Updated Canon For Disney?

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Updated Canon For Disney?

Post by Neal » August 11th, 2008, 9:10 pm

Disney has a new site about the history of their animation. They have suddenly chosen to include Dinosaur in their canon:

http://www.disneyanimation.com/aboutus/history.html

The list is 100% identical to the Disney Animated Canon we all know but with Dinosaur conveniently slipped into place between Fantasia 2000 and The Emperor’s New Groove. I've always wondered why a WDFA produced film was not part of the canon.

What do you think? Is this a legitimate reason for us to now include it in the canon?

What's going on?! Do you accept this new list as canonical?

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Post by James » August 11th, 2008, 9:36 pm

I thought they gave up the canon list. I guess that was back when Pixar wasn't part of the company and they wanted people to think it was them. Now that they're part of the fold they can claim both on separate lists.

Dinosaur was probably added in there so they can claim an earlier start on CG.

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Dinosaur Added to Animated Canon

Post by Dusterian » August 11th, 2008, 11:48 pm

James wrote:I thought they gave up the canon list. I guess that was back when Pixar wasn't part of the company and they wanted people to think it was them. Now that they're part of the fold they can claim both on separate lists.
Wait...you mean they used to have Dinosaur, and then stopped because Pixar came along, but now they put it back in?
James wrote:Dinosaur was probably added in there so they can claim an earlier start on CG.
You smartly figured that out. Knowing Disney, that's probably why. I wish they wouldn't include Dinosaur just for that, since Dinosaur has the whole live-action backgrounds thing. But even other animated film had live-action, like those live-action book opening scenes, so...I guess it's okay.

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Re:

Post by Neal » August 12th, 2008, 12:28 am

One does wonder how they choose what films to add. I mean, it's called the "animation canon" yet films like Saludos Amgios which have full live-action sequences are included. Plus there are many 'package' films like Fun and Fancy Free where it's just a compilation of shorts with a bridge to it.

Dinosaur has never officially appeared on the list before.

The list as you see at the site has been that way for years, with the exception of the addition of Bolt and Dinosaur.

Bolt was inevitable but it was never 'officially' shown as part of the list before.

Dinosaur was a huge surprise as for 8 years Disney kept it from their list.

A lot of people question the methods behind choosing films for the list. Why not add Song of the South, or Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Disney's American Legends? Two of those are the 2D/live-action hybrids. One is a package film.

Their methods are unclear. That is, if there is a method. It seems doubtful there's any specific way they choose films. I'm sure they don't have any sort of guideline like "__ % of the film must be animated" or "the ratio must be ___ animation to ___ other or else it can't be in".

There are films that seem to have been left out.

The direct-to-DVD/VHS films should not be included.

But once Disney said the films were all animated on the list - which isn't true. Some have live action.

Once they said films joined the list if they saw theatrical release. Well, Bambi II saw a small theatrical release yet it isn't on there.

How does Disney decide what is eligible/what isn't? Maybe they don't analyze it so in-depth. If they do have a system, we may never know what it is.

But the addition of Dinosaur is a random surprise.

I have a feeling the debate about accepting it as canon or not will be a long-running battle.

People who devoutly follow the old canon before Disney stopped 'numbering' films will argue that Dinosaur should not be there and the Disney Animation site means nothing. It doesn't make it canon, it just means WDFA produced it.

People who like Dinosaur, believe in the more the merrier or think that the new site should be followed will want it on the canon.

Others who don't care will argue it should not be there because that will only segue people wanting 'The Wild' added, etc.

Some people are still mad Chicken Little is on there. They think that the CGI should be a separate canon than the 2D.

I believe both should be on there.

But I would some day like to know why it was added now, 8 years later. Who decided that and why? Also, how come some films are not there and will they ever be? What makes a film eligible for the list, what keeps it off the list?

Where are the guidelines?

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Re: Dinosaur Added to Animated Canon

Post by James » August 12th, 2008, 1:44 am

Dusterian wrote:you mean they used to have Dinosaur, and then stopped because Pixar came along, but now they put it back in?
No I meant Disney used to keep a canon list but several years ago they started saying "there is no official list" and all trace of the list was erased from Disney's official history. Then they did have the list in the past Dinosaur was not on it.

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Re:

Post by James » August 12th, 2008, 1:46 am

Neal wrote:...A lot of people question the methods behind choosing films for the list. Why not add Song of the South, or Bedknobs and Broomsticks...
If I'm not mistaken, So Dear To My Heart used to be on the official list but was removed when they wanted to add The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh without messing with the numbering.

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Post by James » August 12th, 2008, 1:56 am

From a recent official Disney FAQ page (which is currently down for maintenance - was able to grab this off its Google cache):
We are no longer numbering our animated features due to the changing face of animation. With live-action/computer generated hybrid films like "Dinosaur" and theatrical releases produced by our TV Animation division like "The Tigger Movie," determining what "counts" in our legacy of full-length animated features has become a challenge. Therefore, we have decided to stop numbering each feature and let the films stand on their own. Thank you for your interest in our animated films

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Post by Josh » August 12th, 2008, 1:58 am

In at least one country, wasn't The Wild included in the canon?

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Re:

Post by Neal » August 12th, 2008, 2:02 am

Hmm, well The Wild's DVD called it the '46th Disney Animated Feature' yet no one recognizes that as legit and it hasn't been on any Disney list.

That statement about no longer numbering was from the Eisner administration, I believe. Lasseter may want to bring the canon list/numbering system back.

The fact they have the list on their site shows their interest in their history and might mean the 'Canon List of Disney Animated Features' may see a return.

Albeit another wave of arguments about what 'counts' and what doesn't.

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Post by droosan » August 12th, 2008, 2:34 am

I personally have long considered Song of the South to be a Disney animated 'feature', despite its not being included on the 'official' list; since, as James noted, So Dear to My Heart (which also has several live-action sequences) was once on the 'canon' list -- so, if it merited inclusion, SotS certainly did, too.

I also tend to file Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Pete's Dragon among the Disney animated features on my DVD shelf .. even though those can be considered (at best) 'hybrid' animated features.

Then, of course, there are films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas .. which originally carried the "Touchstone Pictures" logo, but now is proudly proclaimed as "Walt Disney Pictures Presents". Given that Dinosaur was only ever presented as a "Walt Disney Picture" (even during its theatrical release), I'd say it's not surprising it has now been included. Indeed, the fact that it hadn't been included reminded me of Disney's attempts in the early-1990's to practically deny they'd ever made The Black Cauldron, simply on the grounds that it hadn't been very 'well-received' theatrically.

In the end, I agree with the sentiment expressed in the FAQ quote James posted .. assigning any sort of 'numbering' system to Disney's animated features is, at best, a pointless exercise .. since the definition of what includes/excludes a film has always been somewhat arbitrary. As well, each of the films is (and should be) a separate entity; they are not 'sequels' to one another (for the most part!), and shouldn't be regarded/categorized any differently than the film catalogue of, say, Universal Studios. There's a lot of 'variety' in what has been produced at the Walt Disney Studio .. moreso today, than ever before. An all-encompassing list which pleases everyone is, perhaps, impossible to compile. :idea:

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Post by EricJ » August 12th, 2008, 3:04 am

Like it or not, Dinosaur IS an in-house picture--
Wild and Valiant may be bastard children, but Dino was produced by the Secret Labs, and the DNA proves 100% paternity.

My only worry is, whether their including it in their canon means they're barging ahead in a bluff, hoping bad memory and Blu-ray sales will sweep popular history under the rug, and sneak it in on the list of films they think will find new second-generation life as Just Another Video Title, the way "Hercules" did..
Or, more accurately, like those fans of Fox & Hound and Black Cauldron who still keep turning up on animation discussions saying "C'mon, what was wrong with it, anyway??" ;)

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Post by Ben » August 12th, 2008, 5:33 am

The "canon" list was updated last in 1985. Until then the package films had been included.

In 1985, when Black Cauldron became their 25th feature, they eliminated all but the almost 100% pure animated titles.

Dinosaur was never on the list because it wasn't hand drawn. They thought they were going to break away and start a "new" Secret Lab/CG list, but that never happened.

For years Dinosaur was an "orphan", but now that Chicken Little, Robinsons and whatever else have been added to the canon list, it makes more sense to slip Dinosaur back in where it does actually belong.

"Disney's American Legends" was a television special/direct to video compilation, like many before it. It has no right being mentioned anywhere near any theatrical lists, whatever that list may include!

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Re:

Post by Neal » August 12th, 2008, 9:45 am

Okay, I agree that it's arbitrary. It probably has a lot more to do with image, money, sales and popularity than the actual content of the films. It's not like I didn't know that before - it's pretty obvious Disney is far more eager to promote The Little Mermaid over The Black Cauldron but it was always possible they had some sort of system for updating their canon.

Maybe Lasseter will come up with a method for it. If anyone would, he seems like the guy.

Either way, it makes sense Dinosaur was added. It was produced on the same site as many classic 2D Disney films.

But it doesn't make sense films were removed.

How can you suddenly decide a film shouldn't be on there? This isn't like demoting Pluto where new science can contradict earlier claims. There's no reason a film should suddenly go from qualified to unqualified.

Does anyone have this said old list, or know where I could see it? A picture or write-up of it? I've only ever known the list they have now where until a week ago there was 50 films (46 released, 4 upcoming). This is the first change I've seen in my lifetime so I think it's interesting.

I want to see this old list.

Also - you didn't like Fox and the Hound, EricJ? Why was that? Not attacking, just curious.

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Post by eddievalient » August 12th, 2008, 11:14 am

And what was wrong with The Black Cauldron anyway?
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Post by EricJ » August 12th, 2008, 2:39 pm

Ben wrote:"Disney's American Legends" was a television special/direct to video compilation, like many before it. It has no right being mentioned anywhere near any theatrical lists, whatever that list may include!
Even though "John Henry", like the other shorts, had been produced by the theatrical animation division for intended use in theaters...
(To be shown with a certain "black history" 50th anniversary movie Maya Angelou and Sidney Poitier didn't want back on screen for the public good.) :x

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