(Disney, Part 4)
There are several reasons I’ve focused on the period known as the Disney Renaissance for my series of articles on Disney (it probably won’t be the last, since they’re such a huge driving force behind Western animation.) The most practical reason is because I know them the best: as someone who grew up throughout most of the 1990s, I saw many of these movies in theaters, or else owned them on VHS and watched them to pieces (I mean that literally: we’re talking about VHS here, after all). All nostalgia aside, I think this is the most fascinating period of Disney’s history, and one of the most important periods in the history of Western animation in general.
After writing my previous articles, it occurred to me that there may be some of you who aren’t sure exactly what I mean when I talk about the Disney Renaissance. Basically, it was a resurgence of critical interest and popularity for Disney, who had struggled in the 1970s and 1980s, when they began dabbling unsuccessfully in live-action features. The renaissance began with The Little Mermaid in 1989, and is generally considered to have ended with Tarzan in 1999. Disney animated features that fall into this range include The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994),Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Mulan (1998), and Tarzan (1999).
I’ve written a few reviews, told you what I generally like and dislike about the Disney Renaissance format, but I don’t think I’ve given a good overall look at this groundbreaking period. So I’d like to take a look at some of the best moments from the Disney Renaissance.
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