August 22, 1929: The Skeleton Dance, inaugural entry in the Silly Symphony series, is released. The films would provide Walt the opportunity to capitalize on the advent of synchronized sound with an unlimited choice of characters, plots, and settings outside his Mickey Mouse franchise.
July 30, 1932: Flowers and Trees, the twenty-ninth Silly Symphony and first film to be produced in three-strip Technicolor, debuts and will go on to win the inaugural Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
May 27, 1933: The Three Little Pigs, the thirty-sixth and most popular of all Silly Symphonies, opens nationwide. The tune “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” becomes a rallying cry for Depression-era Americans. It takes the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and is considered one of the greatest cartoons of all time.
The studio’s first hit song
February 10, 1934: The Grasshopper and the Ants, forty-second Silly Symphony, is released. The film features the song, “The World Owes Me a Living,” which will eventually become a theme song of sorts for Goofy.
One of Aesop’s Fables gets the Disney treatment
June 9, 1934: Donald Duck makes his on-screen debut in the forty-fifth Silly Symphony, The Wise Little Hen.
By the end of the 1930s, Donald’s popularity had surpassed even Mickey’s
January 5, 1935: Academy-Award-winning The Tortoise and the Hare is released. It is the forty-ninth entry in the Silly Symphony series.
Paper cut-outs of the Oscar-winning duo, as featured in Disney Magazine
June 29, 1935: Oscar nominee Who Killed Cock Robin? opens, marking the fifty-fourth release in the Silly Symphony franchise.
October 26, 1935: The fifty-sixth Silly Symphony, and fourth to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, Three Orphan Kittens makes its debut.
October 31, 1936: The Country Cousin, number sixty-three in the Silly Symphony series, opens in theaters. The film scores yet another Academy Award victory for Walt.
January 9, 1937: Daisy Duck debuts (as Donna Duck) in the first solo-Donald cartoon Don Donald.
May 15, 1937: Little Hiawatha is the sixty-seventh Silly Symphony and last to be distributed by five-year-partner United Artists.
For a time, Hiawatha was being considered as the subject of a full-length feature
September 24, 1937: Hawaiian Holiday is the first film to be released by longtime distributing partner RKO Radio Pictures.
November 5, 1937: The Old Mill, sixty-eighth entry in the Silly Symphony series and Oscar winner for Best Animated Short Film, is released. It is the first production to make use of the studio’s groundbreaking Multiplane Camera.
November 26, 1937: Pluto goes solo for the first time in Pluto’s Quin-puplets.
April 15, 1938: Huey, Dewey, and Louie are introduced to the world in Donald’s Nephews.
July 8, 1938: Donald Duck’s Good Scouts opens, a film that will be nominated but lose to another Disney production, Ferdinand the Bull, in the Best Animated Short Film category.
November 25, 1938: Oscar-winner Ferdinand the Bull, based on the Munro Leaf children’s book, opens to audiences nationwide.
December 23, 1938: The seventy-third Silly Symphony, Mother Goose Goes to Hollywood, opens and later nets an Oscar nomination.
March 17, 1939: Goofy appears in his first solo outing: Goofy and Wilbur.
April 7, 1939: The final Silly Symphony debuts. The Ugly Duckling will appropriately bring home the series’ seventh Academy Award.
Studio parking decal belonging to Jack Cutting, one of Walt’s earliest animators and co-director of The Ugly Duckling
August 1, 1941: Truant Officer Donald opens, an Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Short Film that ultimately loses to Mickey’s Lend a Paw.
January 23, 1942: The New Spirit, starring Donald Duck, is released, garnering an Academy Award nomination.
January 1, 1943: Der Fuehrer’s Face, a wartime propaganda film starring Donald Duck, opens and will soon earn Walt another Oscar.
January 4, 1943: Another propaganda film, The Grain That Built the Hemisphere, is debuts, joining The New Spirit as a nominee for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 15th Academy Awards.
April 2, 1943: Chip and Dale make their first onscreen appearance in Private Pluto.
August 27, 1943: Propaganda short Reason and Emotion is released, netting an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short Film.
September 15, 1944: How to Play Football, starring Goofy, debuts and is eventually nominated for Best Animated Short Film.
June 29, 1945: Another Academy Award nominee in Donald’s Crime opens to the public.
November 28, 1947: Chip an’ Dale opens, marking the first time the lovable chipmunks are given names. The film will score an Oscar nomination.
The mischievous duo appeared in twenty-three animated shorts from 1943-56
December 26, 1947: Pluto’s Blue Note hits theaters, garnering the Studio’s second Academy Award nomination of the year.
December 24, 1948: Donald’s Tea for Two Hundred opens. The film is nominated but loses in the Best Animated Short Film category.
December 16, 1949: Toy Tinkers, pitting Chip and Dale against Donald, first appears in theaters. The short will be nominated for an Oscar.
February 8, 1952: Academy-Award-nominee Lambert, the Sheepish Lion opens.
The original print of this short film was gifted to Emperor Hirohito of Japan, a die-hard Lambert fan
November 10, 1953: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom arrives in theaters, shortly after to be named Best Animated Short Film of the year.
October 23, 1953: Donald and Humphrey the Bear earn an Oscar nomination for Rugged Bear.
November 10, 1953: Ben and Me opens, earning yet another Academy Award nomination.
May 21, 1954: Pigs Is Pigs debuts and is soon nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short Film category.
January 14, 1955: Donald nabs another Academy Award nomination in No Hunting.
August 28, 1957: Oscar nominee The Truth About Mother Goose opens in theaters.
August 1, 1958: Paul Bunyan earns the studio another Best Animated Short Film nomination.
June 26, 1959: Donald in Mathmagic Land opens and goes on to receive a Best Documentary (Short Subject) nomination for its “edutainment” approach.
Ten…count ’em, ten…Oscar nods for the Duck
November 10, 1959: Oscar nominee Noah’s Ark is released nationwide.
January 21, 1960: Goliath II, an animated short about a miniature elephant voiced by Kevin Corcoran, opens alongside the live-action Toby Tyler, in which Corcoran also stars. The former would be nominated for an Academy Award.
February 20, 1961: Goofy’s Aquamania debuts and garners an Oscar nomination.
Goofy in the Swingin’ 60s
June 21, 1961: The final Donald Duck short, The Litterbug, opens in theaters.
December 19, 1962: The musically-delightful A Symposium on Popular Songs is released and earns a nomination from the Academy.
March 23, 1967: The longtime comic-book favorite Uncle Scrooge gets his own short in Scrooge McDuck and Money.
December 20, 1968: The final animated short to be produced by Walt Disney himself, Winnie the pooh and the Blustery Day, opens two years after his death. It wins the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
Walt’s final triumph in animation
December 10, 1969: Educational short It’s Tough to Be a Bird is released and will go on to win the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).
December 20, 1974: The animated featurette Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too opens alongside live-action film The Island at the Top of the World. It is nominated for an Academy Award and will appear three years later as part of the full-length feature The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
September 18, 1987: Uncle Scrooge and nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie get their own series in DuckTales. The show lasts four seasons and one hundred episodes before being re-booted in 2017.
March 4, 1989: The feisty chipmunk pair of the 1940s-50s returns in the animated series Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, which airs for three seasons and sixty-five episodes.
August 3, 1990: DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp premieres. The 1951 Donald short Dude Duck accompanies its release in theaters.
September 5, 1992: Goofy returns as the star of his own series Goof Troop, which will run for two seasons and seventy-eight episodes.
Production drawing from the popular animated series Goof Troop
April 7, 1995: The animated musical comedy A Goofy Movie hits theaters. Its popularity will spawn a sequel, An Extremely Goofy Movie, five years later.
September 13, 1997: Disney’s One Saturday Morning premieres on ABC. The weekend cartoon block features such favorites as Recess, Doug, and Pepper Ann, and runs for the next five years.
Disney’s One Saturday Morning press photo from Valentine’s Weekend 1999
Pepper Ann storyboard
October 10, 2003: Destino, a short originally intended for a third Fantasia film is released and garners an Academy Award nomination.
March 6, 2004: Lorenzo, another film originally slated for the never-realized Fantasia project, premieres and goes on to earn an Oscar nomination.
June 6, 2006: A third Fantasia-inspired production is released in The Little Match Girl, netting yet another nomination from the Academy.
August 9, 2004: Donald Duck receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
November 2, 2012: The Oscar-winning short Paperman premieres alongside full-length feature Wreck-It Ralph.
November 7, 2014: Feast, eventual Academy Award winner for Best Animated Short Film, hits theaters with Big Hero 6.