No sooner did Walt Disney Productions finally establish a strong foundation for their animation studio, than World War II happened. A number of Disney animators got drafted, while the remainder was commissioned to create animations for military training and civilian propaganda. The company’s animated feature-film division was thus terribly hobbled.
With too few people free to work on movie-length animations like Snow White or Pinocchio, the team could only develop small productions with short running times. Then the studio decided to put these shorts together into “anthology” packages that would run as long as any other film, for cinematic screening.
All in all, six of Disney’s Animated Canon can be considered as package films. Usually they contain musical shorts, a number of which have famous musical pieces as their instrumental. This a list of them all; while Fantasia (1941) is also comprised of segments, it was purposely conceptualized as such, rather than the stitching together of these anthology package films.
- Saludos Amigos (1942) – first appearance of Jose Carioca
- The Three Caballeros (1944) – first appearance of Pancho Pistolero
- Make Mine Music (1946) – includes animated short Peter and the Wolf
- Fun and Fancy Free (1947) – includes animated short Mickey and the Beanstalk
- Melody Time (1948) – includes animated short Pecos Bill
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mister Toad (1949) – starring the voices of Basil Rathbone and Bing Crosby
This period of segmented filmmaking ended with the release of Cinderella in 1950.