Table of Contents
The period between 1937 and 1942 is known as the Golden Age.
The period of time from 1943 to 1949, which was marked by World War II.
The period of 1950-1959 is known as the Silver Age.
The Bronze Age lasted from 1970 to 1988.
The period known as the Golden Age took place from 1937 to 1942.
The Golden Era brought new film genres to life. Animation was a novelty that was marketed to children until now. It was comical. At first, animation had no sound or color. It relied heavily on animated backgrounds and characters to express emotions.
Because animation is often considered shallow and childish, this is why so many people find it difficult to understand. Disney was a pioneer in animation at this time. This is evident in the creation of Steamboat Willie, the first animated short that featured sound. The trend of music and sound in animation was established by this short. Disney later created Silly Symphonies. Disney had its competitors. Other studios introduced pop culture icons like Tom & Jerry and Looney Tunes characters. However, Disney’s innovations in sound and technicolour (a new approach to colouring that renders animation more realistic and detailed) helped the company become very popular. The Disney Company was open to new ideas, and Walt was the one who led them. That spirit was evident in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is the first animated feature film that has been made in full length. It would have been more costly than live-action films. Disney executives were concerned that it would be too costly and risky to pay off the benefits. Although the film was not released yet, it was called “Disney’s folly” in the media. Disney however was optimistic that it was possible. Snow White’s initial budget was 250, 000, but it ended up costing 1. Disney had to take out a mortgage on his home because he was owed 5 million. Disney was passionate about the project because he wanted to make a film unlike live action. It was because he loved talking animals movies, such as Bambi, that he became a Disney movie star. He wanted live action movies to be able to recreate the magic of animation. This was the first time Disney animation had been made. The movies didn’t focus on character development, as is the case with many other movies today, but showcased animation’s art. Disney can get away easily with scenes like the one in Fantasia where the dwarfs wash their hands. The goal of the story was not to draw us in, but to amaze and entertain us with the beautiful scenes we see.
The Golden Era, which was a movie that contained the most content, was also known as the Dark Era. This is not to say that the movies didn’t make money, although some did. The movie has some very dramatic themes. Bambi’s death and scenes with the Evil Queen in Snow White are two examples of these. Pinocchio features children smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Another plot point in the movie is how bad boys run from home and end up becoming donkeys or sold into slavery. Even today, these films can still cause trauma to children. Walt might have seen it as a way of teaching children the right things, like not taking food from strangers or listening to your parents. Why not teach morality to children while they’re watching the latest Disney movie? Walt wanted to challenge the stereotype that animated films are silly and childish. This would have made the movie more dynamic and more enjoyable for everyone, not just kids.
The Wartime Era (1943-1949). This section’s title suggests that this was the period when Disney Studios was most affected by World War II. It was also the time when their films were mirrored. Aside from the destruction and devastation, war brought with it a drop in the economic output and the loss of male animators who were recruited to fight on the field. It is also important to mention the anti-Nazi propaganda and racism Disney used in their film plots. All of these factors combined with World War II have made Disney films much more appealing and high-quality.
Disney Studios felt the effects of this as many of their animators lost to World War II. This resulted is less films being produced and less profit. The lack of male animators meant that there were fewer films being released and less profit. The films had a lower budget and were made up of multiple short films. Each film was composed of several films. They also featured lower quality visuals than the films before them.
Disney was also heavily involved, using Mickey Mouse, one the main characters of Disney Studios to promote patriotism. The below picture is an example of a flier that Disney publically distributed during this period.
Disney films often featured anti-Nazi and racism, as we have already mentioned. Fantasia was a film from that era with implied racism, if it wasn’t blatant. One scene in which this racism was evident was when fair-skinned Centaurs are served by a smaller, darker-skinned Centaur. He polishes their nails and chases them down whenever they need anything. This clearly indicates that African Americans were seen as less than Whites. This was the situation until 1964’s Civil Rights Act, which abolished the physical borders between the two races. Der Fuehrer’s Face features Donald Duck being awakened in Nazi Germany. Throughout the film, his actions and words are closely watched. He follows a strict lifestyle, even with food restrictions. Finally, he wakes up in America and dreams of all the things he has just done.
The Silver Age (1950-1959). Disney wanted to make big-budget films again and push the boundaries of the film industry. This is the age that Disney is most famous for, including Cinderella, Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty. Those films are often what come to mind when one thinks of Disney, especially the older Disney. This led eventually to the rebranding of Disney, as it is today. The rebranding features some original Disney Princesses and a couple of their faces. This age is also well-known for its animated talking animals like Lady and the Tramp. This trend of main characters featuring talking animals will continue to grow until the end. Disney is also emphasizing that animation isn’t so superficial that people should ignore it. It can accomplish what live-action films, which were popular at that time, couldn’t. Disney has changed how they create movies, whereas animated films used to be aimed at children. This film is a different style than the Wartime Era. It has a better art style because Disney has adjusted the budget to make it possible for quality films that are well-designed. It is similar to the Golden Age in that both age have fantastic elements. However, what makes this age different is its fairytale-like aesthetic. This is in contrast to the Golden Era’s darker aesthetic. The films’ backgrounds look hand-painted from watercolor. Disney redefined the meaning of “fairytale” when they chose romanticized backgrounds.
This age focuses less about moral lessons and is more focused on being a “damsel not in distress” as The Sleeping Beauty shows. Aurora, the main protagonist of The Sleeping Beauty, spends most of her time sleeping and waiting to be freed from the curse. Prince Philip, Flora and Fauna, who were her fairy godmothers, played a more active role in the plot. Cinderella was still wearing her gown, but her dress was made first by Jaq and Gus. Later, her Fairy Godmother encouraged Cinderella to attend the ball at the kingdom. She even got a carriage and a lovely dress. It was the same with Cinderella. Prince Charming, Jaq and Gus were her key characters to making it to happily ever again. Her Fairy Godmother and her animal friends were there to help her throughout the film. In the sequels, she takes on a more active role. Even though her animal friends weren’t the main protagonists of the story, they continue to carry the trend that Disney films from this era often feature talking animals. Walt Disney’s Silver Age is over. Jungle Book was his last work before his death.
The Bronze Age (1970-1988). It was a difficult time for Disney Animation Company in the 1980s. Many of their films didn’t make enough money at the cinemas to pay back their initial investment. The Black Cauldron was a boxoffice failure and Oliver and Company barely made enough money to pay capital for future movies. Many believe this all began with Walt Disney’s death as chairman and founder of Disney. This was also the time that Roy Disney, the Vice-President, died. They were the figureheads of the company and made decisions about where the company should go. Without them, the Disney Company would have lost its direction. Many Disney fans would disagree. The 101 Dalmations started this era. They were part of Disney’s Silver Age of Movies. Walt Disney was determined to stop making full-length animated movies. These movies are expensive and often don’t generate enough revenue to make a new film. He made more time for his passions, such as creating Disneyland or live motion movies.
To offset the cost of creating animated features, the company used “xerography”. This animation technique allows animators to instantly copy their drawings onto cells without having to retrace and paint the sketches on animation cells. 101 Dalmatians was a far cry from earlier films. It looked almost like Disney had taken a backward step in animation. The most obvious feature is the black lines that surround characters. This made it look like Odyssey. According to com, this was Disney’s first attempt at creating scratchy films. Don Bluth was the lead animator and worked on movies such as Sleeping Beauty, Robin Hood and The Princess and the Frog. Bluth believed that Disney had “lost its roots in terms art and storytelling” and decided to leave.