The first generation of Walt Disney Home Video dates back to the beginning of the 1980s decade, just after VHS tapes were invented. This generation lasted before the existence of the 1990 Walt Disney Pictures logo.
Several months after the first five of Disney's animated features originally seen on VHS since the early 1980s were discontinued in 1984, an entirely new brand called the Walt Disney Classics was established. Since then, any further of Disney's animated features were often released under this brand, and were only available for a limited time each, usually about half a year to as much as up to three years.
In the first half of the 1980s, VHS tapes costed roughly $84.99 each. Compared to today, that's as expensive as three whole DVDs, or two Blu-ray/DVD combos!
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Alice in Wonderland
Mary Poppins (re-print)
The Three Caballeros
Fun and Fancy Free
The Sword in the Stone
So Dear to My Heart
|Alice in Wonderland was also re-packaged and re-printed this year.|
Lady and the Tramp
Also, The Three Caballeros was re-packaged and re-printed.
The Little Mermaid
Some animated films did not make it to the Walt Disney Classics. They included:
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Instead, it was re-released in theaters for its 50th anniversary on July 15, 1987, and for the last and only time with digital restoration on July 2, 1993, and became the first Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection title, succeeding the Walt Disney Classics.
- Saludos Amigos - It was only available on The Disney Channel since 1989 and during the 1990s, when it was a premium cable network back then. The film aired uncut.
- The Three Caballeros - It was released on VHS in 1987 (same year as Lady and the Tramp), but as a regular Walt Disney Home Video title.
- Make Mine Music - Same reason as Saludos Amigos.
- Fun and Fancy Free - It was only available on VHS as two separate Walt Disney Mini Classics titles in 1987 and 1989, respectively. It also aired on The Disney Channel in the early 1990s.
- Melody Time - There was a 1987 Japanese laserdisc import of the film, in which the film was unedited, like its Disney Channel broadcasts in 1989.
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad - It was only available on The Disney Channel since 1989 and during the 1990s, when it was a premium cable network back then. Other than that, it was available on VHS as two separate Mini Classics titles from 1988 and 1990, respectively.
- The Aristocats - Instead, the film was re-released in theaters on April 10, 1987.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - It was only available on The Disney Channel since the early 1990s, when it was a premium cable network back then.
- The Black Cauldron - Disney was going to plan to release this film on VHS in early 1989 but got cancelled due to wild success of The Little Mermaid.
- Oliver & Company - Instead, the film got a re-release in theaters on March 29, 1996.
Disney's Sing-Along Songs
Sing, dance and play along with your favorite Disney characters in fun-filled musical moments! Collect these great videos that bring the greatest songs from the greatest movies into your home!
The Bare Necessities
You Can Fly
Very Merry Christmas Songs
Fun with Music
Under the Sea
I Love to Laugh
In Other Countries
United Kingdom (1985-1990)
After the Video Recordings Act 1984 was signed into law, Walt Disney Home Video began releasing their videos in the United Kingdom in 1985. In its first year, the company only released specials such as The Adventures of Chip and Dale, which contained the 25-second Walt Disney Home Video logo seen on very early releases in other European countries.
For feature-length films, entry titles for 1986 included Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Pete's Dragon. Added for 1987 were Alice in Wonderland and Dumbo, making them the first two animated features to be released in the UK on home video. Pinocchio and The Sword in the Stone joined the lineup in 1988.
Fun and Fancy Free (April 21, 1985)
This was the only time when Fun and Fancy Free got a laserdisc release in Japan. Of course, it was also one of the earliest, as Japan didn't release any Disney movies on VHS until early 1985. Back then, for the first two years, they used the first international Walt Disney Home Video logo from 1981 (which was mainly seen on European tapes).
Make Mine Music (October 21, 1985)
In this Japanese version, the segment "The Martins and the Coys" is included, which was also seen on the Disney Channel's broadcasts since 1989, but was cut from the 2000 U.S. release. The movie was later released on VHS, co-distributed by Bandai Video Network, with a price of 10,800 yen (which is more than $100!).
Melody Time (January 25, 1987)
When released on laserdisc on this date, the film contained the uncut version of the Pecos Bill segment.
The 1st era of Disney videos ended in Japan on May 25, 1989, even though Bandai Video Network still owned the rights to them (but not for long).
South Korea (1980s-1992)
In Korea's 1st era, Walt Disney films were co-distributed by Dreambox Home Video. Some notable examples are:
- Splash (August 1990)
- Mary Poppins (November 12, 1990)
- Return to Oz (December 19, 1990)
- Splash, Too (June 27, 1991)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (July 28, 1991) - First known home video release by direct successor Walt Disney Home Video.
- The Rescuers (July 30, 1991)
- Tex (October 1991)