Almost everybody in the world knows or even watched several Disney movies in their lifetime. The Walt Disney Company is one of the top-grossing global mass media and entertainment corporations founded on October 16, 1923, by brothers Walt and Roy Disney. It originally started as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio creating classic cartoons located in Burbank, California. It established itself as a pioneer for the American animation industry that became popular around the globe since then.
Today, Disney has produced hundreds of films that proved its capability to create memorable and inspiring movies. Before Disney became one of the giant prevalent companies globally, let’s go back to see the oldest Disney movies that laid the foundations for making the great Walt Disney Company a legend.
Tenth Place: Make Mine Music. Released on April 20, 1946, with a running time of seventy-five minutes, Make Mine Music is an old Disney movie compilation of unfinished cartoon stories. The entire film featured nine cartoon segments, all with incomplete plots. During this time, the US was engaged in World War 2, requiring massive enlistment of personnel in the army. This included employees of Walt Disney Productions drafted to the US Army or recruited by the government to produce propaganda films for the war.
The overall budget of the film cost an estimated amount of 1.35 million US dollars in movie production. But it managed to earn a total box office amount of 2.25 million US dollars nationwide.
Ninth Place: The Three Caballeros. This animation film features Donald Duck and his Latin American friends, who follow self-contained segments. It was released on December 21, 1944, with a total running time of seventy-two minutes, and world premiered in Mexico. The entire film also features live-action arrangements with Latin American celebrities such as Carmen Molina, Dora Luz, and Aurora Miranda. After its world premiere in Mexico City, the movie was released in the US on February 3, 1945.
Eight Place: Victory Through AirPower. This is Disney’s first animated documentary film based on the book written by Alexander P. De Seversky in 1942. It is the animation movie that Walt Disney himself financed the movie’s production because of the feeling of urgency to share the message of Seversky to his fellow Americans. The film was released on July 17, 1943, with a running time of seventy-seven minutes.
Seventh Place: Saludos Amigos. This animated movie world premiered in Brazil on August 24, 1942, with a running time of forty-two minutes. It featured Donald Duck and a cigar-smoking parrot Jose Carioca with live-action segments set in Latin America.
Sixth Place: Bambi. The movie is based on Bambi: A Life in the Woods, written by Austrian author Felix Salten. It was released on August 13, 1942, aired for seventy minutes. Despite its high gross earnings of 267.4 million US dollars, Bambi failed to earn income on its first release.
Fifth Place: Dumbo. Released on October 23, 1941, Dumbo has a total running time of sixty-four minutes. It had a budget of an estimated amount of 950,000 US dollars and had gross earnings nationwide of 1.6 million US dollars. It features a young elephant with oversized ears named Dumbo that had misadventures in the film. The movie is short and low-cost to cope up with the financial losses of Fantasia.
Fourth Place: The Reluctant Dragon. This movie is one of the critically acclaimed films of Disney Studios for not making it an animation like Snow White and Pinocchio. It was released on June 20, 1941, with a running time of seventy-four minutes. Because of series of critics and strikes from Disney staffers, the movie only earned an estimated amount of 400,000 US dollars. In comparison, the budget for producing the film reached an amount of 600,000 US dollars.
Third Place: Fantasia. This is the first animated film of Disney that incorporated live-action segments and classical music as conducted by Leopold Stokowski. However, due to the outbreak of world war 2 in European countries, Fantasia’s first release on November 13, 1940, failed to produce income for the company. After a couple of years, the film was reissued to regain its reputation and gradually earn profit.
Second Place: Pinocchio. The second animated film produced by Disney Studios features a young wooden boy doll that magically elongates his nos whenever he tells a lie. It was released on February 7, 1940, with a running time of eighty-eight minutes. Pinocchio earned a total profit amount of 84.2 US dollars at that time.
First Place and the Oldest Disney Movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Alright, fans, here is the oldest and actually the very first animation movie Disney has created. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as released on December 21, 1937, with a total running time of eighty-three minutes, had a production budget of 1.49 million US dollars. But Disney’s first movie production had their auspicious start that it actually earned them an astonishing 418.2 million US dollars. This movie paved the way for making hundreds of animated films in the future.