Disney Animation Movie Marathon – Pre-Renaissance Era

The Disney Animation Studios pre-renaissance era stretched from 1937 until 1988. This era produced many of the classics we remember, and some that we do not. If you’d like a little more info on Disney eras, check out my earlier post on the subject.

Picking the best movies out from this era results in an astounding 16-movie 24-hour Disney animation movie marathon. A typical 24-hour movie marathon has eleven, maybe twelve movies in it. This movie marathon wins the “most feature films in one 24 hour movie marathon” award. The schedule even includes copious breaktimes!

So if you want to see the best classic animated films Disney has to offer, and only have a day to do it – have I got the movie marathon schedule for you!

Disney Pre-Renaissance Era Movies

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven DwarfsMy take: A wicked queen attempts to murder Snow White several times because Snow is prettier than the queen. Wouldn’t it have been less of a hassle for the Queen to use one of her appearance-altering potions to make herself prettier? That seems like a more direct route to acheive her goal.


My take: Pinocchio the puppet comes alive, but to become a real boy, he must prove himself brave, truthful and unselfish. Man, the standards for boys made the old-fashioned way sure are low.


My take: A series of short animated stories set to classical music, including Mickey Mouse casting spells to infuse broomsticks with demonic cleaning powers. A kids classic!


DumboMy take: Dumbo the elephant has big ears and is a little awkward, so he is mercilessly teased and exploited by members of the circus. Then he learns how to fly, and is no longer teased. The exploitation continues, but in a good way. The end.


BambiMy take: A coming of age story of Bambi: the Great Prince of the Forest. His name and title aren’t quite as impressive as Simba: The Lion King, but I suppose even forests need kings too.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

The Adventures of Icabod and Mr. ToadMy take: Not exactly a feature film, but two short stories packaged together. Hey – everyone was busy for a while with World War II!


CinderellaMy take: Cinderella is emotionally abused by her step-mother and step-sisters. But, because she is pretty, she is saved from her crummy life by some standard-issue prince she knows nothing about. Second-wave feminism this a’int.

Alice in Wonderland

Alice In WonderlandMy take: The ultimate “and it was all a dream” story.

Peter Pan

Peter PanMy take: Peter Pan brings Wendy Darling (and her brothers) to Never Never land, where where a pixie, mermaids, and a pirate captain promptly attempt to murder her. A whimsical classic!

Lady and the Tramp

Lady And The TrampMy take: “And they called it….puppy love.” – a little Paul Anka for you there. Hope you enjoyed it.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping BeautyMy take: A titanic struggle between Maleficent, the evil fairy / dragon / hellbeast and three good fairies. Other characters like Sleeping Beauty exist too, but they are pretty much puppets manipulated by the real power-holders in this kingdom.

101 Dalmatians

101 DalmatiansMy take: Cruella De Vil really, really wants a Dalmatian fur coat. I wonder if her psychological problems started with her parents, who gave her an anti-virtue name. Maybe if she was named “Charity De Vil” she would have started an animal shelter.

The Sword in the Stone

The Sword In The StoneMy take: A dramatic enactment of the old moral: leaders are chosen through divine right, not through piffle like democratic elections or talent.

The Jungle Book

The Jungle BookMy take: A kid is raised by wolves and has lots of animal friends. He instantly forgets all that the second he sees a pretty girl. Men! So predictable!

The Aristocats

AristocatsMy take: Does everybody want to be a cat? The movie’s answer, is an emphatic “Yes!”. In song form!

The Rescuers

The RescuersMy take: This movie follows the adventures of agents of an international mouse organization dedicated to helping abduction victims around the world. Its like Taken, but with mice, and less brutal violence.

Disney Pre-Renaissance Era Movie Marathon Schedule

So now you know all about the movies, but how do they fit into a 24-hour movie marathon schedule? Lucky for you, I have pre-packaged the 24-hour disney movie marathon schedule for you below. Do you think you can relive your childhood in 16 movies in 24 hours? There is only one way to find out!

Start TimeTitle
12:00 PMSnow White and the Seven Dwarfs
01:45 PMPinocchio
03:15 PMFantasia
05:30 PMDumbo
06:45 PMBambi
08:15 PMThe Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
09:30 PMCinderella
11:00 PMAlice in Wonderland
12:30 AMPeter Pan
02:00 AMLady and the Tramp
03:16 AMSleeping Beauty
04:31 AM101 Dalmatians
06:00 AMThe Sword in the Stone
07:30 AMThe Jungle Book
09:00 AMThe Aristocats
10:30 AMThe Rescuers
12:00 PMFinish


How to Plan a Disney Movie Marathon

The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries have published almost 700 feature films. To have a “complete” Disney movie marathon, you would have to do nothing but watch Disney movies, 24/7, for an entire month. That is a lot of homespun, family friendly, quality entertainment.

But let’s be honest. If you are thinking of having a Disney movie marathon, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds concert is probably not what you are thinking of. I also doubt Mars Needs Moms will show up on your must-watch list.

The stuff produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios is what you want. They produced the great animated films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. They have produced 56 animated feature films in all. They’ve been doing it so long (about eighty years) that their films can be classified into multiple major “eras”.

Disney Eras Explained

For an explanation of the Disney eras, watch this helpful YouTube video. Don’t worry – I’ll wait.

56 animated movies is more manageable than 700. But this is still too many movies for a 24-hour movie marathon. In fact, you could can get about four 24-hour movie marathons with that many movies. What’s a movie marathon planner to do?

You need to divide and conquer. Per the video above, you can roughly divide up all of the movies into two major eras – Pre-Renaissance and Post-Renaissance. I like to think of it as:

Creating Your Disney Movie Marathon

If you want a Disney movie marathon that does both eras justice, then plan for two movie marathons! Pick the best movies from each era, place them in a movie marathon schedule, and you are good to go!

The key question is how we should pick the “best” disney movies to put in the marathons. Thankfully, half the internet is composed of lists of the best stuff ever. Let’s use Rotten Tomatoes list of best animated Disney movies. They “used a weighted formula that accounts for the Tomatometer, number of reviews, and release year of each Disney animated film.” That sounds like science to me!

Based on this methodology, I have produced sample schedules for your enjoyment.

UPDATE: 30 April 2017 – Some light editing for better readability, etc.