Disney over the 70s and 80s was facing lots of issues. Walt had died, there were new competitors in the animated film arena. Some of them led by former Disney animators. Disneyland had become land locked and kept getting competitors popping up forcing Disney to expand out in Florida.
A surprising era of rebirth was ahead of the animation powerhouse. They would have a string of successes in the 90s that would lead to never-before-seen box office sales, new IPs for the parks, a renewed interest in Disney music, and a focus on these new films that would one day birth the phenomenon of Disney adults.
Unlike other eras where the films are often unknown and rarely spoke of, these are the some of the most famous Disney films in the entire cannon. These would go on to make theme park rides, live action films, costumed characters, video games, spin off cartoons, toys, clothing…
There are exceptions in all the eras. This one has The Rescuers Down Under. It is the first Disney sequel and stands out like a sore thumb in this collection of movies. Like other eras it is much stronger at the beginning than the end. But the end also felt a little like Disney was going into autopilot expecting everything to be blockbuster.
This expansion in film helped the company financially and bled into a huge expansion in the parks. Disney World added MGM Studios and Animal Kingdom during this run. Disneyland’s California Adventure was designed and built during this time as well, but was opened just after the end of the era as the Disney films started to dwindle in box office again.
1. The Little Mermaid 11-17-1989
2. The Rescuers Down Under 11-16-1990
3. Beauty and the Beast 9-29-1991
4. Aladdin 11-25-1992
5. The Lion King 6-15-1994
6. Pocahontas 6-23-1995
7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame 6-21-1996
8. Hercules 6-13-1997
9. Mulan 6-19-1998
10. Tarzan 6-12-1999