What Made the Disney Renaissance Era so Special? Part 1

  • Published on Aug 7, 2017
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    What made the Disney Renaissance Era so special? This video was originally inspired by this question and I felt like in order to properly answer it that I needed to understand the circumstances that lead up to this era. I hope you find this video to be a comprehensive understanding of Disney’s Dark Age!
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Comments • 2 428

  • The Jaunty Professor
    The Jaunty Professor  7 months ago +58

    Thank you so much to everyone who watched this video! :) If you felt like it wasn't enough, don't worry, I got you. Check out, “What Made the Disney Renaissance Era so Special? PART TWO" ru-clip.com/video/aqnUDxxY1qg/video.html

    • Niall Dempsey
      Niall Dempsey Month ago

      It wasn't just Disney that switched to xerography in the 1960s. Hanna-Barbera used it on The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Wacky Races and Scooby-Doo.

    • Irish RowRow
      Irish RowRow 4 months ago

      @Lucinda Mobley Also all the sequels. They shouldn't even do The Lion King. Definitely not Aladdin cause noo one else can do Genie.

    • Lucinda Mobley
      Lucinda Mobley 4 months ago +1

      Right now it feels like we're entering another dark age that's made up mostly of remakes. It's driving me nuts!

    • Irish RowRow
      Irish RowRow 4 months ago

      I still would like a live action remake of The Sword and The Stone.

  • Quoi
    Quoi 9 days ago

    I actually prefer the sketchy style from the xerography era than any other movie they've made. Sleeping beauty is an exception.

  • Brandon Munter
    Brandon Munter 12 days ago

    Why did you use CGP Grey’s drawings at 5:52?

  • Zachari Sincennes
    Zachari Sincennes 13 days ago

    Don Bluth also spearheaded A Troll In Central Park.

  • Ryu Haruka
    Ryu Haruka 18 days ago

    the movies that came out in disney's dark ages are my favorite movies :(

    • Ryu Haruka
      Ryu Haruka 18 days ago

      I guess this is because i prefer the animal movies (ALL of them are literally the loves of my life)

  • azart61
    azart61 Month ago

    I love the dark age of Disney, Robin Hood, Fox & The Hound, and the Great Mouse Detective are some of my favorites. Also The Black Cauldron is one of the most underrated films ever, one of my favs as well.

  • Alejandro Cabrera
    Alejandro Cabrera Month ago

    And so you supose trying something new that mabey isn't the core of a company is something bad?
    I gotta say I support any way of tradicional animation and others should too beacuse that's what art is about: trying new styles

  • zaq voir
    zaq voir 2 months ago

    during the dark age of disney animation everything was outlined in a black line and after that the animation only moved back and forth on the screen disney lost its depth

  • Leaf EdGy
    Leaf EdGy 2 months ago

    I’d say the dark ages started in 2010

  • English Muffin
    English Muffin 2 months ago

    Yeah, I can say that i truly haven't heard of Oliver and Company until maybe a year ago? But American Tale and Land Before Time are part of my childhood, that has lasted about 20 years now, and probably won't end until I die 😊

  • Great Western MGM
    Great Western MGM 2 months ago

    I can see where your coming from the quality Disney animation from 1961 onwards all the way up until 1989's The Little Mermaid. When you look at Disney animated films of the late 1930's early 40's, they were pioneering of that time, including the animation. In the 50's it carried on until Sleeping Beauty. Disney animated films in the 60's, 70's and 80's just looked too sketchy and looked like they were drawn on a sketchbook. I mean don't get me wrong they are good films, just not quite on par in animation quality as the earlier films were.

  • Glen Banks
    Glen Banks 2 months ago

    Please work on your vocal fry at the end of your sentences. There's an annoying SQUEAK on the last word of nearly every statement. Put some AIR into it. It won't kill you. Trust me.

  • blue panda
    blue panda 2 months ago

    the land before time was the meaning in five year old mes existence...

  • Dave Pruiksma
    Dave Pruiksma 3 months ago

    As a Disney Suoervising Animator before during this time of transition I have to say that, though some of your points are well taken, many of your observations are erroneous and far off base. In fact, most border in opinion and, though I tried to find credentials on you to document you credibility, I just couldn’t find anything. Remember folks, just because it’s on the Internet it doesn’t mean it’s true. For a more fare and balance summation of this era, I suggest interested parties view the brilliant and much more accurate account of this time in Disney history called Waking Sleeping Beauty by long time producer Don Hahn. Again, having been there, I find Don’s account to be the fairest and most accurate out there. As for the demise of the Renaissance, I recommend the film, The Sweatbox, if you can find it since Disney acquired it and took it out of circulation soon after it was released.

  • Rebecca Farley
    Rebecca Farley 3 months ago

    Walt was pedophile, and Disney world and Disneyland is full of pdeophiles.

  • wififan
    wififan 3 months ago +1

    I miss traditional hand drawn animation. I understand why it isn't used as much anymore and CGI does look good. I think its sad that the some people just think that its an outdated, time consuming process and nothing else.

    • Lee Crowe
      Lee Crowe 3 months ago

      It's no more time consuming than CG.

  • Eve Hello :D
    Eve Hello :D 3 months ago +1

    Not that relevant but can I just say that 2d animated movies are better than 3d animated movies..

  • Laura Molina
    Laura Molina 3 months ago +1

    LOL, “manpower” . . . the ink & paint department was 99% female, as women weren’t allowed to work as inbetweeners or animators.

  • Mental Set
    Mental Set 3 months ago +1

    "But Roy, and other influential shareholders..." (pictured: Mickey)

  • Rodrigo Moreno
    Rodrigo Moreno 3 months ago

    They were more concerned with surviving!

  • The Red Sterling Mc'Bae

    Don B. made Disney get their behinds in gear. XD

  • michael stokes
    michael stokes 3 months ago

    well you said it your opinion lol i will disagree..

  • ddc163264
    ddc163264 4 months ago +1

    You missed the real point of the "dark ages". It wasn't so much the tech or hand drawn. Walt ALWAYS went for new tech. But in the service of STORY. The reason most consider that the dark age was after Walt's passing and especially from the 70's on, is the lack of success of those movies were due to stories that didn't catch people. Music that for the most part wasn't memorable. You play any of the major songs for any Disney movie before this time, almost anybody will recognize it. Most of the movies from the 70's until Little Mermaid, if they had music, was not memorable or had no association to anything heartfelt for people. Then there are the stories. Even if the story was based on a classic (Oliver & Co) It wasn't told well or missed the mark in important ways. Walt was a consummate story teller. That is what they missed most after his passing. It took all that time to find people who could put together stories to that level again. Yes, Walt had failures at the Box office, but his vision usually held out in the end. As those movies are mostly now accepted and some beloved (Fantasia to Sleeping Beauty).

  • Dieu Linh Truong Thai
    Dieu Linh Truong Thai 4 months ago +1

    My simple first comment to you and this video: crap!
    And please don't call yourself a professor, it's offensive to all those out there who spend years researching and gaining extensive success in their area of expertise to gain that title. And here you are, with little to none research, a lot of "belief" and zero respect for the animation industry, claiming to be an expert in this field.
    What a joke!

  • Dean Yordanov
    Dean Yordanov 4 months ago

    4:42 Don't forget Anastasia!

  • Dana Giles
    Dana Giles 4 months ago

    End of the day it sounds like you are blaming a technique for a problem caused by plain old-fashioned bad story telling (Great Mouse Detective? Black Cauldron?). If they hadn't cut costs, they likely shut it down, if they shut it down...nothing left for that rebirth in the 90's.

  • the brink
    the brink 4 months ago +1

    Thanks for making this video. I disagree that the dark ages started in 1961 even after your explanation. Even though Walt and I were not a fan of xerography and hated 101 Dalmations and The Sword and the Stone for its story and quality of animation, I think with Walts renewed involvement in The Jungle Book, it was superior to any other animated movie in the 1960s from the Disney company in story and in animation because it returned back to its quality animation days. To me, the dark ages of Disney animation starts after that.

  • catheseries
    catheseries 4 months ago

    I loved The Black Cauldron! But thank god i only saw it when I was 18yo

  • Earl Kelly
    Earl Kelly 4 months ago +1


    Sorry. Nah.

  • Matthew Vargas
    Matthew Vargas 4 months ago

    No mention of James Baxter? Okay.

  • edvaira6891
    edvaira6891 4 months ago

    I disagree that the dark age was caused by the adoption of Xerography and more that the writing of the films was just not up to snuff...Direction was also lax (sorry, but Wolfgang Reitherman was a mediocre animation director at best and his films just lacked any style)...The stories were weaker and less focused, and, outside of two songs in the Jungle Book, the music was poor, also...

    • Lee Crowe
      Lee Crowe 3 months ago

      I wouldn't blame Woolie R.; keep in mind that the head of story since Pinocchio (Bill Peet) quit during Jungle Book. That's when the stories started going downhill.

  • Davon Benson
    Davon Benson 4 months ago

    This era had real life themes in the animation, which made the story more relatable. The Lion King was about becoming mature, and helping those around you, instead of running away from your responsibilities.

  • Caleigh Knight
    Caleigh Knight 4 months ago


  • YoungFox 21
    YoungFox 21 4 months ago

    Are you telling me Disney had a Dark Age before Xehanort came out?

  • Reagan Magliano
    Reagan Magliano 4 months ago

    The cause of a recession?? Little dramatic 😂

  • yendor 187
    yendor 187 4 months ago

    Dragon's lair!!

  • FriendsoftheGerund
    FriendsoftheGerund 4 months ago

    You get credit for sayin "dwarves" in lieu of "dwarfs". Thank you.

  • Ben Martin
    Ben Martin 4 months ago

    Ya know... what you call a Dark Age was still head and shoulders above every other studio’s animation. And bankruptcy means no more animation at all (that pie chart thing you showed).

  • TempleofBrendaSong
    TempleofBrendaSong 4 months ago +1

    Good Disney : everything before The Suite Life on Deck
    Bad Disney: everything after Brenda Song saws

  • shlobs422
    shlobs422 4 months ago +1

    I'm no expert but as I kid I distinctly remember disliking these "Don Bluth films." Now I know why. They weren't Disney, and its clear that they were inferior. I think The Jaunty Professor is in bed with Don Bluth when he made this video. Disney > Don Bluth. If Bluth was any good, we would know who he is. He isn't even in Matt Groening's level.

    • Lee Crowe
      Lee Crowe 3 months ago

      Bluth's a good animator and artist but not much of a storyteller.

  • Aaron Bradley
    Aaron Bradley 4 months ago +1


  • MeltedVelveeta CheeseSauce

    I kind of like Secret of NIMH because of the characters. However, I prefer other movies than Secret of NIMH. I love An American Tail because it's fun!~ Thanks Don Bluth. Remember, just because Don Bluth's Secret of NIMH is a visual masterpiece, that doesn't he's perfect. Don Bluth and Disney have something in common, they made a awesome movies and they did make mistakes sometimes. To be honest, I'm more of a Disney person then a Don Bluth.

  • Jerad Hernandez
    Jerad Hernandez 4 months ago

    Nice video, even though the sword and the stone and robin hood are two of my childhood favorites.

  • Everything Cool
    Everything Cool 4 months ago +1

    Walt Disney caused the recession that's what you just said

  • Ádám Varga
    Ádám Varga 4 months ago

    Pure existential nihilism in one shot.
    I'm depressed.

  • TikiKrissy
    TikiKrissy 4 months ago


  • M Chambers
    M Chambers 4 months ago

    While I agree with most of what you say a problem is that people nit pick the worst Disney films from 1961-1988 and the best films from 1989-2000. 'The Black Calderon' is great film! Darker was a better way to go. The fact that Disney didn't even bother to release it on home video is downright embarrassing. Many films which under preformed at the box office made more money and became better known than on video. A good example is 'Braveheart.' A movie has to be really great to get people to sit in a theater for THREE HOURS! It was also poorly marketed. On video the film became well known and loved.

  • Paul Holmes
    Paul Holmes 5 months ago

    Some of my all time favourite Disney films are from this era. The animation may be cheap but the films are fun and forever enjoyable. The Rescuers, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, The Great Mouse Detective. I'd watch them over the earlier films (and some of the later ones) any day.

  • owen w.
    owen w. 5 months ago

    a land before time was such a huge part of my childhood i was obsessed with it for a while. and i always loved the secret of nimh too. don bluth's work is so great

  • Darkless4X
    Darkless4X 5 months ago

    Back when Disney was so original & worth the entertainment. Nowadays Disney just wants to take over other movie franchises & make garbage sequels that no one cares for.

  • Jarlborg1984
    Jarlborg1984 5 months ago

    Dumb. Disney sucks and the handful of good Disney movies were made during this time - the sword in the stone, robin hood, fox and the hound. the secret of nihm is probably the best animated movie ever and definitely better than anything from Disney. Everything after this is stupid. Lion king, aladdin, etc. you can tell from the style of drawing..big fat lines...looks horrible. garbage. now everything is pixar which is even worse.

  • Abbimation
    Abbimation 5 months ago

    I do agree with the dark age begin in 1961, John Lasseter was right! Xerography nearly killed the art style what Disney once have from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Sleepy Beauty. And the direction the animation division was going at the time before Micheal Eisner comes along.

  • AYellowBarn
    AYellowBarn 5 months ago +14

    i liked the black cauldron. imagine a live action of that. would be bad ass!

  • Campbell Animation
    Campbell Animation 5 months ago

    The introduction of xeroxing did not produce low quality animation, if anything the artists true drawing was actually seen on the screen as originally intended. However I will agree that with the xerox process also bring through the rough lines too it did make the overall quality of the image a lot rougher

  • TheMissingLink
    TheMissingLink 5 months ago +6

    The Black Cauldron is a wonderful movie.

  • Lyndii Mey
    Lyndii Mey 5 months ago +1

    *(((New Leadership)))*

  • munky82
    munky82 5 months ago

    I was 6 years old when The Little Mermaid came out. I always remembered Disney as a brand that brings out an awesome movie every year, and their television shows were amazing (Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Ducktales etc). Interesting hearing about the "ages"

  • Luna Lovegood
    Luna Lovegood 5 months ago

    One thing that wasn’t mentioned here was how important The Great Mouse Detective really was. If you watch the SuperCarlinBrothers video about it, you’ll find that that movie, despite it not doing as well as An American Tail, saved Disney! It was a box office success and it was the starting point to the return of their creativity and innovation, namely regarding the computer graphics used in the famous Big Ben scene. They ended up using the money they made from that movie to make The Little Mermaid, so really without The Great Mouse Detective, the Renaissance wouldn’t have happened

  • L V
    L V 5 months ago

    You explain that their current ways (at the time) were not sustainable and then fault them for coming up with ways to make it sustainable AND profitable? You can't do business if you don't make money. Also, how did Dalmatians (and other movies after that) compromise animation quality?

  • letzgoterps
    letzgoterps 5 months ago

    Your opinion is trash due to either not understanding art or having so much hate for capitalism that you can't see that the art thru were doing was great

  • Tiffany Johnson
    Tiffany Johnson 5 months ago +1

    Man, a lot of my favorites came from the “Dark Ages”.

    • Zeburaman2005
      Zeburaman2005 5 months ago

      Most of mine are from the "Dark Ages", too. Also, first time I hear that period being called that. And I'm honestly not a big fan of the "Renaissance".

  • Keith Hoffmaster
    Keith Hoffmaster 5 months ago

    And in 2018/2019...Disney would purchase those animated properties that gave it such headaches in years past: An American Tail, All Dogs Go to Heaven, The Land Before Time....Anastasia....when Disney Bought 20th Century Fox.

    Paradoxically...I actually think that Disney is the best home for these properties. Now now, hear me out here. Disney was blindsided by The Secret of Nimh.

    I myself can attest to just how much that one film has been a part of my childhood. And that's what Disney covets...it's what they *LIVE* for...poor unfortunate souls such as...oh wait, I'm getting sucked into a Disney song, aren't I? Damnit....

    EGPMH 5 months ago

    I think the dark age was in the early 2000's there were tons of great Disney animated movies in the 60's through 90's; but in the 2000's you had the awful Doug movie, a bunch of sequels (not saying they were terrible movies just saying they were dependent on them), and even brought for a bunch of bad remakes and remasters and even sequels to movies from 30 to 70 years prior i.e. Bambi 2, Peter Pan 2, all the Cinderella sequels, and about 5 Winnie the Pooh sequels. Plus they heavily depended on other studies such as Tim Burton Productions, Studio Ghibli, UTV Motion Pictures, ImageMovers, Yash Raj Films, Vangaurd Animation, C.O.R.E., and Starz Animation.

  • 60sisthashit
    60sisthashit 5 months ago

    Lol. So this video is about trying to put down the greatest Disney-movies of all time. Hahahaha.

  • Boom Dos
    Boom Dos 5 months ago

    The initial films of the so-called "renaissance" were magnificent: Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Aladdin. The last 5 films of the 90s were pure junk + El Dorado from 2000. Lilo and Stitch was ok, they're going in the right direction, and here comes Nemo saving their ass from another "Dark age"

  • Stressed Out Soup
    Stressed Out Soup 5 months ago

    Yikes, I loved “The Black Cauldron”

  • Conner Shield
    Conner Shield 5 months ago +1

    You're the "ThE MaNgA Is BeTtEr ThAn ThE AnImAtIoN" kinda guy or "ThE SuB Is BeTtEr ThAn ThE dUb"

  • Lee Crowe
    Lee Crowe 5 months ago

    OK, you lost me when you said that the dark age started with "101 Dalmatians"...(I'm an animator and animation historian.)

  • Co.crimson 2234
    Co.crimson 2234 5 months ago

    I loved alot of those movies that he considers bad

  • Laura Westenra
    Laura Westenra 5 months ago

    All of my favorite Disney movies are from the so-called dark age. Those films have a warmth and storybook coziness to them you don't find in the gaudy, hyper-produced films. much better characters, better writing, far less cringe than the flatter, more obnoxious characters and tacky color scheme that came in the late 80s and 90s. .

  • John Kroener
    John Kroener 5 months ago

    I wonder, from a source material perspective, what people more knowledgeable than myself on the industry make of the notion that Disney 1990s return to stories founded in legend and mythology (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Hunchback, The Lion King, etc) as opposed to newer, one might argue more original material?
    Frozen obviously could also be included in this list, though really an entirely different era. There’s something Shakespearean in that: that the studios greatest artistic successes were those based on ancient or existing stories that resonated because they felt elemental and the artists could place more emphasis on execution of the material. I don’t know the history of Disney as deeply as some others though, so this might not hold true absolutely.
    As a side note, I probably haven’t seen Sleeping Beauty since I was 8 years old: it looks AMAZING! Seems to be right in the sweet spot in terms of life-like movement and magical fluidity, plus the colors are breathtaking. One can definitely see how the “dark ages” were a step backwards by contrast.
    What do people think of how songs played into all this? As a musical theatre actor, it strikes me that Disney only started producing true standards of repertoire in the 90s. There are a few exceptions like “Once Upon A Dream” which was based an a Tchaikovsky melody, and “So This Is Love”, but the really there seem to be far more singable numbers in the 90s and 00s, which you can see reflected at any musical theatre audition call today. Any thoughts?

  • Shannon Cusick
    Shannon Cusick 5 months ago

    Jesus christ what is wrong with you, man?

  • b.williams
    b.williams 5 months ago

    Even if we accept your premise that xerography = poor quality = poor films, an animated movie is more than just it's animation. Lets take 101 Dalmatians and the Jungle Book, for example. What about their soundtrack? What about their voice actors? What did the critics say? (They freaking loved them, and still do, by the way) And maybe more important than all of these elements, what stories do they tell? Good stories. Entertaining stories. Enduring stories. I don't really think it's fair to lump those two into the Dark Ages purely because you don't like their animation.

  • Anna 3084
    Anna 3084 5 months ago

    Listen, say what you want about The Black Cauldron, but it's still my favorite Disney movie ever

  • Megalus Doomslayer
    Megalus Doomslayer 5 months ago

    The black cauldron sucked because it was a half-assed abridgment of the chronicles of Prydain. You can't make a so-so abridgement of a so-so series and expect good results.