As we head into 2023, we also head into the final year before Disney’s 100th anniversary, which will arrive on October 16th 2023. Disney has acquired and produced thousands of hours of content, and I wanted to take a look at some titles that Disney own that could be added to Disney+ for Disney’s 100th anniversary. Now I want to focus primarily on Disney titles and will steer clear of acquisitions like Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Studios. However, I will make exceptions for ABC, Pixar and The Muppets as they are a lot more merged within the Disney brand than Marvel, Lucasfilm or 20th Century Studios.
I’m going to give around ten titles per decade from the 1920s to the 2020s however, due to how much content from the 2020s has still yet to be produced or is already available on Disney+, it may lead to the 2000s and the 2010s sections being bigger to balance things. So let’s begin:
Disney was founded in 1923 as the Disney Brother’s Cartoon Studio after Walt Disney’s first company Laugh O Gram Studios, went bankrupt. Throughout this decade, we saw the introduction of many short films, including the “Alice Comedies”, “Oswald The Lucky Rabbit”, and the iconic “Mickey Mouse”. Some of these titles are public domain, so Disney shouldn’t have any legal issues restoring these titles:
- Alice’s Wonderland (1923) (the first production released by the Disney Brother’s Cartoon Studio, this film was remastered in 2017 and released on Bluray, this short is now in the public domain so Disney may struggle to add it to Disney+, but should attempt to just because of its historical significance to Disney).
- Alice In The Big Lead (1927) (the final short in Walt’s “Alice Comedies” run of shorts)
- Oswald The Lucky Rabbit: Trolley Troubles (1927) (the first production following Walt’s original cartoon character, Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, also Disney’s first fully animated short).
- Oswald The Lucky Rabbit: Sleigh Bells (1927) (one of many shorts that starred Oswald that was lost, found in 2015 by a Disney researcher who found it in the BFI archive. This film was lost once and Disney should try to preserve it so it doesn’t happen again).
- Oswald The Lucky Rabbit: High Up (1928) (The last produced Disney Oswald short, rediscovered by David Bossert after thinking this was a former Winkler short).
- Oswald The Lucky Rabbit: The Sky Scraper (1928) (The last Disney Oswald cartoon distributed by Universal Pictures).
- The Skeleton Dance (1929) ( Disney’s first Silly Symphonies short)
- El Terrible Toreador (1929) (Another short in the Silly Symphonies, taking place in Spain).
- Hell’s Bells (1929) (Another one of Disney’s Silly Symphonies, directed by Ub Iwerks)
- The Merry Dwarfs (1929) (Another Silly Symphonie, following a village of dwarfs as they live their lives)
The 1930s is when Disney had its first golden age with the success of their “Mickey Mouse” and “Silly Symphonies” series of shorts as well as Disney’s first theatrically released animated feature film “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs”. However, not everything was sunshine and roses as in 1939, World War 2 was declared, damaging Disney’s animation studio as many animators were called to fight.
- Mickey Mouse: The Birthday Party (1931) (The 25th short in the Mickey Mouse film series, this is a different short to the 1942 Mickey’s Birthday Party and this short was part of a long-running argument within Disney on when Mickey’s actual birthday was).
- Silly Symphonies: The Spider and The Fly (1931) (A 1931 Walt Disney produced Silly Symphonies this short was made available on DVD as part of the Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies Volume Two. The DVD was released on December 19th 2006).
- Silly Symphonies: The Bird Store (1932) (This cartoon features the first recorded voice work of Clarence Nash, the original voice of Donald Duck).
- Mickey Mouse: Mickey’s Revue (1932) (This cartoon features the first appearance of Goofy, originally named Dippy Dog).
- Silly Symphonies: Bugs In Love (1932) (The last black and white Silly Symphonies short to ever be produced).
- Mickey Mouse: Parade of the Award Nominees (1932) (A Mickey Mouse short made to showcase award nominees for the 5th Academy Awards. First appearance of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Clarabella Cow in colour. Released as part of the Mickey Mouse In Living Colour DVD).
- Mickey Mouse: Building A Building (1933) (A remake of the 1928 Oswald The Lucky Rabbit short Sky Scraper).
- Mickey Mouse: Mickey’s Steam Roller (1934) (The first and most identifiable appearance of Mickey’s nephews Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse, his twin nephews from the comic strip).
- Mickey Mouse: Mickey’s Service Station (1935) (Final black and white appearances of Goofy, Donald Duck and Pete The Cat).
- Mickey Mouse: Mickey’s Kangaroo (1935) (The last black and white Disney short. Last black and white appearance of Mickey Mouse and Pluto).
The 1940s were a strange decade for Disney as World War 2 raged on, and legendary Disney animator Art Babbit led the 1941 Disney animators to strike. Walt Disney also made a goodwill trip to South America and created many propaganda films to gain support for the war (those films have been excluded from this list due to what they are about).
- Goofy’s Glider (1940) (First “How To” Goofy cartoon)
- Chicken Little (1943) (Disney’s first attempt at adapting this story. Technically used as war propaganda however does not discuss war instead, it focuses on not believing everything you read or see. Included due to historical significance as the film was remade in 2005).
- The Pelican and The Snipe (1944) (Originally released on DVD on the “Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts the 1920s – 1960s)
- Donald Duck and The Gorilla (1944) ( Donald Duck’s first “monster” film)
- Springtime For Pluto (1944) (The first Disney short with opening credits)
- Donald Duck The Plastics Investor (1944) (The final Disney short with opening credits)
- Goofy Tiger Trouble (1945) (First appearance of Louie the Moutain Lion)
- Make Mine Music (1946) (The 8th animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. The only feature-length Disney Animated Feature film absent from Disney+. Released on Bluray in November 2021)
- Crazy With The Heat (1947) (Final Donald and Goofy short produced)
- So Dear To My Heart (1948) (A live-action animation hybrid film. A personal favourite of Walt Disney as it recreated growing up on a small Midwest American farm)
The 1950s was seen as a return to form for Disney after suffering heavy financial losses during the war. During this decade, we saw Disney move into live-action films as well as producing television series like “Disneyland” and the original run of “The Mickey Mouse Club”, which helped fund the opening of the original Disneyland theme park.
- Donald Duck: Crazy Over Daisy (1950) (The only short to co-star Daisy Duck and Chip N Dale)
- Goofy; Hold That Pose (1950) (First appearance of Humprhey The Bear)
- Chip N Dale: Chicken In The Rough (1951) (First short in the Chip N Dale series)
- Pluto: Cold Turkey (1951) (Final short in the Pluto series)
- The Sword and The Rose (1953) (The third film produced by RKO-Walt Disney British Productions. It Would help in European countries due to the European content quota)
- Adventures In Music: Melody (1953) (First of two Adventures In Music shorts. Released in 3D)
- Adventures In Music: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953) (Second of two Adventures In Music shorts. The first Disney short, that was produced in 2.35:1 Cinemascope. First Disney short distributed by Buena Vista Film Distribution Inc)
- Disneyland (1954) (Walt Disney hosted anthology series. Was created to help fund the original Disneyland theme park)
- The Mickey Mouse Club (1955) (The original run of the Walt Disney-created variety show. Which ran for four seasons from 1955 to 1959)
- The Great Locomotive Chase (1956) (based on the real Great Locomotive Chase that occurred in 1862 during the American Civil War)
The 60s were a decade where Disney struggled greatly. In December 1966, Walt Disney the man behind “Disney Magic” passed away. Walt’s death led to Disney’s animation studio struggling as it went from 500 staff members down to 125. Walt’s brother Roy O Disney took over despite being ready to retire.
- Goliath II (1960) (Won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short. Released on DVD as part of Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts the 1920s-1960s).
- Ten Who Dared (1960) (This film was filmed on-site at the Grand Canyon)
- Donald Duck: The Litterbug (1961) (The last short produced in the Donald Duck series)
- Moon Pilot (1962) (Starred actor Tommy Kirk, a Disney Legend who passed away in 2021).
- Almost Angels (1962) (Starred the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Filmed in Austria)
- Savage Sam (1963) (Sequel to “Old Yeller”. One of the only sequels Walt Disney greenlit due to him wanting to focus on original films)
- Scrooge McDuck and Money (1967) (First theatrical appearance of Scrooge McDuck. Last short supervised by Walt Disney)
- The Gnome-Mobile (1967) (Many critics called this film one of Disney’s best comedy films)
- Monkeys, Go Home! (1967) (This film was the first theatrical feature-length Disney movie released after Walt’s death).
- The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968) (Based on the memoir of Laura Bower Van Nuys. Has eleven songs written by Disney Legends The Sherman Brothers)
The 1970s was a decade of firsts for The Walt Disney Company, Walt’s brother Roy took over after his brother’s death passed away in 1971, which led to Don Tatum becoming the first Non-Disney family member to be Ceo of The Walt Disney Company. Disney also released the successful animated films “The Rescuers” and “Robin Hood” during this decade.
- The Boatniks (1970) (Released on Bluray in 2016 as part of Disney Movie Club)
- Run, Cougar, Run (1972) (Filmed in Utah)
- The World’s Greatest Athlete (1973) (Released on DVD on August 2nd 2005)
- Charley and The Angel (1973) (Set during the great depression of the 1930s)
- Superdad (1973) (Released on DVD via Disney Movie Club back in 2008)
- One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975) (Based on a book aimed at an adult audience which was toned down to be made into this film)
- The Best Of Walt Disney’s True Life Adventures (1975) (A compilation of Walt Disney’s “True Life Adventures” series of films)
- Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978) (A 1978 comedy-western film)
- The North Avenue Irregulars (1979) (Released as Hill’s Angels in the UK)
- The London Connection (1979) (Released in some countries as The Omega Collection but as The London Connection in others)
The 1980s was an excellent decade for Disney and led to many innovations and initiatives for the company, that included the opening of Touchstone Pictures and the launch of the then pay-TV channel known as The Disney Channel (later shortened just to “Disney Channel”). 1984 also saw Micheal Eisner take control and rename the company from Walt Disney Productions to The Walt Disney Company. 1989 Also saw the release of “The Little Mermaid”, which kicked off the Disney Renaissance.
- The Devil and Max Devlin (1981) (This film was controversial at release due to the subject matter. Has never streamed anywhere, and unfortunately, it’s unlikely to ever be rereleased due to the involvement of Bill Cosby)
- Trenchcoat (1983) (A film made during the era when Walt Disney Productions pushed out some slightly more adult-oriented titles. This film hasn’t been rereleased and could be lost history if Disney doesn’t do something with the film)
- Good Morning, Mickey! (1983) (A twenty-two-minute series which consisted of several classic animated shorts stitched into one twenty-two-minute series)
- Tiger Town (1983) (Disney Channel’s first exclusive movie under the brand “Disney Channel Premiere Films”. This film is believed to not be available on Disney+ due to music licensing, at least according to director Alan Shapiro)
- Welcome To Pooh Corner (1983) (A live-action/puppetry hybrid series in the “Winnie The Pooh” universe.)
- The Parent Trap II (1985) (The made-for-TV follow-up to the original theatrical film, which streams on Disney+)
- The Last Electric Knight (1986) (A 1986 special premiere produced by The Walt Disney Company)
- Sidekicks (1986) (A spinoff series to the 1986 special, “The Last Electric Knight”)
- Not Quite Human (1987) (Based on the book of the same name)
- Return To Snowy River (1988) (the sequel to “The Man From Snowy River”, which already streams on Disney+, at least in the UK)
The 1990s was the decade when Disney’s animation renaissance was in full swing. Disney also made the major acquisition of Capital Cities, which included ABC and a majority stake in ESPN. Disney also launched their cruise line in 1998.
- Perfect Harmony (1991) (A film set in 1959 which highlights the racial tension between African-Americans and White-Americans in South Carolina during the time)
- Off His Rockers (1992) (Disney’s first animated short to use the digital ink and paint system CAPS)
- Heidi (1993) (Notable for the inclusion of a character in a wheelchair and is treated by her parents like a mistake because of her disability, the main character shows her care and compassion).
- A Far Off Place (1993) (Filmed in Namibia and Zimbabwe in 1992)
- Angels In The Outfield (1994) (The start of a trilogy of baseball films with Christopher Lloyd)
- The Old Curiosity Shop (1995) (Based on the Charles Dickens novel of the same name)
- The Four Diamonds (1995) (A made-for-TV film based on a short story by Chris Millard a boy who died in 1972 at the age of 14 from cancer)
- Mickey Mouse Runaway Brain (1995) (A Mickey Mouse short which is extremely controversial as Mickey’s brain is swapped with a monster)
- The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show (1995) (Disney’s attempt to make their own version of Nickelodeon’s “Ren and Stimpy”)
- Susie Q (1996) (Follows the story of a girl called Susie Quinn who died in the 1950s and 40 years later returns to help a boy called Zach)
In 2005 we saw a changing of the guard at Disney as Bob Iger took over for Micheal Eisner. We also saw Pixar get acquired by Disney in 2006 and the launch of D23 in 2009. Disney also acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009.
Note: the lists for the 2000s and 2010s are a little longer due to most content from the 2020s with the Disney brand already being available or on its way to the service.
- Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command (2000) (The REAL origin of Buzz Lightyear)
- House Of Mouse (2001) (One of the most requested titles since launch)
- Lloyd In Space (2001) (Co-created by the creators of “Recess”)
- Teamo Supremo (2002) (Follows three superhero children)
- Jojo’s Circus (2003) (A stop-motion animated series)
- Brandy and Mr Whiskers (2004) (Created by Disney Television Animation)
- Winnie The Pooh: Shapes and Sizes (2004) (A “Winnie The Pooh” short film)
- Dave The Barbarian (2004) (Produced by Disney Television Animation)
- The Buzz On Maggie (2005) (Produced by Disney Television Animation)
- Winnie The Pooh: Wonderful Word Adventure (2006) (A “Winnie The Pooh” short film)
- Get Ed (2006) (One of few Jetix original series)
- Ying Yang Yo (2006) (One of few Jetix original series)
- The Emperor’s New School (2006) (The 2nd sequel to “The Emperor’s New Groove”)
- Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams (2007) (Features new stories about Princess Jasmine from “Aladdin” and Princess Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty”)
- Jungle Junction (2009) (One of Playhouse Disney’s final series)
The 2010s were the strongest decade for Disney since the 1990s, Disney rapidly expanded by picking up companies like Lucasfilm, UTV Communications (Part of Disney India) and eventually, the assets of 21st Century Fox. Disney also had its biggest box office year in 2019, with seven films grossing over a billion dollars at the box office and the MCU was in full swing of its first three phases.
- Do Dooni Chaar (2010) (Produced by Walt Disney Pictures India)
- Anaganaga O Dheerudu (2011) (known as Once Upon A Warrior outside India
- Pixie Hollow Games (2011) (A “Disney Fairies” television special)
- Lilly The Witch: The Journey To Mandolan (2011) (A German film made by Walt Disney Pictures)
- Zokkomon (2011) (Hindi-language superhero film. Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures India)
- Motorcity (2012) (Co-produced with Titmouse Inc)
- Pixie Hollow Bake Off (2013) (A “Disney Fairies” television special)
- The 7D (2014) (A prequel to “Snow White and The Seven Dwarves”)
- Khoobsurat (2014) (Translates to “Beautiful”. Hindi-romance film released by Disney India)
- Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero (2014) (A Disney XD original series)
- Two More Eggs (2015) (Disney’s first animated web series)
- Dangal (2016) (Hindi-language biographical film)
- It’s For Your Own Good (2017) (A Spanish-language comedy film released by Disney’s Buena Vista International)
- Jagga Jasoos (2017) (A Hindi-language musical film. Produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures India)
- Patrick (2018) (British Comedy film released by Disney’s Buena Vista International)
As Disney hits its 100th anniversary, it’s good to look at the past of the entertainment juggernaut, Disney has one of the largest film and television libraries when you calculate all of its titles from all international divisions and defunct divisions. What we must all remember is Disney is currently focused on making Disney+ profitable, so if we see any classic content, it will most probably be binge-able series that Disney+ can serve ads on. What we must all remember is Disney may need to fork out billions in royalties for music licenses or for appearances or the right to air them again. I would be happy if Disney only added the “Oswald The Lucky Rabbit” shorts and a couple of the titles from the 2000s and 2010s but then added more legacy titles over time. In 2023 Disney will have to decide whether they cut costs and don’t add many legacy titles or spend millions to billions for the addition of hundreds of titles. We will just have to wait to see how Disney handles their 100th anniversary.
What title do you want to see added for Disney’s “100 Years Of Wonder”?
Thanks to DejaView for the help with this article