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Revisiting Disney: An Introduction

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There is a name that has skipped across our collective childhoods, dancing and singing all the way; a name connected with princesses, catchy songs, and a talking mouse. This name is Disney. To be more specific, I’m talking about the Walt Disney Animation Studio.

For many of us, Disney is a name associated with childhood; fun adventures, beautiful art and, of course, the always growing collection of Disney merchandise. The lessons we learned, from “Believe in yourself” to “Never tell a lie” have, it seems, stayed with us as we grew older, stamped in our minds by stunning animation and catchy tunes. Now, many of us are sharing these stories with our children, nieces, and nephews or rediscovering them as adults.

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When you watch Disney as an adult, however, how does it hold up? Are the stories still exciting and (mostly) clever? Is the animation still as beautiful as it looked to your young eyes? Will you be singing “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” for the rest of the day now that I have mentioned it? In an attempt to answer these questions, as well as many more, I am going to watch every film in the Disney Cannon (all 51 of the full-length animated features that Disney officially claims) and do some digging and soul searching.

Photo: Disney

As I watch each movie, I am going to review them as honestly as possible, without my nostalgia goggles. Each review will be based on the story as presented, the music, and the artwork, as well as examining the plot when compared to the source material and, finally, looking at what each film can tell us about the time period it was made. Questions will include the following: what was the film made to do, and does it succeed? How does the culture of the film’s era of creation affect the story and the characters? What are the driving points that the film is trying to get across? Does it all hold up? These are questions that I, for one, am excited to ask, and look forward to trying to find answers for.

As I embark on this 51-week journey of Disney fun, I invite you to join me. I’ll post the next film at the end of each review if you want to watch along with me during the week. And, of course, please comment if anything in the film stands out to you or you find my conclusions to be just too out there!

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So please, be my guest, (if you will) as I try to discover if the Disney Animated Classics truly are tales old as time or if they should have just tried to dig a little deeper (the Disney puns will continue, so be prepared). Either way, I look forward to learning more about one of the great influences on my childhood and sharing my thoughts with you all.


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For next week, the one that started it all: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

If you enjoyed this post and the others in the Revisiting Disney series, and have found yourself wishing that you could find them all in one convenient and bound book with eight extra essays, there is an option for you! Check out A Journey Through Disney: My Look Back Through Disney Canon, now available on Amazon as both a Kindle book ($4.99) and a paperback ($11.99).

Photos: Disney

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By on July 12th, 2015

About Bailey Cavender

Bailey grew up in North Idaho where she was encouraged from a young age to love reading, writing and learning; as a result, storytelling is a major part of her life. She believes that no story is ever the same to anyone and that everyone has a story to tell. With that in mind, she someday hopes to write a humorous and inspiring book (or ten, either way).

Her books, "A Journey Through Disney," "The Mermaid," and "Dear NSA: One Man's Adventures in Phone-Tapping and Blogging," can be found on Amazon.

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5 thoughts on “Revisiting Disney: An Introduction”

  1. This is a great idea Bailey! I feel the animation, story line and characters also evolved as I grew up. Cartoon films are no longer simply humorous or cute, but add depth to every aspect. Beauty and the beast is one of my favourites, but Tangled has such beautiful visuals that now it’s a close tie between the two. Actually, old or new love Disney movies for the happy feeling that remains with me whenever I watch them. Oh and I do keep humming the songs all day..

    • Thank you Rhea! Yeah, so far I’m pretty early in my rewatch, but the storylines seem to be, in some ways, a lot more simplistic in the earlier films (more black and white), while the later ones have more gray. This seems to be especially true for films made in the 90s and sooner. I might be off base on that, but we’ll see 🙂 It’s true, the songs are all earworms. And I agree about the happy Disney feeling 🙂

  2. This is an excellent idea! I am very much looking forward to reading about your thoughts on each film. I hope each film will be good to you! (Disney puns are so fun!)

    • Thanks Moriah! I am pretty excited to revisit these old favorites. I hope so too, though so far I had forgotten how legitimately frightening some of the older films were…


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