The Package Era of DAC
The Packaged Era is a mostly forgotten period with the Disney Animated Canon. It is a series of six films that are multiple shorts tied together usually by a theme or story. There are a couple of very good films in this collection, but short film collections are not a big hit in today’s society.
The main reason for these movies being put together was World War II. Disney had many of his workers on government projects and all animated works were to be used in some fashion. I define this era as 8/24/1942 with the release of Saludos Amigos in Rio De Janeiro until Cinderella hit the theatres on 2/15/1950.
The first two films, Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros, were a part of the American good will message to Latin America. This was an attempt to sway opinion of the South American countries to side of the allies and away from Nazi support.
Make Mine Music and Melody Time were short film collections that comprised mostly of musical numbers but did provide more story than much of Fantasia. And The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad along with Fun and Fancy Free were movies that had two separate stores tied together. All four of the stories at one time or another was in consideration for its own full-length feature film.
These movies are a product of the times. As far as cartoon entertainment for the whole family, this was about the only option. Before television took off there was no place to show a collection of short animations. Single shorts would proceed movies in the theatre, but rarely a full collection. Eventually both Disney and Hanna-Barbera would adapt this idea for television, but that would not be until after the Mickey Mouse Club began airing in 1955.
These movies are what I feel is mostly forgotten because they weren’t re-released in the theatres in the nineties like many of the classics. There are few references to them in the Disney parks. And for some reason they tend to include non-animated pieces making them feel less like an animated feature.
Regardless here is the list of the six films that comprise the Packaged Era of the Disney Animated Canon.
1. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942
2. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944
3. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946
4. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947
5. Melody Time 5-27-1948
6. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949