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.
? 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. 17 AD Moana
Evidence (external): According to the Disney blog, animators set the film 2000 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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Evidence (internal): The chain was added to bicycles in the 1880s; sailing ships were used until the 1920s
Conceal. Don't feel.
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 date 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.
1920's The Princess and the Frog
Evidence (internal): Flapper-style dresses, jazz music
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.
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?
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.
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.
2020-2030 Wreck-It Ralph
Evidence (internal): 40th anniversary of 80's-style video game Fix-It Felix
I could be a good guy if I wanted to.
Evidence (internal): Modern TV special-effects
When your teammate's in trouble, you go.
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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