSebastianFlip & FlapLittle Bo PeepLittle Red Riding HoodBig Bad Wolf
Deleted: Penny • Godfry • Dot • Claude and Lolly
Remake: Holt FarrierV.A. VandevereColette MarchantMilly FarrierMax MediciJoe FarrierMiss AtlantisRongoPuckPramesh SinghIvan the WonderfulCatherine the GreaterNeils SkelligJ. Griffin RemingtonRufus Sorghum

Songs
Look Out for Mr. StorkCasey, Jr.RoustaboutsBaby MineHit the Big BossPink Elephants on ParadeWhen I See an Elephant Fly
Locations
FloridaCircus
Objects
The Magic Feather


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Media
Bambi (SoundtrackVideo) • Bambi II (Video) • Raw ToonageHouse of MouseKingdom HeartsBooks (Thumper's Little SistersBambi's Woodland Adventure) • Live-action film
Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingGarden of the Twelve FriendsIt's a Small World

Entertainment: Rivers of Light: We Are One
Firework: Tree of Life Awakens
Spring: Disney's Easter WonderlandUsatama on the Run!
Halloween: Mickey's Halloween CelebrationRe-Villains! Halloween Parade
Christmas: Disney's White Holiday Parade

Characters
BambiThumperFlowerFalineGeno and GurriFriend OwlThe Great Prince of the ForestBambi's MotherAunt EnaThumper's SistersMiss BunnyMiss SkunkManHunter DogsRonnoMrs. QuailYoung BucksPossumsPorcupineMrs. HareMenaMr. HareGrasshopper (deleted)
Locations
Forest
Songs
Love is a SongLittle April ShowerLet's Sing a Gay Little Spring SongLooking For RomanceThere is LifeFirst Sign of SpringThrough Your Eyes
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