Disney Versus: Cartoon Studios

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Disney Versus: Cartoon Studios 1

The Triple Threat. In show business, this was a reference to a person who could sing, dance, and act. Other areas of entertainment, such as sports, have used the same terminology to indicate excellence in a given field of endeavor. This series of three articles is going to explore how the Walt Disney Studio has earned the right to be considered a Triple Threat.

Few studios are a one-stop viewing experience. They might do cartoons well, like Hanna Barbara. Or they might do feature-length animation well, like Sony Pictures. Or they might do live action well, like Universal Studios. But again, few can claim to have a strong foothold in all three fields. At best, maybe two.

Disney, since at least the 1950’s, can claim a strong presence in all three. But for the balance of this article, we will only consider how Disney stacks up against other cartoon studios, and those other studios that have dabbled in the medium.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s there were dozens of struggling cartoon studios. Most of them had one or two main stars, and, today, are only known for that limited contribution. Walt Disney could have become just such a studio. His first attempts at cartoons were crude, and honestly, just reworkings of what had already been done. Look at the background characters in the early Oswald cartoons, and you will see the same cast found in almost every cartoon of the time!

But then came Mickey Mouse and everything changed! Character. Sound. Color. Walt Disney was finally first and thus followed by others. His stable of stars grew far faster than other studios and most are still not only remembered today, but are also thriving.

There are, however, other cartoon studios that have given Disney a run for its money! Most notably is the Warner Brothers Studio. With a cast of zany characters in a series called Loony Toons, one rabbit has threatened a certain mouse for supremacy of the cartoon world! And Hanna Barbara virtually took television away from Disney with hits like The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, and the Jetsons, among others.

Yes, at times, Disney has had to take a back seat to other cartoon studios. But only at times. Overall, Disney has always been in the game, and usually near the front of the pack. And more often than not, well out in front.

Cartoons aren’t what they used to be. Starting out as filler, then becoming art, then a diversion for children, they are now
entertainment for adults. With ample adult content. Thankfully, Disney has opted to lose this battle, and left other studios to promote vulgarity within prime-time cartoons.

So how does the battle of Disney versus the other Cartoon Studios end? Who wins? For longevity and consistency, Disney takes the trophy. At times, another studio might hit one out of the park, but Disney has always won the game.

But what about in the battle of feature-length animation? Even though Disney made this art form popular, have they always been the leader of the medium? Find out in the second article of this series called Disney Versus: Animation Studios.

Disney Versus: Cartoon Studios 2

Disney Versus: Cartoon Studios 3

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