whatsits galore



Dating the Disney Movies

by Whatsits Galore

Have you ever wanted to list all of Disney's animated features in the order they take place? If not, why not? Haven't you ever wondered which comes first, Hunchback or Snow White? Could Oliver have met the Rescuers? Because we care about such burning questions, Whatsits Galore has assembled a timeline featuring all the Disney animated features in chronological order; not the order they premiered, but the order in which they take place historically.

Only the animated features with a single storyline are included in this list. That eliminates Fantasia, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the package features, like Fun and Fancy Free. Also, you won't find the Pixar films here.

For the purposes of this site, we assume that any stories taking place in an alternate world or universe, such as Big Hero 6, Treasure Planet, or Robin Hood, follow the same rules as our own world. Thus cell phones in Zootopia were invented the same year as on our world. Makes things easier.


Animated Feature Timeline

? The Lion King

Evidence (internal): This film is impossible to date, as there are no references to humans at all; it can be placed anywhere in the timeline

Remember who you are.


Prehistoric times Brother Bear

Evidence (internal): Extinct wooly mammoths

I always wanted a brother.


1000 BC Hercules

Evidence (internal): Date on Herc's Greek Express card

Contradictions: In an episode of the TV series, young Herc meets Aladdin

What is the measure of a true hero?


c. 1000 BC Moana

Evidence (external): According to Disney, animators set the film 3000 years in the past

The ocean chose you for a reason.


386 to 534 AD Mulan

Evidence (external): According to the legend, Mulan lived during the Northern Wei dynasty

The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.


late 5th/early 6th century Sword in the Stone

Evidence (external): The estimated era of King Arthur

Knowledge and wisdom is the real power.


6th century The Black Cauldron

Evidence (internal): It's been over 2000 years since anyone's asked about the cauldron; it was hidden for uncounted centuries; the oldest iron objects found were made in approx. 3000 BC

Evidence (external): The book is set during the time of the Welsh hero Gwydion

Won't I ever be anything but an assistant pig-keeper?


750-1050 Aladdin

Evidence (external): The Golden Age of the Islamic world

Contradictions: The man shown working on the Sphinx must have been performing routine maintenance, because that monument was built three thousand years earlier

I've got to stop pretending to be something I'm not.


c. 850-1145 Raya and the Last Dragon

Evidence (external): Cultural golden age of Burma; building of colossal edifices in Indonesia, Cambodia

Itís not about her magic. Itís about trust.


900-1450 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Evidence (internal): Medieval costumes

Make a wish and take a bite.


1194 Robin Hood

Evidence (external): King Richard's return from the Third Crusade

Contradictions: Chiming clocks first appeared in the 1300s

That crown belongs to King Richard. Long live King Richard!


14th century Sleeping Beauty

Evidence (internal): Prince Phillip mentions the century

...she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel...and die!


1438-1532 The Emperor's New Groove

Evidence (external): Cusco is rebuilt by the Incan emperor

Beware the Groove!


1482 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Evidence (internal): The date Phoebus guesses for the wine is 1470

Evidence (external): The Victor Hugo novel takes place in 1482

What makes a monster and what makes a man?


1607 Pocahontas

Evidence (internal): The date is given in a song

Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.


1700s The Little Mermaid

Evidence (internal): Men's fashions: knee breeches, hair tied in pigtails

Contradictions: In The Little Mermaid 2 Sebastian mentions Enrico Caruso whose career started in 1895

The only way to get what you want...is to become a human yourself.


1745-1799 Treasure Planet

Evidence (internal): Costumes, sailing ships

Evidence (external): The Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island takes place after 1745

The loot of a thousand worlds...


late 18th/early 19th centuryBeauty and the Beast

Evidence (internal): The stove has been invented; men wear knee breeches; Cogsworth mentions Baroque (early 17th to late 18th) & Rococo(early 18th c.) styles

Evidence (external): A Disney Store sign lists Gaston's Tavern as "est. 1791"

For who could ever learn to love a beast?


Early 1800s Tangled

Evidence (internal): The concertina was invented in 1829; men started wearing long trousers circa 1840

I have magic hair that glows when I sing.


1837-1880 Cinderella

Evidence (internal): Women wear bustles

They can't order me to stop dreaming.


1909 Lady and the Tramp

Evidence (internal): Victorian/Edwardian clothes and decor

Evidence (external): DVD commentary places Lady and the Tramp II in 1910

Everybody knows a dog's best friend is his human.


1860-1901 Tarzan

Evidence (internal): The late Victorian era, since Jane talks about meeting Queen Victoria; Jane's dress does not have the full hoop skirt of the early Victorian period

Contradictions: The tv series, dated firmly in the Edwardian Era, creates a continuity error

I'll be the best ape ever!


For a further note on the dating of Tarzan, click here.

c. 1864 Alice in Wonderland

Evidence (external): Alice Liddell was born in 1852

Curiosity often leads to trouble.



Evidence (internal): The incandescent bulb, as seen all over Pleaure Island, was invented in 1878. Salt mines were mechanized at least by the 1940s and would not need donkeys by then

Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday you will be a real boy.


1880s-1920s Frozen

Evidence (internal): The chain was added to bicycles in the 1880s; sailing ships were used until the 1920s

Conceal. Don't feel.


1880s-1920s Frozen 2

Evidence (internal): Photographs were commercially available in the 1880s; takes place shortly after Frozen

Do you think the forest will wake again?


c. 1888-1968 The Jungle Book

Evidence (internal): Col. Hathi received his medal in 1888; Indian elephants can live to be 75 years old

I'll do anything to stay in the jungle.


1897 The Great Mouse Detective

Evidence (internal): The date is shown on the screen and the newspaper

There's always a chance, Doctor, as long as one can think.


May 4th, 1899 Home on the Range

Evidence (internal): The year is seen on the deed to Patch O' Heaven

Contradicitons: The newspaper lists the date as September

Bovine bounty hunters! Now I've seen everything!


1901-1910 Peter Pan

Evidence (external): This story in all its incarnations is commonly placed in the Edwardian era

And sooner or later, Nana, people have to grow up.


1910 The Aristocats

Evidence (internal): The date is shown on the screen

We're her only family.


1914 Atlantis: the Lost Empire

Evidence (internal): The date is shown on the screen

We're gonna rescue the princess...we're gonna save Atlantis...or we're gonna die trying.


April 25, 1926 The Princess and the Frog

Evidence (internal): The date on Big Daddy's newspaper

That old star can only take you part o' the way.


1926-1930 Winnie the Pooh

Evidence (external): Christopher Robin Milne was born in 1920.

I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me.


1935-1959 Dumbo

Evidence (internal): Dumbo dreams of WWII-style bombers of the '40s; the age of the steam locomotive ended in the '50s

The very things that dragged you down are gonna pull you up, up, up!


1945-1960s The Fox and the Hound

Evidence (internal): Electricity became standard to all homes after WWII; steam locomotives were phased out by the 1960s

We'll always be friends forever, won't we?


1934-1959 Bambi

Evidence (internal): 1940s-style camping equipment

Man was in the forest.


1964 One Hundred and One Dalmatians

Evidence (internal): Date on newspaper

She's gonna make coats out of us!


1977-1980s The Rescuers

Evidence (internal): Twin-rotor helicopters, television

Evidence (external): Must take place shortly before The Rescuers Down Under

Two little mice...what can you do?


1980s The Rescuers Down Under

Evidence (internal): Personal computer terminal style from the 80s

Bernard and I have decided...to accept the mission to Australia.


April 21, 1988 Oliver and Company

Evidence (internal): The date on Fagin's calendar

When you got your pals, you got all you need.


1996-2008 Encanto

Evidence (external): The years from 1946-1958 span a period known as La Violencia, when civil war in Colombia caused millions of people to flee their homes and lands. The main action of the film takes place 50 years later.

I just wanna do my part like the rest of the family.


2000-2007 Chicken Little

Evidence (internal): Flip phones

A piece of the sky...shaped like a stop sign...not again!


Sept. 22, 2001 Lilo and Stitch

Evidence (internal): The date on Stitch's adoption certificate

This is my family. I found it all on my own.


2010-2019 Wreck-It Ralph

Evidence (internal): 30th anniversary of 80's-style video game Fix-It Felix

I could be a good guy if I wanted to.


2016-2025 Ralph Breaks the Internet

Evidence (internal): Felix and Calhoun have been married for 6 years

Me and the kid are like shoes and socks. Or peanut butter and bacon.


present Bolt

Evidence (internal): Modern TV special-effects

When your teammate's in trouble, you go.


present Zootopia

Evidence (internal): Smart phones, electronic citation system

You ready to make the world a better place?


present Big Hero 6

Evidence (internal): Holographic computer screen, cutting-edge technology

We didn't set out to be super-heroes.


2037 Meet the Robinsons

Evidence (external): A teaser trailer lists the date

You've got to get out of the past and look to the future.





View the graph version of this timeline (it covers thousands of years, so you will need to use the magnifier tool to be able to read it).

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All other content © 2019-2022 Whatsits Galore

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