Dumbo

  • Directors: Ben Sharpsteen
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Novel, Helen Aberson, Harold Pearl, Story, Otto Englander, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer
  • Genres: Animation, Family, Music
  • Actors: Edward Brophy, Herman Bing, Margaret Wright, Sterling Holloway, Cliff Edwards

While circus animals are being transported, Mrs. Jumbo, one of the elephants, receives her baby from a stork. The baby elephant is quickly taunted by the other elephants because of his large ears, and they nickname him “Dumbo”.

Once the circus is set up, Mrs. Jumbo loses her temper at a group of boys for making fun of her son, and she is locked up and deemed mad. Dumbo is shunned by the other elephants and with no mother to care for him, he is now alone, except for a self-appointed mentor and protector, Timothy Q. Mouse, who feels sympathy for Dumbo and becomes determined to make him happy again.

The circus director makes Dumbo the top of an elephant pyramid stunt, but Dumbo causes the stunt to go wrong, injuring the other elephants and bringing down the big top. Dumbo is made a clown as a result, and plays the main role in an act that involves him falling into a vat of pie filling. Despite his newfound popularity and fame, Dumbo hates this job and is now more miserable than ever.

To cheer Dumbo up, Timothy takes him to visit his mother. On the way back Dumbo cries and then starts to hiccup so Timothy decides to take him for a drink of water from a bucket which, unknown to him, has accidentally had a bottle of champagne knocked into it. As a result, Dumbo and Timothy both become drunk and see hallucinations of pink elephants.

After this performance, Dumbo becomes a media sensation, Timothy becomes his manager, and Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo are given a private car on the circus train.

Alice in Wonderland

  • Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Winston Hibler, Ted Sears, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta, William Cottrell, Dick Kelsey, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, Del Connell, Tom Oreb, John Walbridge
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway, Jerry Colonna, Verna Felton, J Pat O Malley, Bill Thompson, Heather Angel, Joseph Kearns, Larry Grey, Queenie Leonard, Dink Trout, Doris Lloyd, James MacDonald, The Mellomen, Don Barclay

On the bank of a tranquil river, Alice grows bored listening to her sister read aloud from a history book about William I of England. Alice sees a White Rabbit wearing a waistcoat and carrying a large pocket watch. She follows him and tumbles down a rabbit hole. At the bottom, she follows the Rabbit into a large chamber but he escapes through a tiny door. The Doorknob suggests Alice drink from a bottle marked “Drink me.” The contents shrink her to a tiny fraction of her original size. The door is locked, and the key appears on the table, which she can not reach. The Doorknob directs her to a cookie marked “Eat me.” The cookie makes her grow so large that her head hits the ceiling. She begins to cry; her massive tears flood the room. The Doorknob points out that the “Drink me” bottle still has some fluid left inside, so she finishes the last drop. She becomes so small that she drops inside the bottle. Both she and the bottle drift through the doorknob’s keyhole mouth and out to a sea made from Alice’s tears.

On shore, a Dodo bird leads a group of animals in a futile caucus-race to get dry. Alice meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee, two fat brothers who recite “The Walrus and the Carpenter”. Alice sneaks away to the White Rabbit’s house. The Rabbit orders Alice to fetch his gloves. Inside the house, Alice eats a cookie. She becomes so large that she gets stuck inside the house. The Dodo tries to help by sending Bill the Lizard down the chimney and then setting the house on fire. Alice eats a carrot from the garden and shrinks down to three inches high.

Coming back to the Doorknob, Alice is told by him that he is still locked, but that she is already on the other side. Looking through the keyhole, Alice sees herself asleep in the park. As the mob draws nearer, she calls, “Alice, wake up!” to her sleeping self until she gradually awakens from the dream to the sound of her sister’s voice. The two of them return home for teatime while Alice muses on her adventures in Wonderland, realizing that perhaps logic and reason exist for a purpose.

Sleeping Beauty

  • Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, Milt Banta, Charles Perrault
  • Genres: Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Mary Costa, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy, Barbara Jo Allen, Bill Shirley, Taylor Holmes, Bill Thompson

Set in the 14th century, the newborn Princess Aurora is named after the Roman goddess of the dawn because she fills the lives of her mother and father, King Stefan and Queen Leah, with sunshine. While still an infant, she is betrothed to the also-young Prince Phillip, son of King Hubert. At her christening, the Three Good Fairies Flora (dressed in red/pink), Fauna (in green), and Merryweather (in blue) arrive to bless her. Flora gives her the gift of beauty while Fauna gives her the gift of song. Before Merryweather can give her blessing, the Dark Fairy Maleficent appears, expressing disappointment in not being invited to Aurora’s christening ceremony and curses the princess to die when she touches a spinning wheel’s spindle before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. Maleficent leaves, and Merryweather is able to use her blessing to weaken the curse so that instead of death, Aurora, will fall into a deep sleep until she is awakened by true love’s kiss. Though King Stefan decrees all spinning wheels in the kingdom burned, the Three Good Fairies know Maleficent’s curse cannot be stopped that easily and devise a plan to protect her. With the king and queen’s consent, they disguise themselves as peasant women and sneak Aurora away with them to a woodland cottage until her sixteen birthday lapses, passing themselves off as her aunts and swearing off magic to conceal themselves.

In the castle, Maleficent uses her magic to lure Aurora away from her boudoir and up to a tower, where a spinning wheel awaits her. Fascinated by the wheel with Maleficent’s will enforcing it, Aurora touches the spindle, pricking her finger and completing the curse. The good fairies place Aurora on a bed and place all in the kingdom in a deep ageless sleep until the spell is broken. While falling asleep, King Hubert tries to tell Stefan of his son being in love with a peasant girl, which makes Flora realize that Prince Phillip is the man Aurora has fallen in love with, and they fly back to the cottage for him. At that time, Prince Phillip arrives at the cottage, but is captured, bound and gagged by Maleficent’s minions and taken to the dungeons of her lair, “The Forbidden Mountain”, to prevent him from kissing Aurora until he is an old man and she remains as young as the day she pricked her finger—as previewed in a magical vision which the gloating Maleficent torments him with. However, the fairies sneak into Maleficent’s stronghold and free the prince. Armed with the magical Sword of Truth and The Shield of Virtue, Phillip and the fairies escape from the Forbidden Mountain whilst being attacked by Maleficent’s minions, which the fairies succeed in blocking. When Diablo tries to warn Maleficent, Merryweather chases him and eventually kills him by turning him into a stone statue, alerting Maleficent. The prince braves all obstacles Maleficent throws at him to reach the palace, including a large bush of thorns, before battling Maleficent herself when she turns herself into a gigantic fire-breathing dragon. After a long fight in which his shield is destroyed, Phillip throws the sword, blessed by the fairies’ magic, into the dragon’s heart, causing Maleficent to fall to her death from a cliff, leaving nothing but a dark stain and turning the sword black. Phillip climbs to Aurora’s chamber, and removes the curse with a kiss. As the film ends, the prince and princess both happily learn that their betrothed and their beloved are one and the same. They arrive at the ballroom, where Aurora is happily reunited with her parents, and she and Prince Phillip dance a waltz. They do not notice that as they dance, Merryweather and Flora have resumed their disagreement over the color of her dress and continue to change it from blue to pink with their magic. As the book closes, Aurora’s gown continues to change colors.

Cinderella

  • Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Charles Perrault, Ken Anderson, Perce Pearce, Homer Brightman, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Harry Reeves, Joe Rinaldi, Ted Sears
  • Genres: Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Rhoda Williams, James MacDonald, Luis Van Rooten, Don Barclay, Mike Douglas, Lucille Bliss

Cinderella is the much-loved only child of a widowed aristocrat. After deciding that his beloved daughter needs a mother’s care, Cinderella’s father marries a proud and haughty woman named Lady Tremaine. She too has been married before, and has two daughters by her first marriage, Anastasia and Drizella, who are just Cinderella’s age. Plain and socially awkward, these “Ugly Stepsisters” are bitterly envious of the beautiful and charming Cinderella.

The family lives in happiness for several years, until the untimely death of Cinderella’s father. After that, Lady Tremaine’s true nature is revealed, and she and her spiteful daughters take over the estate, and begin to abuse and maltreat Cinderella, envious of her beauty. She is forced into housekeeping responsibilities and made to wait upon her jealous stepsisters like a maid. As Cinderella blossoms into a beautiful young woman who is kind despite her hardships, she befriends the animals living in the barn, including Bruno the Bloodhound, Major the horse, and many of the mice and birds who live in and around the chateau. Cinderella finds a mouse inside a trap, releases him, and names him Octavius, “Gus” for short. She is also friends with a mouse named Jacques (“Jaq” for short), the leader of a mouse-pack.

At the wedding, Cinderella and the Prince descend the church’s staircase, surrounded by confetti tossed by the King and the Grand Duke. Cinderella loses a slipper and retrieves it with the aid of the King. As the film ends on a scene of the two newly-weds kissing, the narrator concludes “…and they lived happily ever after”.

Pinocchio

  • Directors: Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske, Norman Ferguson, T Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Aurelius Battaglia, William Cottrell, Otto Englander, Erdman Penner, Joseph Sabo, Ted Sears, Webb Smith, Based on the book by Carlo Collodi
  • Genres: Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Cliff Edwards, Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc, Walter Catlett, Charles Judels, Evelyn Venable, Frankie Darro

The film starts with Jiminy Cricket singing the hit Disney song “When You Wish Upon a Star”. Jiminy then talks to the audience for those who may not believe in the song’s optimistic words and recounts his experience of being one of those non-believers until he met Pinocchio. Through a storybook entitled Pinocchio (which acts as a window to Jiminy’s aformentioned adventure), we see an unnamed town in the night and the workshop of the woodworker Geppetto. Jiminy walks into the workshop to warm himself from the cold. He notices a puppet Geppetto is working on. Geppetto names the puppet Pinocchio and after making his marionette dance around for the amused and bewildered eyes of Figaro, his kitten, and Cleo, his goldfish, he decides to go to bed. He notices a falling star in the sky and wishes that Pinocchio could be a real boy. While everybody is sleeping Jiminy wakes up and notices a Blue Fairy entering the room. She makes Pinocchio come alive since Geppetto has always been a good man and deserves his wish to come true. Pinocchio is alive, but still nothing more than a puppet. If he wants to become a real boy of flesh and blood he must prove himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish and able to tell right from wrong by listening to his conscience. Pinocchio doesn’t understand what a conscience is and Jiminy appears to explain it to him. The Blue Fairy then assigns Jiminy with the official title of acting as Pinocchio’s conscience, changes him into better clothes, and disappears again.

In Geppetto’s home everybody mourns over Pinocchio’s death. But the Blue Fairy decides that Pinocchio has proven his worth in being a brave, good boy and brings him back to life as a real boy. Everyone celebrates Pinocchio’s revival and Jiminy is awarded a 18 karat gold medal by the Fairy for acting well as Pinocchio’s conscience. The movie ends with Jiminy once again singing “When You Wish upon a Star”.

Mary Poppins

  • Directors: Robert Stevenson
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Screenplay, Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi, Books, P L Travers
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Ed Wynn

The film begins with Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) perched on a cloud high above London in Spring 1910.[1] The action descends to earth where Bert (Dick Van Dyke), a Cockney jack-of-all-trades is performing as a one-man band at a park entrance. After the show, he breaks the “Fourth wall” and introduces the audience to the well-to-do but troubled Banks family, headed by the cold and aloof Mr. Banks (David Tomlinson) and the loving but highly distracted suffragette Mrs. Banks (Glynis Johns).

The Banks’ latest nanny, Katie Nanna, quits out of exasperation after the Banks children, Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber) run off in pursuit of a wayward kite. Mr Banks returns home from his job at a bank, and Mrs Banks reveals the children are missing. A policeman arrives with the children, who ask their father to help repair their damaged kite, but he dismisses them and advertises for an authoritarian nanny-replacement. Jane and Michael draft their own advertisement asking for a fun, kind-hearted and caring person, but Mr. Banks tears up the paper and throws it in the fireplace. Unnoticed, the note’s remains float up the chimney.

The next day there is a queue of old and disagreeable nanny candidates waiting at the door. However, a strong gust of wind literally blows the queue away, and Mary Poppins floats down with her umbrella to apply. Mr. Banks is stunned to see that this calmly defiant new nanny has responded to the children’s ad despite the fact he destroyed it. As he puzzles, Mary Poppins hires herself and begins work.

Her work done, Mary Poppins takes to the air with a fond farewell from Bert.

Bambi

  • Directors: David D Hand
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Felix Salten, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Gustaf Tenggren
  • Genres: Animation, Drama, Family
  • Actors: Bobby Stewart, Donnie Dunagan, Hardie Albright, John Sutherland, Paula Winslowe, Peter Behn, Tim Davis, Sam Edwards, Will Wright, Cammie King, Ann Gillis, Fred Shields, Stan Alexander, Sterling Holloway

A doe gives birth to a fawn in the thicket whom she names Bambi. After he learns to walk, Bambi befriends Thumper, a young rabbit, and while learning to talk he meets Flower, a young skunk. One day his mother takes him to the meadow, a place that is both wonderful and frightening. There he meets Faline, a doe-fawn, and his father, the Great Prince of the Forest. It is also during this visit that Bambi has his first encounter with man, who causes all the animals to flee the meadow. During a harsh winter, Bambi and his mother go to the meadow and discover a patch of new grass, heralding the arrival of spring. As they eat, his mother senses a hunter and orders Bambi to flee. As they run, gun shots ring out. When Bambi arrives at their thicket, he discovers his mother is no longer with him. He wanders the forest calling for her, but she doesn’t answer. His father appears in front of him and tells Bambi “your mother can’t be with you anymore,” then leads him away.

In the spring, an adult Bambi is reunited with Thumper and Flower as the animals around them begin pairing up with mates. Though they resolve not to be “twitterpated” like the other animals in love, Thumper and Flower each leave with newly found mates. Bambi is disgusted, until he runs into Faline and they become a couple. As they happily dance and flirt through the woods, another buck, Ronno, appears who tries to force Faline to go with him. Though he initially struggles, Bambi’s rage gives him the strength to defeat Ronno and push him off a cliff and into a river below.

At the end of the film, Faline gives birth to twin fawns, Bambi stands watch on the large hill, and the Great Prince silently turns and walks away.

The Jungle Book

  • Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Rudyard Kipling, Larry Clemmons, Ralph Wright, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry, Bill Peet
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family, Musical
  • Actors: Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Bruce Reitherman, George Sanders, Sterling Holloway, Louis Prima

Mowgli (Bruce Reitherman) is found in a basket as a baby in the deep jungles of Madhya Pradesh, India. In the Disney movie, there is no mention of what happened to his parents or how he came to be there, but the basket was in half a boat in the middle of a river; so it is most likely that his parents were washed downstream and drowned. Bagheera (Sebastian Cabot), the panther who discovers the boy, promptly takes him to a wolf who has just had cubs. She raises him along with her own cubs and Mowgli soon becomes well acquainted to jungle life.

Mowgli is shown ten years later, visiting the wolves and getting his face licked eagerly when he arrives. That night, when the wolf tribe learns that Shere Khan (George Sanders), a man-eating tiger, has returned to the jungle, they realize that Mowgli must be taken to the man village, to protect him and those around him. Bagheera volunteers to escort him back. They leave that very night, but since Mowgli is determined to stay in the jungle things go a little astray. First Kaa (Sterling Holloway), the hungry Indian Python, hypnotizes Mowgli into a deep and peaceful sleep, traps him tightly in his coils and tries to devour him, but comically fails. The next morning, Mowgli tries to join the elephant patrol led by Hathi (J. Pat O’Malley). After that Mowgli and Bagheera get in an argument and then Mowgli runs away from Bagheera. Mowgli soon meets up with the fun-loving bear Baloo (Phil Harris), who shows Mowgli the fun of having a care-free life and promises not to take him to the man village.

After noticing the boy, she “accidentally” drops her water pot, and Mowgli retrieves it for her and follows her into the man village. After Mowgli chooses to stay in the man village, Baloo and Bagheera decide to head home while singing a reprise of “The Bare Necessities”.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

  • Directors: David Hand
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Brothers Grimm, Ted Sears, Richard Creedon, Otto Englander, Dick Rickard, Earl Hurd, Merrill De Maris, Dorothy Ann Blank, Webb Smith
  • Genres: Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Pinto Colvig, Roy Atwell

Through a textual prologue the audience is told that Princess Snow White is a princess living with her vain and wicked stepmother the Queen. Fearing Snow White’s beauty, the Queen forced her to work as a scullery maid and would daily ask her Magic Mirror “who is fairest one of all.” The mirror would always answer that the Queen was, pleasing her.

At the film’s opening, the Magic Mirror informs the queen that Snow White is now the fairest in the land. The jealous queen orders her huntsman to take Snow White into the woods and kill her, demanding that he bring her the dead girl’s heart in a jeweled box as proof of the deed. The huntsman instead urges Snow White to flee into the woods and never come back, bringing back a pig’s heart instead (thus saving Snow White’s life).

Lost and frightened, the princess is befriended by woodland creatures who lead her to a cottage deep in the woods. Finding seven small chairs in the cottage’s dining room, Snow White assumes the cottage is the untidy home of seven children. It soon becomes apparent that the cottage belongs instead to seven adult dwarfs, who work in a nearby mine. Returning home, they are alarmed to find their cottage clean and surmise that an intruder has invaded their home. The dwarfs find Snow White upstairs, asleep across three of their beds. The princess awakens, introduces herself, and the dwarfs, save one named Grumpy, welcome her as a house guest after they learn she can cook. Snow White begins a new life cooking and keeping house for the dwarfs.

After several seasons pass, a prince learns of her plight and visits her coffin. Captivated by her beauty, he kisses her, which breaks the spell and awakens her. The dwarfs and animals all rejoice as Snow White and the prince ride off to the prince’s castle.