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8 Essential Films (and Shorts) that ALL Disney History Buffs Must Watch!

8 Essential Films (and Shorts) that ALL Disney History Buffs Must Watch! 1

Disney’s archive is vast and ever-expanding. It can be difficult to tackle every piece of content and find the true gems. Yet, if you’re looking for a place to start, these 5 Disney Essentials are available to you on Disney+!

(Warning: These films may contain outdated cultural depictions)

  1. Steamboat Willie (1928)
    • If you’re looking for a place to start, why not begin with what catapulted both Walt and Mickey into the spotlight? When watching this 7 minute short, keep in mind the state of animation at that time. This short was unlike anything that had ever been seen at the time, along with the fact that Mickey was cute and irresistible. People wanted more! If you have not seen this short before, add it to your list!
  2. Snow White (1937)
    • Where would this list be without Walt’s first full-length animated feature? The story, both dark and beautiful, captivated audiences and critics. Does anyone need a reason to watch this groundbreaking film? If you’ve been holding off, embrace your inner princess (and history buff) and settle in.
  3. Fantasia (1940)
    • With a war in Europe in full swing, through gloom came music, color, and animation. If you do not have the attention span for this entire film, make sure to check out “The Sorcerers Apprentice”. Mickey fixing his mischievous mistakes is something that every die-hard Disney fan needs to have seen once.
  4. The Reluctant Dragon (1941)
    • Why this film? There are probably far better ones to put on this list, but no other film (other than a documentary), will take you a theatrical inside look into what goes on behind the scenes at the original Walt Disney Studios. You may even get to see a younger Walt as well!
  5. Treasure Island (1950)
    • The first live-action Disney film? Add it to your list! This great film has inspired rides, adaptations and still holds up to this day. Make sure you see all the adventures that Jim Hawkins faces and beware of the one-legged man!
  6. The Living Desert (1953)
    • Writers Warning: This isn’t your modern-day Nature Documentary. The Living Desert was the first nature film produced by Walt Disney. Mixing education and a bit of animation, this footage took viewers to sites they had never seen before. You may not get an abundance of information, but for 1953, the scenery and music were something revolutionary to behold.
  7. The Mickey Mouse Club (1955)
    • No need to watch the full show (unless you are a dedicated Disney fan) – but check out one episode so you can see what it was like to be one of Mickey Mouse’s biggest fans! Of course, you also need to find out “Who the leader of the band” was — if you don’t know already!
  8. Disneyland: Around the Seasons (1966)
    • Originally part of a larger series, Disneyland: Around the Seasons is a glimpse into Disneyland – behind the scenes. Walt is there to guide you through some of the major changes and developments in his parks.

Disney+ has plenty of Disney Classics for everyone to enjoy. If none of these are your speed, feel free to browse around and let us know your favorites!

Photo: Disney

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Danielle H
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