Trivia: Disney Animated Canon

  • All-Star Cast: Although not as blatantly advertized and abused as DreamWorks Animation, the movies in the canon will occasionally have a staggering roster of A-list celebrities lending their vocal talent. Before 1992's Aladdin introduced Robin Williams as the Genie, Disney preferred actual voice actors. After that, they started to increasingly advertise celebrity roles. Some of the more blatant examples: Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi as the leads in Tangled, Miley Cyrus in Bolt (particularly egregious because she replaced a voice actor who had already recorded most of her lines) and perhaps Mel Gibson in Pocahontas.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Averted until The Black Cauldron came along in 1985. Since then there have been a fair few other PG-rated canon entries, such as Lilo & Stitch, Tangled, etc. though the vast majority of the canon remains G-rated.
  • Canon Foreigner: Dinosaur is the only entry in the canon that was not made by Feature Animation - they produced the film, but it was animated by Disney's Secret Lab (formerly Dream Quest Images), a short-lived special effects department that worked on CG imagery and was intended to be a sort-of cross between Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic. Secret Lab was shut down long before Disney bought both of those companies, and Dinosaur was they only animated film they ever worked on.
    • The Wild is included in the canon in the UK, even though Disney didn't work on it at all. They just distributed it.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Mostly averted. Disney usually uses actual kids to voice child characters.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: Ranges from 2 to 5, depending on the movie. Most of the Walt Disney-era films, 1990s films and more recent films get to 4-5, but the lesser-known films of the canon have their fair share of defenders.
  • Franchise Killer: There have been at least five close calls where the Disney Animation Studios was nearly shut down.
    • The first were the triple failures of Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi; mixed with the onslaught of World War II, the studio lost a lot of money. The post-WWII years found Disney in a position where it was too financially risky to make full-length feature animated films, but also too financially risky to not have the steady stream of feature animation revenue that cartoon shorts alone couldn't provide. They compromised by releasing package films until they felt that they'd recovered enough to tackle a full-length film again with Cinderella - if Cinderella had bombed, Walt Disney admitted that the studio probably wouldn't have survived. Luckily for them it became a massive hit, ushering in a new decade of Disney feature films.
    • The second was after Sleeping Beauty flopped. The rise of television meant that people weren't going to the theaters to see animated films they way that they used to, meaning it was no longer cost-effective to make animated films traditionally. The development of the xerox animation technology ended up lowering costs and preventing Disney from shutting down completely, but they still had to lay off a lot of animators in the early 1960s in the wake of Sleeping Beauty's financial failure.
    • The third was after the death of Walt Disney in 1966. The other executives felt that theatrical animation was no longer viable, particularly since the studio had proven in the 1950s that it could make successful live action, television and theme park projects to carry the company (the short animated film division had already been shut down in 1962). There were plans to close the division after the completion of The Jungle Book, but director Ken Anderson was able to convince the executives to keep it open a little longer, claiming that Walt had plans to make The Aristocats, previously a live-action short film intended for television, into a full-length animated movie. Wanting to honor Walt they agreed, and luckily when The Jungle Book became a huge hit in 1967 it convinced them that there was a future for animated movies, leading them to green-light more.
    • The fourth was The Black Cauldron, which was such a huge financial misfire that it nearly took the studio down with it. Thankfully, the modest success of The Great Mouse Detective managed to keep the studio afloat until The Little Mermaid came in and started the Rennaissance.
    • The fith wasn't a single film but the large amount of commercial and/or critical disappointments that lasted for years after Jeffrey Katzenberg left. Once Pixar was officially integrated into Disney, there were once again talks of permanently shutting down the studios. Thankfully, Bob Iger, John Lasseter, and Ed Catmull decided to work on reviving the studios instead of killing it. Years later, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, and Frozen were released, showing that the studios was once again at the top of their game.
  • Old Shame: Disney seems to have this attitude towards Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Both films were received better than the far more financially successful Pocahontas, but were underachievers in the box office.
    • The package movies. All of them. With the exception of the Caballeros films (which were released together on 1 DVD in 2008 with minimal advertising), the last home video release of these movies is 2000, as a part of the Gold Classic Collection VHS & DVD line, and Disney did not promote any of these releases, hence the movies are only known by animation enthusiasts and collectors nowadays. It's becoming rather odd since various characters from the package movies are represented at the Disney theme parks. note 
      • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad DVDs are a common sight in stores around Halloween and they get a special packaging with a jack-o-lantern stencil or trick or treat bag included, so that one's not always an example.
    • Some of the racist imagery of their earlier films is downplayed or completely removed in contemporary times. A particularly egregious example is the removal of a black servant pony during a segment of Fantasia.
    • Disney used to have this attitude towards Alice in Wonderland and Robin Hood, but they became big-enough cult classics to go mainstream.
    • The Black Cauldron is the biggest one. While Hades (and occasionally, Frollo) appear in merchandising, Disney just wants people to forget The Black Cauldron was even made.
    • Disney doesn't seem to talk about Home on the Range or Chicken Little much anymore.
  • Production Posse: Check any of the credits in the Disney Animated Canon starting with The Aristocats and you'll begin to notice several recurring names in both the cast and crew. Here's a small rundown:
    • The Dark Age Of Disney:
      • Phil Harris, Pat Buttram, Sterling Holloway (a remnant from the studio's Golden Age) and George Lindsey.
      • If the film had a male child protagonist during that period, he was probably voiced by one of animator/director Wolfgang Reitherman's sons.
    • The Renaissance Age of Disney:
      • Alan Menken and Randy Newman.
      • Glen Keane, Andreas Deja, Ruben Aquino, Mark Henn, Tony Fucile.
      • Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, Don Hahn, Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff.
  • Referenced By:
  • Trans Atlantic Equivalent: The UK does not consider Dinosaur as part of the cannon. Instead, they include The Wild as part of the cannon, which the US does not.
  • Trope Namer for the following tropes:
  • What Could Have Been: Two books have been written on the subject, The Disney That Never Was and Disney Lost and Found (focusing on My Peoples and Wild Life specifically alongside deleted segments from completed works.)
    • Also, The Nightmare Before Christmas was apparently supposed to be Disney's 32nd animated film, to have been released during the 1993 holiday season, with The Lion King, then Disney's 33rd animated film, being scheduled for the 1994 holiday season. Then Nightmare was rebranded as a Touchstone film due to being Darker and Edgier even by Disney's standards (and some of the animated canon's entries are more mature than others) and Lion King found itself pushed forward to summer 1994 and directly replacing Nightmare as Disney's 32nd as a direct result of said rebranding. Had things gone as planned, Nightmare would've been Disney's first non-hand-drawn film, as well as the first and so far only stop-motion entry, in the animated canon.