It has been with much debate and decision that the following criteria have been arrived at.  The purpose in establishing it has been to provide clear and defined parameters for what is a Disney Animated Movie, and what isn’t.  It hasn’t been easy, and the main challenge has been to keep boundaries which are as inclusive as possible while still having boundaries.  Please read the following, and let me know if you think there should be changes.


The Criteria for DISNEY ANIMATED MOVIES that I use is right here:



  1. Disney, Inc. - Walter E. Disney and Roy O. Disney formed the Disney Brothers Studio on October 16, 1923.  Since then, it has undergone several name changes, including this one - the most recent.  Of course, it's subsidiaries, such as Walt Disney Home Video and Buena Vista International (among others) are automatically included.
  2. Touchstone Pictures - Created in 1984, Touchstone Pictures was created to allow Disney to produce non-G-rated movies, and get away with it. The first film released under this company was Splash, on March 9, 1984.
  3. Hollywood Pictures - Created on February 1, 1989 in order to help cope with the heavy load of pictures that Touchstone was dealing with. Arachnophobia is the first movie released, on July 18, 1990.
  4. Miramax Films - On June 30, 1993, Disney purchased this art-house company.
  5. Miramax Family Films – A subsidiary of Miramax Films.
  6. Dimension Films - This was Miramax's genre division from the time that Disney bought Miramax on June 30, 1993 through to when the founders, Harvey & Bob Weinstein, started The Weinstein Company on March 10, 2005.  Dimension Films is now a subsidiary of The Weinstein Company.
  7. DiC Entertainment, L.P. - ABC/Capital Cities, Inc. owned this animation production company when Disney acquired it on July 31, 1995.   However, on November 17, 2000, DiC bought itself out from under Disney, and became its own independent non-Disney related company.
  8. Jumbo Pictures, Inc. - Disney bought this company on February 29, 1996 in order to acquire its hit TV show, Doug.
  9. Fox Family Worldwide - Purchased on October 24, 2001, Disney received as part of the deal: "The Fox Family Channel, currently available in more than 80 million U.S. homes. A cable channel that is available to almost all cable subscribers rarely comes on the market. The Family Channel has a low share of the crucial 18-to-49-year-old audience, but Disney is expected to try to raise ratings in part by adding Disney shows and re-airing some of its most popular ABC programs - rerunning the late-night Nightline news show early the next day, for example. It's not an untested strategy: Disney's SoapNet cable channel has done well by re-airing daytime soaps at night. Fox Kids International channels in about 50 countries in Latin America and Europe. This would give Disney another 34 million cable subscribers abroad and a big presence in international basic cable - its Disney international channels are premium cable. The Saban Entertainment library of about 6,500 half-hour TV show episodes, which include Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Digimon, Goosebumps and Spiderman." "As part of the transaction, Disney will acquire the Fox Family Channel, a fully distributed cable channel reaching 81 million U.S. homes; Saban Entertainment Inc., a production, distribution and merchandising company with one of the world's largest libraries of children's programs at over 6,500 half hours; a 76% interest in Fox Kids Europe (Amsterdam Exchange: FKE), which has dedicated cable and satellite channels reaching 25 million subscribers in 54 countries and 15 languages; and Fox Kids Latin America, the second most widely distributed satellite/cable network in the region.  Excluded from the transaction is the Fox Kids Network, a leading children's broadcast television network in the U.S. News Corp. will separately acquire Haim Saban's interest in this asset. Terms were not disclosed."
  10. Sensation Animation - Disney has since changed the company name of Saban to Sensation Animation, that of Fox Family to ABC Family, and that of Saban International N.V. to BVS International N.V..
  11. Studio Ghibli - While Disney has never had any ownership into this company, they did purchase an interest in Ghibli productions.  The copyright credit in these movies usually includes a group of companies listed by their companies' initials, one of which is either for Disney or Buena Vista Home Distribution.
  12. The Baby Einstein Company - On November 6, 2001, Disney acquired the Baby Einstein company.
  13. ImageMovers Digital LLC – In February of 2007 Disney signed an agreement to purchase ImageMovers, a motion-capture company; the new company was named ImageMovers Digital and began production on April 2, 2007.
  14. Marvel – Disney is currently in talks to purchase Marvel Entertainment.


For a movie to be included on the list, it needs to be owned or jointly owned by Disney, or a subsidiary.  For this, I check the credits.  If it's copyrighted to a Disney company, it goes on the list.  I used to count some exceptions to this rule (movies distributed by Disney), but rather than subjectively include movies based on opinion, this rule brings it right down to the fact: Does Disney hold copyright (i.e. ownership)?



  1. Everybody seems to have his or her own criteria for what constitutes "animated".  For me to include a movie on this list, at a movie has to fit one of the following criteria:
    1. Entirely animated in any medium (ex. Beauty And The Beast, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Toy Story)
    2. Animated characters interacting with a live-action world (ex. Pete's Dragon, Dinosaur)
    3. Live-Action characters interacting in an animated world with animated characters (ex. Tron, Bedknobs And Broomsticks)
    4. A mixture of segments, some animated, some live-action (ex. Saludos Amigos, Belle's Tales Of Friendship)
  2. To be fair, there also needs to be animation in every feature film that is original and new to that feature film.  This means that it is not entirely comprised of animation from other feature films or of television programs.  This eliminates such films as Music Land which contained only scenes previously released in Melody Time and Make Mine Music, and especially direct-to-video releases of television show compilations such as the Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse compilations.  However, films with new animation or bridging material that links segments of old animation together (such as The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh and Inspector Gadget: Gadget's Greatest Gadgets) are included, as they include new material.



  1. It would seem that the defining factor in the term 'movie' (as opposed to “featurette” or “short”, is length.  Unfortunately, a Feature Length Film is a sketchy thing to define.  Saludos Amigos is only 43 minutes, but is considered by Disney to be a Disney Classic Masterpiece.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy Award people) didn’t previously consider a movie for its Best Animated Feature Award unless it was 70 minutes in length or more, but new rules allow for movie consideration after 40 minutes.  This means that a 1 hour television special clocking in at 44 minutes (after commercials are removed) would be of movie length.
  2. It should also be noted that the term "Movie" implies that it has either been Theatrically released, or is a Direct-To-Video release fitting the above requirements.  I also include made-for-television movies that are shown as movies on television, and television multi-parters that either play on television on the same date (i.e. as a television movie) or where all episodes of the multi-parter are subsequently released on home video as a complete movie.  This is not meant to include episodes of a television series that play in order on separate days, and then are released on video in order of airing date.  This is a dicey area, as a season finale of a television show may be an hour (44 minutes) long, but that doesn’t mean inclusion should be mandatory – however a lot of television series started with a 2 hour pilot movie which likely should be included.  I’m aiming for consistency.  Hopefully I’ll get there.


Agree or disagree with my terms? Let me know!



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