From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, through the films Disney plans to release through 2019 and early 2020, Professor James Mason delivers a cinemaphile's treasure trove of pertinent and often hard-to-find information about each of Disney's animated and live-action films.
Mason's chronological, cross-referenced collector's companion to Disney theatrical features is unmatched in its detail, providing not just release dates, cast and crew, and literary sources, but also the film's connections to comic strip adaptations, soundtrack albums, and non-fiction books, with cross-references to relevant Disney theme park rides, sequels, TV shows, and other media.
In this comprehensive all-in-one guide—over 500 pages!— you'll have at your fingertips up-to-date information about not just the classic and modern Disney films, but Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars releases, as well. Want to know comic strips and comic books feature Dumbo? Which TV series and video games star the Avengers? Where to find obscure features like Condorman or The Littlest Outlaw on DVD, Blu-ray, or Laserdisc? It's in here!
For Disney fans, collectors, and historians alike, this is your front-row ticket to the cinematic magic of Disney.
How to Use This Book
Part 1: Movies: 1937–1949
Part 2: Movies: 1950–1959
Part 3: Movies: 1960–1969
Part 4: Movies: 1970–1979
Part 5: Movies: 1980–1989
Part 6: Movies: 1990–1994
Part 7: Movies: 1995–1999
Part 8: Movies: 2000–2004
Part 9: Movies: 2005–2009
Part 10: Movies: 2010–2014
Part 11: Movies: 2015–2019
Disney Movie Checklist
The world of Disney movies is huge. Beyond animation, Disney movies encompass natural history documentaries, sports comedies, superhero franchises, the Star Wars saga and so much more. Disney movies provide inspiration, characters and cross-overs with television series, theatrical shorts, comic book stories, sequels and prequels, as well as spin-offs such as soundtrack albums, making-of books and DVDs packed with extra features. There’s so much content and merchandise in the Disney universe that navigating it as a fan and collector can be a tricky business. And that’s where Disney Connections & Collections: Movies comes in.
In the following pages you will discover how every Disney movie released to theatres and direct to home video connects to the wider Disney media universe. You’ll also find out which movies and their merchandise are available to collect on a range of different media formats. Although the entertainment business, Disney included, is moving ever more rapidly to supporting streaming and non-physical formats, there is something particularly satisfying about being able to hold your favourite Disney movies in your hand. They are something precious that can be passed down through the generations, shared with friends and family, or sold on for a profit.
As a fan and collector of Disney movies and merchandise, it is sometimes frustrating that Disney movies are often perceived by audiences as beginning and ending with animated features. The listings in this book illustrate quite clearly that Disney’s animated back catalogue is the richest source of theme park rides, spin-off shorts, computer games, and comic book adaptations when compared with most Disney live-action features. But while Disney’s animated roots and successes are undeniably a core part of the company’s business, it seems a shame that many of the studio’s live-action movies often go over-looked and underappreciated.
Disney Connections & Collections: Movies grew out of a personal interest that turned academic as part of a three year PhD research project that focused on Disney movies and their audiences. The research involved a comprehensive review of Disney movies in order to define the Disney movie genre. At the same time, over 3,500 audience members were questioned about their understanding of Disney movies, and they tended to understandably equate Disney movies almost exclusively with animation.
This book therefore acts not just as a guide to Disney movie spin-offs and merchandise, but also provides a historical overview of the ways in which Disney movies have changed since 1937. It does so by treating all Disney movies equally, without favouring animation over live-action, or censoring flops or problematic movies.
You will see how Disney grew from a small studio that produced an animated feature every year or two, to releasing True-Life Adventures alongside live-action adventure and comedy movies. Then, following the death of Walt Disney, the studio underwent a period of experimentation and a search for an identity, before producing a massive growth in output under Michael Eisner, including the emergence of the direct-to-video market. Continuing into the 21st century, Disney movies changed in new ways as Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm became important parts of the Disney movie family.
Where the Disney movie story will evolve in the future is a mystery, but as Disney Connections & Collections: Movies shows, Disney’s movie history is ripe for exploration.
Dr James R. Mason has enjoyed watching and collecting Disney movies since his parents bought him Disney Classics on VHS as a child. His personal interest eventually led to an academic interest. While studying for a Masters degree in Film Studies at the University of Bradford he kept returning to Disney for his papers and presentations, eventually writing a dissertation about the overlooked package features of the 1940s. From this came the inspiration for further study at the University of Leeds and the authoring of a Ph.D about Disney movies and their adult audiences.
James’ Ph.D research gathered data on 390 Disney movies released to cinemas in the US between 1937 and 2015. He used this data to define a Disney film genre. At the same time he sought the opinions of adult audiences through an online questionnaire and focus groups that reached over 3,500 people. Then he compared audience perceptions of Disney movies with the movies themselves, revealing the biases that exist around animation and their implications for adult audiences and their appreciation of Disney movies.
Having earned his Ph.D in late 2017 through an examination that included animation scholar Professor Paul Wells, James is currently in the early stages of turning his Ph.D thesis into a book. Aside from writing, he also works as a proofreader and copy editor. He continues to collect Disney media and longs to return to the Disney parks one day someday soon.