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"But in animation, everyone is expected to come as close as they can to Walt Disney. That's not a rap on Disney. He was a genius, an innovator…his stuff was so terrific that people came to believe that that was all there was to animation."
Ralph Bakshi, in the notes for the DVD release of American Pop

Oh, the Disney Animated Canon. Such wonderful movies to be found in it: Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Anastasia...

Wait, what do you mean that last one doesn't belong? It's not Disney? Don't be ridiculous, all animation is Disney!

Sadly, many people in Real Life believe that, if it's an animated feature Film, it was made by Disney. This is possibly a side effect of the Animation Age Ghetto, as people are led to believe that not only are all cartoons for kids, but they're all made by the same kid-friendly company. Who wants to tell these people that there's more than one animation studio out there? Small Reference Pools might play a role here, as well.

Remember, though, that Disney is the market leader in animated movies, and so it's understandable that rival animation studios follow trends set by the Disney Animated Canon (including, unfortunately, Disneyfication).

See also Critical Research Failure -- Disney uses Vanity Plates on its work, and so do the other big-name animators.

Annoyingly, this is Truth in Television.

Since Disney's most famous movies are traditionally animated films, this usually applies to cel-animated movies. On the CGI front, Dreamworks Animation has become a big enough name in its own right that their films rarely get mistaken for Pixar's anymore. The other guys (Blue Sky, Illumination, Sony, etc)... not so much. If it shares DreamWorks' tendency towards subversive or referential humor, chances are it'll get mistaken for one of their films. So a sub-trope of this could be "All CG Animation is Pixar or DreamWorks."

Not to be confused with Disneyesque or Disneyfication.

Examples of All Animation Is Disney include:


Film Edit

  • Poor Don Bluth. This might happen to him the most. Then again, he did get his start at Disney...
    • As mentioned before, Anastasia (released by 20th Century Fox) falls victim to this a lot. In fact, The Nostalgia Chick once did a review of this movie where she noted that the film wasn't a Disney film. However, the formula did represent a form of Bluth "selling out" as the film was almost completely a copy of the Disney Princess films formula. The marketing of the film heavily played up the Disneyesque elements.
    • Warner Bros. tried to play this trope to its advantage during test screenings of Thumbelina. When they played the film with the Warner logo, audiences gave it a mediocre score. When they played it with the Disney logo, the scores were much higher. Bluth reported same thing was employed with Anastasia. With the Disney logo, some sequences even met applause!
    • Ironically, Disney distributed Bluth's An American Tail in some overseas markets, muddying the waters further. It's not uncommon to find screencaps from the film with a "copyright Disney" watermark on the corner still floating around on the internet due to this.
      • And it appeared occasionally on the Disney Channel in the mid-1990s, as well as on Toon Disney along with all three sequels, to add to that confusion.
    • Several websites of song lyrics file Bluth film lyrics under Disney films instead.
      • At least one torrent of 'Disney Songs' available on the internet contains songs from Thumbelina and Ferngully.
      • This video about Toy Story 3 makes a joke during a Disney medley about Bluth's films being Disney!
    • Made even more confusing when Disney Channel started airing Titan A.E., which could very well be mistaken with Disney's own space opera.
  • It doesn't help that a number of non-Disney films such as Fern Gully still air on the Disney channel. Or that Disney releases films not made by a Disney animation studio, such as The Brave Little Toaster.
  • A possibly apocryphal tale states that Jack Warner, famously clueless with regards to his own animation house, once said this: "All I know is that we make Mickey Mouse." If it's true, then it goes a long way to explaining how the "Termite Terrace" gang were able to get away with so much.
    • Nicely inverted by a story from Metro Goldwyn Mayer. When Gene Kelly was making Anchors Aweigh (1945), he suggested that he could perform a dancing duet with Mickey. His producers reportedly looked dubious and asked, "And what's wrong with our Jerry?" And Jerry it became.
      • The story exists in several variant forms. In some versions, Kelly's producers at MGM were willing, until William Hanna and Joseph Barbera heard about it and convinced them to use Jerry; in one version, Walt Disney refused to loan Mickey out; in still another (perhaps the most likely) version, Walt was willing, but his brother Roy pointed out that their studio was in debt at the time and could not afford "to be making cartoons for other people."
  • One reviewer of Thomas and the Magic Railroad was under the impression that Thomas had been produced by Disney. Then again, the review itself was poking fun at fundamentalist Christians who think all movies are the work of the devil.
    • Muddying the issue is that the movie actually aired on Playhouse Disney regularly in Asian markets.
  • Most of the output of 20th Century Fox (which was almost entirely the work of Bluth) and much later, their 3D studio Blue Sky Studios, gets mistaken for Disney.
  • At least one customer review for the soundtrack for the Blue Sky film Robots calls it a Disney film.
  • And this video calls the DreamWorks film Prince of Egypt a Disney film.
  • Check out this Yahoo! Answers inquiry: What is that disney movie with the blind guy and the magic sword and a girl whos dad dies or something ? The answer? Quest for Camelot, a product of Warner Bros. Unlike most examples, it's hard to blame the person who got it wrong considering that Quest for Camelot rips off so many Disney cliches, tropes, and animation stylings.
  • In the heyday of Disney's Bronze Age of the early 90's, many many low-budget animation houses lived off this trope like kings. They made (or more likely scrounged up) the most incredibly cheap knockoffs of every Disney film of the era and released them on video around the same time the films had been in theaters for a while. They took advantage of the sad fact that some parents didn't realize the difference. "The Little Mermaid is The Little Mermaid, right? It says so on the cover!" Fortunately, the majority of parents could tell the difference between the beloved Disney films and, say, this. Said films are still floating around out there and have proved to be a rich well of Youtube Poop. (And you have to love how every company came up with a wildly different Lion King cash-in given that the alleged inspiration was still copyrighted.)
    • Goodtimes Entertainment counts itself among these companies; whenever a Disney movie hits theatres or video, Goodtimes is there with a based-on-the-same-public-domain-property direct-to-video cartoon.
    • Bonus points go the one company (the name escapes me; "Wonder"somthing) that also shamelessly based their logo off the Warner Bros shield.
  • A spin-off of this: all computer animation is attributed to either Pixar or DreamWorks.
  • This parody site claims that Shrek, Ice Age, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are Disney.
  • The work of Richard Rich, who made the The Swan Princess movies and the lesser known The Trumpet of the Swan, is often credited to Disney. Ironically, he got his start at Disney working on The Fox and the Hound.
  • There are coloring pages labeled Disney's Shrek, when in fact DreamWorks' Shrek franchise began with perhaps the most anti-Disney film imaginable.
  • Weird inversion: Enchanted is a Disney film... but the animation in that was made by a third-party studio during Disney's five-year break from 2D animation. Some animators, including Andreas Deja and Mark Henn had a long history with Disney, though.
  • The Prince of Egypt is a frequent victim of this trope, more so than Dream Works' other 2-D animated features.
  • The Nutcracker Prince. Fans of this movie mistook most of the animation (save for the flashback sequences) as similar to the Disney era. It doesn't help that there's also a Disney Villain Death within this movie.
  • Balto is another one that's frequently mistaken as a Disney film and as a Don Bluth film.
  • Animation movies done in other countries besides the USA can often fall under this, even in their own country! It's not helped by the fact that Disney often distributes those films in the international market, adding more fuel to the confusion.
    • Bridgit Mendler, who voiced the title character of the American dub of The Borrower Arrietty, refers to the film as a Disney movie in one of the bonus features, since Disney commissioned the American dub.
  • This site calls the Dreamworks fim The Road to Eldorado "the most underappreciated Disney Movie".

Other Edit

  • Also exploited in a rather famous experiment on false memories: People were shown fake ads for Disneyland that included Bugs Bunny (who belongs at Six Flags), and they ended up telling the researchers that they'd seen Bugs Bunny when they went to Disneyland as a child.
  • Among the many flaws of the New Yorker's satirization of Epic Mickey and it's darker, yet retro, reboot of Mickey, they call Porky Pig a Disney character.
  • In critic Ed Gonzalez's review of Despicable Me, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was confused for a Dreamworks Animation production when it was made by Sony Pictures Animation.
  • A Norwegian TV channel used to describe all animated features as Disney movies.
  • An entry on This Very Wiki's Disney fetish fuel page that said Lola Bunny. This is probably because her image was plastered on a bunch of glittery, sugar-coated merchandise like the Disney Princesses have.
  • Sporcle has quizzes for both Walt Disney Pictures films and Pixar films. Half the comments for the Disney quiz are asking where Toy Story is; half the comments for the Pixar quiz are asking where Bolt is. Yeah.
  • From the website "Letters Of Note" comes this adorable exchange. In 1964, a girl who was a fan of Woody Woodpecker attempted to write a letter to its creator Walter Lantz, but addressed it to Walt Disney instead, who was nice enough to reply to the girl and forward it along. Disney seemed to anticipate this trope in his note to Lantz, grumbling, "I get blamed for everything that happens in Hollywood!"
  • A book of Disney quotes sold at Hallmark stores as part of a series of official Disney merchandise includes a line from Don Bluth's The Land Before Time.
  • On March 22, 2011, Disney's ABC TV network presented a two-hour special titled "Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time", which presented the best moments or films in various categories. In the animation category, four of the choices were made by Walt Disney Pictures: 1. The Lion King, 3. Beauty and the Beast, 4. Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and 5. Fantasia. Number two? Toy Story - made by Pixar, but nevertheless distributed by Disney.
    • This trope doesn't really apply when you consider that Pixar was bought out by Disney. Then again ABC is in fact also owned by them...
  • This trope has a way of running rampant on EBay, either because the sellers themselves are ignorant or because they assume the buyers are.
    • It's easier to peddle used VHS tapes of Bluth movies when people think it's Disney.
  • The new The Little Mermaid ride at Disney California Adventure has The Incredible Mr. Limpet as a background character!
    • This is a nod to Limpet cameoing as a background character in Under the Sea in a crowd shot.
  • Looking up "Dingo Pictures" on Wikipedia will actually lead to the website saying "Did you mean Disney Pictures?"
    • There is now.
  • The Goldo song Boom Da Boom, which is about Disney Characters, mentions Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is made by United Artists!
  • This article about the 2007 Pester Power awards calls Shrek a Disney movie.
  • Inverted with the comic Blacksad- Guarnido, the illustrator, actually WAS a Disney animator, animating Hades in Hercules, Sabor in Tarzan, and Helga in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, among other work, but the only evidence of this is in the characters' facial expressions. It might be because Blacksad is a gritty, violent, sexual, political noir comic (populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals, no less) and going for an entirely Disneyfied look wouldn't fit.

Webcomics Edit


Western Animation Edit

  • The Trope Namer is obvious. Got its start during The Golden Age of Animation, and it only got worse from there...
    • It could probably be traced back to all of the Silly Symphonies clones that just about every animation studio was producing in the 1930's, to cash in on the success of Disney's shorts. Most of the time you could hardly tell the difference between them enough to realize which studio was producing it.
  • One YKTTW featured an incident where someone commenting on Avatar: The Last Airbender thought it was a Disney show. This did not pass without comment.
  • The Disney parody in the Family Guy episode "Road to the Multiverse" is sometimes believed by others that it WAS made by Disney due to realistically mimicking the animation style and throwing in some Disney references (such as a musical sequence about pies, making Brian and Stewie look cute, Lois like a princess, Adam West as a mouse, etc.) But to be fair, this sequence was outsourced to a smaller, lesser-known animation studio (it wasn't even animated in Korea like the show usually is.)
  • An Iranian scholar ranting about how Tom and Jerry is part of a "Jewish conspiracy" repeatedly says that Tom and Jerry is a "creation by Walt Disney", which only further discredits his already-ridiculous argument.
  • Usually avoided by the Looney Tunes. Nearly everybody knows that they are definitively NOT Disney; they’re Warner Bros.
    • But then, a lot of people mistakenly assume that *any* non-Disney, slapstick-based short cartoons from the Golden Age are Looney Tunes, including characters from other studios like Tom and Jerry, Woody Woodpecker, etc. (though now that Warner owns all of MGM's animated output from the era and now produces new Tom and Jerry movies, it's mostly a moot point).
  • Disney potentially invoked this trope on a Christmas-themed Sing-Along Song video. Apparently, they couldn't find any fitting Disney clips for the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" segment, so instead they used public domain footage from Max Fleischer's Animated Adaptation. This becomes especially amusing if you can recall that Walt Disney and the Fleischer Brothers considered themselves rivals during The Golden Age of Animation.
    • This might be the result of the fact that Disney did distribute Fleischer cartoons on home video in the 1980s. Disney must have taken advantage of the fact the cartoons were public domain and release them for their own profit.


Real Life Edit