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The Comprehensive Disney Timeline

Tiana from The Princess and the Frog (1926), as illustrated by Claire "Shoomlah" Hummel.

Tiana from The Princess and the Frog (1926), as illustrated by Claire “Shoomlah” Hummel.

Disney fans can be a little obsessive, and the studio’s habit of slipping in little self-referential jokes tends to feed that. Naturally, some fans want to use these “Easter Eggs” as a basis to tie multiple films together, as for example, the theory that Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Tangled and Tarzan are all connected.

The theory goes that Elsa and Anna’s parents were sailing to attend Rapunzel’s wedding when their ship sank. They survived and ended up on an island on the coast of Africa, where they had another child, who grew up to become Tarzan. Meanwhile, their ship ended up as the wreck where Ariel goes exploring and scavenging. It’s a cute little story, except for the fact that the movies all contain elements that pin them to particular time periods. These include fashions, references to current events or history, or the existence or absence of technology and inventions. For example, Frozen is set around 1840 and Tarzan around 1900, based on what’s shown in each film, while Tangled is around 1820. Only the Little Mermaid might be happening at about the same time, which is too early for it to be the same ship.

While discussing the Frozen-Tarzan connection with the other contributors at GeekDad, I came up with the notion of pinning down when each Disney movie may have taken place. The result is the Ultimate Disney Timeline, which is posted at GeekDad for your enjoyment.

The hardest film to pin down was actually The Fox and the Hound, which contains very little in the way of time-specific details. We had to actually sit down and watch the movie with notebook in hand, marking down every technical or fashion reference. Eventually Terri and I were able to piece together enough details, CSI-style, to be comfortable saying it’s in the late 1920s but just prior to the Great Depression.

Please pop over to GeekDad and check out the Ultimate Disney Timeline, and let us know what you think.

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Jim

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