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YMMV / Disney Animated Canon

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  • Adaptation Displacement: When Disney adapts a story or fairy tale, their version tends to become the best known and may influence future adaptations. They have their own subpage for it.
  • Archive Panic:
  • Awesome Music: Naturally, since they are the Trope Codifier for the Animated Musical. See for yourself.
  • Broken Base:
    • You'll find fans who only love the Walt-era films, fans who love the xerox period (which goes from 101 Dalmatians to, approximately, The Great Mouse Detective —- although many of those fans classify The Black Cauldron as being out of this period), fans who love the Renaissance era films and view most of the older ones as Narmy, and even fans who love the earlier Renaissance films but don't care much for the later half. And then, of course, you have fans who judge each film based on its own merits.
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    • There is a general consensus that, by the time Wreck-It Ralph was released, Disney had entered a new period of glory. The contention lies in exactly which film started this new period of glory, due to differing opinions over the importance of quality, financial success, and style:
      • Meet the Robinsons, which, despite mixed reviews, showed a marked improvement over Chicken Little, and helped Disney's CG films gain credibility;
      • Bolt, the first film made fully under John Lasseter, and received a respectably positive reception from critics, fans, and the box office;
      • The Princess and the Frog, which attempted to restore hand-drawn animation and revived many of the classic elements of Renaissance-era Disney; however, it failed to make a substantial profit, further damaging 2D animation prospects, and has had a mixed fan reception;
      • Tangled, which clearly established a new style for Disney, blending classic Disney traits with modern CG animation comparable to Pixar, resulting in the first CG film with a clear "Disney" look that would later be utilized in Frozen. Additionally, it was a major financial success for Disney, as well as a critical and fan hit.
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  • Complete Monster: Even Disney has enough villains that are this for the site to give its own section under that trope.
  • Contested Sequel: The Black Cauldron, Pocahontas, Dinosaur, The Fox and the Hound, Treasure Planet, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Brother Bear, and Home on the Range are the major ones. Some like The Great Mouse Detective and Hercules are less contested, but still broke the base. Even official sources conflict on whether Hercules was any good or not, when the general opinion among fans (And Lindsay Ellis) was "flawed, but still enjoyable."
  • Cult Classic: The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, and Treasure Planet are the big ones, while The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The Sword in the Stone, The Rescuers Down Under, The Three Caballeros, and Home on the Range also have some rather rabid fanbases. Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland used to be this, but then they became Vindicated by History. Also, Robin Hood is one among the Furry Fandom.
  • Director Displacement: Expect only hardcore Animation buffs to know the names of the individual directors of the early Disney Films, everyone else giving Walt Disney sole credit. It didn't help matters that when much of the early Disney animated films were released, they were generally made by a team of segment directors under the command of a supervising director, who was himself answerable to Walt. Under that system, each segment director would direct a single portion of the film, and then report back to the supervising director so he could edit all the portions into a single, cohesive film.
  • Dork Age: Has gone through three distinct ones: the Package Age where they could only afford to make Compilation Movies (of which only a few segments, such as Pecos Bill, Willie the Operatic Whale, Mickey and the Beanstalk, the characters in The Three Caballeros (and the film itself to some) and the entirety of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad are well-remembered while the rest are usually forgotten); the Bronze Age/Dark Age after Walt died and the entire company lost its way, in which production of films grinded to a halt; and the Experimental Era/Post-Renaissance Age, where most of their films flopped and Disneytoon Studios began churning out their DTV sequels. However, the only film anyone in the Broken Base agrees on as being undeniably bad is Chicken Little.
  • Ear Worm: So many! Particularly songs from the Renaissance Age.
  • Evil Is Cool: Clearly several of the villains invoke these tropes in the eyes some fans, at least enough to have their own line of merchandise.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Mistaking feature animation of other companies and animators, such as the works of Don Bluth, for films in the Disney canon.
  • Fandom Heresy: Criticizing the Walt-era films (i.e. the first 19 films, made when Walt Disney was alive). No matter whether you find them sappy, Cliché or dated, the animation community considers the bulk of them (especially the Golden Age films) to be untouchable milestones for the entire medium, and you will get ripped a new one if you consider them anything below good. You might be able to get away with taking a shot at a couple of the Package films and The Sword in the Stone due to their sometimes average to lukewarm reception, but even that's risky, since even those films have a sizable fanbase.
    • Likewise, criticizing the big four films of Renaissance era Disney is a no-no among fans, since those are considered to be in the same league as the Walt-era Disney features, or at least great films in their own right. The later films from that period, such as Pocahontas, are divisive enough in reception to evade this, though.
    • In a bizarre case, the success of Frozen seems to have pushed Tangled into this status, as the Frozen detractors rallied around the cause of promoting Tangled as a superior effort while, simultaneously, the Frozen Fandom also promoted Tangled as a film the fans should check out. In this way, the forces of Friendly Fandoms and Fandom Rivalry combined to retroactively make Tangled a Disney Sacred Cow.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Disney Canon Fans vs. Pixar Fans. It got at its worst when John Lasseter became the head honcho, and his Executive Meddling of Bolt led to Chris Sandersnote  Rage Quitting and going over to DreamWorks in protest.note 
  • First Installment Wins:
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: A few Disney characters are surprisingly popular in another country. Sometimes even the film itself would turn out like this.
    • Stitch is huge in Japan with an anime and manga adaptation and there's tons of Stitch merchandise that can be found everywhere in Japan. The same goes for Angel who has a bigger role in the anime, and she's not even from the original film.
    • Marie is also huge in Japan to the point that she was given her own spinoff in March 2015 called Miriya & Marie and there's a lot of merchandise that feature her in Japan.
    • Ariel is also a very popular Disney Princess in Japan due to the Japanese loving stories about mermaids.
    • Tangled was very popular in India, due to the uncanny coincidence that Rapunzel's birthday celebration song "I See The Light" unintentionally resembles the Diwali festival.
    • According to two of Disney's Nine Old Men, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, in their famous book "Disney Animation and the Illusion of Life", The Rescuers became the highest grossing picture of all time in Germany.
      • The Rescuers was also a huge hit in France, and grossed more money there than even Star Wars of all films. It's still beloved there, thanks to the top notch vocal performances of Roger Carel (Bernard) and Perrette Pradier (Madame Medusa). There was even a 25th anniversary reunion featurette on the 2002 DVD in France.
    • In general, Disney animated movies tends to have their second or even highest gross in Japan, inspire many of its anime creators big name and even created the Kingdom Hearts franchise. This, couples with the unpopularity of every other American feature animation studio in the country (with the exception of Pixar, occasionally) reached the point where a lot of new releases aren't even sent to Japan, while others go straight-to-DVD.
  • Growing the Beard: Has happened three times over the course of the past 75+ years. The first was Cinderella, which was Disney Studios' first big hit since Dumbo. The second was The Little Mermaid, which was the starting point of the Disney Renaissance. The third and most recent was Meet the Robinsons, which was the first film released in the Lasseter Era (which would lead to the Disney Revival beginning with the following two films, Bolt and The Princess and the Frog).
    • Arguably, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is this for Disney as a whole, shifting away from short cartoons and into feature length, and better animated stories.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The 1936 cartoon Moving Day includes a house getting blown up by a gas leak. Two years later, Walt Disney's own mother Flora asphyxiated to death as a result of a gas leak in a house that her son had bought for her.
    • Disney's Nine Old Men alumni Woolie Reithermann dying in a car crash only a few years after he retired became this when one of Disney/Pixar's elite animators, Joe Ranft, also died in a car crash 20 years later, and this fate nearly claimed Jeffrey Katzenberg's life too 10 years later, and 30 years after Reithermann's passing.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: The Sword in the Stone has been criticized for being the most "through the motions" movie of Walt Disney's nineteen animated films, and admittedly the storyboard artists (excluding Bill Peet) weren't that interested in the project from the onset. However the animators who worked on the film were incredibly proud of it, feeling that it had the most technically accomplished character animation of any of the films that they'd worked on.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Aladdin, as a playful, rough-and-tumble trickster thief who with his street smarts and a pet monkey went from stealing bread to setting a genie free, defeating an evil sorcerer, and winning the hand of a princess in the span of half a week. Not bad for a mere street rat.
    • Mulan, as a capable Action Girl who joined the army as a boy and proved her worth to the extent of defeating the main Hun forces, even having the emperor of China bow to her. She's seen as one of the most badass Disney heroines.
    • Anna's willingness to brave harsh snow, dangerous heights, Hans, and the mistrust of her people to save her sister with no magical powers whatsoever.
    • Elsa's Instant Expertise of her ice magic once she gains confidence, whipping up an Ice Palace and Snowlems as well as starting and dispelling an Endless Winter with minimal effort, has proven her to be remarkably high on the Super Weight scale.
    • Moana's been getting this treatment, what with her Determinator status in getting the Heart of Te Fiti back, taking precisely none of Maui's crap and earning his respect through her sheer determination, and refusing to give up the quest after he bails with a non-traditional body type for the company, and no love interest in sight.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Many of the movies have the main villain do some form of Moral Event Horizon at some point in the franchise where they wreak their havoc — mostly so that the small kids the films are targeted towards can tell who is the good guy and who is the bad guy, and determine that the bad guy DID deserve a violent death or, at the very least, a thoroughly spectacular form of Abject Humiliation. You can read on for yourself here.
  • Never Live It Down: The 2004-2005 Dork Age, specifically the transition where Disney stopped doing traditional animated features in favor of CGI animated features. However, Disney got better once John Lasseter took over and the studio made hits afterwards.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: When it was released in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was genuinely considered by film critics to be one of the greatest movies ever made; in the decades since then though it's been parodied and copied to death. Watching it after years of being exposed to the media that it influenced (and was parodied by) is like watching cliché after cliché unfold predictably. Warning to parents: if you want your kids to love it, make sure they watch it early.
  • Sequelitis: From the 90's to the late 2000s, Disneytoon Studios released a flood of Direct-to-Video cash grab sequels to these movies out on the market. Reception of each individual film is heavily mixed (some, like Bambi II and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time are at the very least considered to be decent, while other films like Belle's Magical World and The Hunchback of Notre Dame II are considered to be dire drek) but its safe to say that none of them are considered to be in the same league as their predecessors and, unlike their largely acclaimed precursors, haven't left any real cultural impact beyond being easy films to take potshots at on the internet.
  • Strangled by the Red String: This is the case with earlier movies, particularly ones like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Justified, as it can be chalked up to Disney trying to keep to the source material, which in those cases were mostly fairy tales meant to teach morality and not build a believable love story. (The former two actually inserted scenes so that the "prince out of nowhere in the end" was actually introduced to both the audience and the princess earlier on in the movie, but they still get flak for it.) Later movies fix this, by giving the couples more interaction and personalities beyond "She's the girl of my dreams!"
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Moments full of this are common throughout, especially in the earlier movies. That said, there are plenty of exceptions, and even the lighter movies can have some unsettling moments.
  • Vindicated by Cable: The 2001-2004 time frame of box-office flops and disappointments: Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, and Home on the Range have all found new shelf-life after being reaired on the Disney Channel.note  They all, to varying degrees, have gone through vindication.
  • Vindicated by History: Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland, were all commercial disasters when first released. Fantasia and Sleeping Beauty were both critical flops as well when first released, a far cry to now be considered some of the best animated films period. Later movies like Robin Hood, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules would all get much better reception than when they were originally released.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: This was the codifier (nay, maker) of sophisticated 2D animation as we know it, but The Golden Age of Animation films really stand out.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Most people think of violence as not kid-friendly, yet the vast majority of people (including Disney's marketing) consider these to be family or kids' films. Most of these films have a villain who tries to commit murder (and succeeds in the case of The Lion King) and ends up dead himself/herself by the end of the film.

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