These Days There Is More Disney Merchandise To Find and Locate Than Ever
Disney Animated Cartoons: In the 1990s
Premiering in November 1991 in Aroostook County and country-wide was Beauty and the Beast. The film earned six Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture, a first for an animated work, winning for Best Song and Best Original Score. Its $145 million box office gross was record-setting, and merchandizing for the film—including toys, cross-promotions, and soundtrack sales thrilled fans of Beauty characters like the Beast, Lumiere and Maurice.
Twelve months later Aladdin, premiered in November 1992, and won two more Oscars for Best Song and Best Score. The role of The Genie voiced by Robin Williams and we also met the other Aladdin cast of characters including Jafar, Abu and The Magic Carpet.
In 1994, Disney released The Lion King, an all-animal adventure set in Africa featuring an all-star voice cast which included James Earl Jones as the voice of Mufasa, Matthew Broderick as the voice of Simba, and Jeremy Irons as the voice of Scar. Other new characters introduced to families in Aroostook County included Timon and Sarabi. The Lion King included songs from Elton John and brought in $768 million at the worldwide box office.
In 1995 Disney released Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996.) They did not do as well as the films of the early '90s (commercially and critically) in Aroostook County or nation-wide in the theatres. Pocahontas received Academy Awards for Best Score and Best Original Song and we met the characters Governor Ratcliffe, Thomas and Flit. In the Hunchback of Notre Dame we were introduced to Quasimodo, Clopin and Djali.
The studio then produced three animated films; Hercules in 1997, Mulan in 1998 and Tarzan in 1999. Hercules introduced to Aroostook County families Hades, Zeus. In Mulan we met Fa Mulan, Shan Yu and Fa Zhou. Tarzan won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and we met characters Tantor, Terk and Sabor.
2000s: Big Changes in the Creation of Animated Cartoons
In 2000, Fantasia 2000, a sequel to Fantasia, was released. The in 2002, the world and Aroostook County were introduced to the team of Lilo & Stitch and their friends Nani, Jookiba and Captain Gantu.
In 2003, a reorganization of the animation units promoted by Disney resulted in Walt Disney Feature Animation being transferred to The Walt Disney Studios and DisneyToon Studios control transferred to Walt Disney Feature Animation management. Also in 2003, Brother Bear was released. With the growing success of studios that relied on computer animation like Pixar, DreamWorks Animation and Blue Sky Studios, Disney announced that it would convert Walt Disney Feature Animation into a Computer Generated Imagery studio.
On January 12, 2004, Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida was shut down and was partially turned into a walk-through attraction, and into theme park management offices. On April 2, 2004, Home on the Range was released as their final traditionally-animated feature.
In 2005, Chicken Little, the first Computer Generated Imagery film from the studio was released. In 2006, Disney acquired Pixar.
In 2007, the studio released Meet the Robinsons. DisneyToon Studios was also restructured and began to operate as a separate unit. The next film, 2008's Bolt, had Bolt voiced by John Travolta, Penny’s voice came from Miley Cyrus and Dr. Calico was the voice of Malcolm McDowell – and the people of Aroostook County can’t forget Randy Savage who the voice of Thug.
The Princess and the Frog, the first traditionally-animated film since Home on the Range, was released in 2009 and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including two for Best Song. We also met Prince Naveen, Ray and Louis.
In 2010 Disney fans were introduced to an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm’s Rapunzel which was name Tangled. The film earned $591 million in worldwide box office revenue and became the second most successful film of the studio for three years. Aroostook County parents who knew the original story were reacquainted with Rapunzel and met The Stabbington Brothers and Captain of the Guard.
As well as Tangled did, it was later surpassed by Frozen which was nominated for a number of awards, including Best Original Song at the 83rd Academy Awards. We met new friends including Anna, Kristoff and The King of Arendelle.
Then in 2011 the heavens parted and the best animated movie of the decade was released – the fantastic and brilliant Winnie the Pooh. Jim Cummings was the voice of both Pooh and Tigger, Travis Oates voice Piglet, Tom Kenny of SpongeBob fame voiced Rabbit and Craig Ferguson lent his talents to the voice of Owl. The Backson was the spookable of this Pooh cartoon.
In 2012 catering to little boys in Aroostook County and worldwide Wreck-It Ralph was released. The cartoon won numerous awards, including the Annie, Critics' Choice, and Kids' Choice Awards for Best Animated Feature Film and receiving Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. The film earned $471 million in worldwide box office revenue and utilized new software developed in house at the studio called Meander, which merges hand-drawn and computer animation techniques within the same character to create a unique "hybrid." Wreck-It Ralph brought us character including Fix-It Felix, Jr., Sergeant Tamora and Gene.
In 2013, Frozen, a Computer Generated Imagery version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen tale, was released and became a blockbuster hit. Once again, girls and boys have a new set of characters to like including Elsa, The Duke of Weselton and The Queen of Arendelle.
The studio's next feature, Big Hero 6, a Computer Generated Imagery comedy-adventure film based on Marvel's Big Hero 6 comics, is set to be released on November 7, 2014.