10 Educational ‘Behind The Scenes’ Disney Documentaries You Should Watch (That Are Available on Disney+!)

In 1923, Walter Elias Disney founded ‘The Walt Disney Company’ and the rest is history. Since then, the studio has grown, flourished, and has had many of its own stories. Thankfully, many of these stories have been meticulously documented and been made available to those who appreciate it most – Disney Fans. With the release of ‘The Imagineering Story‘ on Disney+, many new fans have been eager to view any and every documentary in reach. We’ve tried to help those in search with 10 of the most educational, emotional, and astounding docs that Disney has to offer. How many have you already seen?

  1. The Imagineering Story (2019)
    • This series explores the in-depth trials and tribulations of the originally small and mighty Disney Imagineers. Their influence, once underestimated, has grown to be one of the Walt Disney Company’s most important achievements. The series begins with the inception of what was once Walt Disneys’ dream, to the strong and dominant, magic producing powerhouse it is today. This may be one of the most important series documenting our beloved Disney and is one that should be on every fans’ list.
  2. The Pixar Story (2007)
    • Interested in how a scrappy animation studio came to be? The Pixar Story shows the beginnings of what would soon be a highly sought after and innovative way to create and animate. From humble beginnings, watch Pixar grow to be the powerhouse it is today.
  3. Howard (2018)
    • Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid – all would sound incredibly different without this talented man. Howard Ashman was a lyracist ahead of his time that managed to influence some of the best movies in the Disney archive. This movie documents his rise, struggles and his untimely end. This documentary allows you to fully appreciate his passion for his musicals, not only their lyrical brilliance, but the love and effort he put into them until they day he passed.
  4. Waking Sleeping Beauty (2010)
    • As stated in the description, this documentary covers the “…second chapter of Disney’s animation legacy…” and how true that is. Focusing on the revitalization after years of box office flops, this film shows the precise moment of a change in direction for the studio.
  5. The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story (2009)
    • The Sherman Brothers are, of course, Disney Legends. It seems that influence stretched farther than most people even knew. What many didn’t know is their complicated and sometimes tumultuous relationship.  What makes this film an important piece of Disney history is simply the impact that two men could have on what makes Disney DISNEY. Their brilliance remains unmatched and we have not seen a team of musicians create such classics as The Sherman Brothers have – although Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez are doing a terrific job. You’ll find yourself learning more than you ever knew about this duo as well as Walt Disney himself as well in this documentary!
  6. Frank and Ollie (1995)
    • Long before animation went digital, Frank and Ollie revolutionized what animation was and would eventually come to be. The artists, now passed, share experiences and stories of hard work. Animators were still learning what it meant to create and evolve their craft and for Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, what they created would become the blueprints for future works to come.
  7. Assembling a Universe (2014)
    • The Marvel Universe has expanded so exponentially throughout the years, its hard to remember what life was like without it. Assembling a Universe goes into how the Marvel Universe became what it is today and how it is branching out far beyond mega-films and cinema.
  8. Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 (2020)
    • Following the success of Frozen, a question lingered of whether Disney could do it again. Closely monitoring the progress of what it takes to make a hit film, this documentary shows what needs to happen to move a story along. It’s not all magic, but sleepless nights, constant redos and hours of work that may never see the light of day. Though this is one movie about the making of another movie – it puts a time stamp on our current state of animation. In short, this film is a wonderful archival piece to look back on as, inevitably, the process of making movies continues to evolve.
  9. Walt & El Grupo (2008)
    • Many children growing up may have watched classics like ‘The Three Caballeros’ and ‘Saludos Amigos’. Yet, with these films – there’s a bit more than meets the eye! In 1941, the United States government sponsored Walt Disney (and some animators) to go to South America – but why? This documentary goes in depth into Walts trip and animations influence in World War II.
  10. Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy (2004)
    • Though Disney only acquired Lucasfilms in 2014, the companys’ interest in the studio and the Star Wars series has been long and documented. This documentary shows where it all began in 1976 and the influence of a film based in a galaxy far, far away.



Danielle H

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