Downloadable Beat by Beat Comparison of 6 Disney Animated Classics
The enduring appeal of beloved Disney animated classics — even in the age of CGI — is testament to the studio’s solid knack for visual storytelling. Disney structures its memorable, resonant narratives so compellingly that each imaginative film feels… dare we say it… like a tale as old as time.
And it shouldn’t be surprising that each one reliably hits all the beats.
As an homage of sorts, here’s a downloadable chart that lays out visual snapshots of each story beat across six animated features.
For extra fun: try following each column for a complete story at-a-glance, then each row to discover a whole new world of Disney devices (for example: notice how the most memorable songs seem to occur between Fun and Games and Midpoint? And how often the Break into Three moment has the hero hitching a ride on a sidekick?)
Let’s get down to business…
And share your observations in the comments!
Download the PDF
This is really neat, and helpful!
Great! However, I thinking this could be even more helpful in written form. Are these all in the same genre
- Roci Stone
The only “classic” Disney picture (as in Walt saw it) on the list was Sleeping Beauty.
If your idea is to apply STC to classic storytelling in animation, start with Dumbo and Snow White, and include the Jungle Book in there someplace.probably next to Lady and the Tramp. The element that all the pictures I mention are that a classic storyteller and his crew worked on all of them. Walt and the Nine Old Men, who made animation storytelling the film language that it is today. Why is it that when someone brings up “Disney” these days, it’s like pulling teeth out of an alligator to talk about nearly anything Disney or the studio that survived him, did before 1990? I realize that many young people think that noting in the entire universe existed before they were born, but why must every “Disney” reference include something made since they became “The Walt Disney Company”?
And for the record, I have to state that ‘The Lion King” is one of the *worst* examples of storytelling ever produced. The story has plot holes in it that Dumbo’s mother and the rest of the circus elephants could walk thru, all glossed over with characters who do nothing but sing. It is fairly well known that large chunks of the story were removed from that film in order to make space for the songs at the expense of the story.
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More of this with other movies!