clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Graphic illustration featuring stills from Disney animation movies: Pocahontas, Treasure Planet, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Aladdin, and Alice in Wonderland. Source images: Disney | Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon

Filed under:

What the Disney movie of your birth year says about you

A very unbirthday to you!

Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney Plus, will soon be the home for the studio’s history of theatrical animated movies, a span of time encompassing more than 80 years of filmmaking and multiple generations who grew up with Disney films.

Most people “have” a Disney movie — the one we watched in theaters, the one we shoved in the VHS over and over again, the one we begged our parents to rent from Blockbusters — but with so many movies scattered throughout the past, the big question today is: what Disney movie was bestowed upon you?

Turns out, the Disney movie released the year (or year range) of one’s birth says a lot about a person. With eight decades worth of films (full-length theatrical releases, not anthologies!) and eight decades worth of people to study, we’ve broken down the true, hard, actual science of what your designated Disney movie birth year says about you.

Snow White in Disney’s original animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She is in the forest and five small birds are pulling at her cape. Image: Disney

1937 - 1939: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Kids these days have it too easy. Back in your day, being the first, full-length animated feature meant something! And you had to bust ass to prove yourself. You’re a traditionalist and you’re not afraid of lamenting the good old days. You think more folks these days should be committed to cleaning, cooking, and caring for others. Kids these days are too wrapped up in things like “social media” and “buying avocado toast” and “trying to remain positive despite the inevitable destruction of our planet.”

You think nothing is as good as some fresh baked apple pie. You get a little thrill at seeing a freshly made bed. It’s the small things in life.

Pinocchio casually looking at his flaming finger Image: Disney

1940: Pinocchio

When people ask you about the past, you lie, coating it in a cheery, idyllic light. Everything was better back then, you say, even though you definitely lived through multiple wars. Secretly, though, you’re really glad for Wi-Fi and tablets and the polio vaccine. But you’re not about to let the youngins know that.

In your youth, you had a strong parental figure that cared greatly for you, but in an effort to find yourself, you distanced yourself from them. Eventually, you realized that life is less about finding yourself than it is about creating yourself, and turned back to your guiding figure. Eventually, you became that strong parental figure for someone — at least, you hope.

an elephant tugging on the tail of a mouse Image: Walt Disney Animation

1941: Dumbo

You were a bit of a misfit in your younger days and got bullied a lot at school. You find yourself crying more easily than the average person. At an early age, you were also thrust into the spotlight, perhaps unwillingly. All of this has shaped you into the person you are today: resilient and strong-hearted, even if you do get emotional. But emotion is not a weakness; in fact, you consider it one of your greatest strengths.

Some call you old-fashioned, especially when it comes to your world views.

bambi looks at flower in a field of wildflowers Image: Disney

1942 - 1949: Bambi

Everyone was jealous of you because you were the favorite child. Your family and extended community fawned over you. Was all the praise deserved? You certainly think so. You’re successful and you earned that success, dammit.

You hate doing yard work. The minute your kids were old enough to mow the lawn, you made them do it. When they moved out, you hired the kids next door.

Cinderella right after the magical dress transformation Disney

1950: Cinderella

You’re a hard worker who always sees a job through. Some might call you old-fashioned now, but they forget just how much you paved the way for them. Kind to a fault, sometimes people take advantage of your good nature. You struggled with standing up for yourself when you were younger. Sometimes younger folks tell you that you should be more confrontational, but you know that you’ve gotten this far in life by virtue of being a good person. The important people in your life recognize that and wouldn’t have you any other way.

Because you’re so big hearted, you’ve often taken to caring for stray animals. Maybe too many stray animals. It’s kind of a problem. You’ll do something about it. Eventually.

alice surrounded by some giant talking flowers, trippy man Image: Disney

1951 - 1952: Alice in Wonderland

You had a lot of ... fun ... in your adolescence and young adulthood. You went through a phase in which you felt totally disconnected from reality. While your friends and family urged you to be practical, you followed your whims and indulged in all your fantasies. And then you got a little lost trying to find your way back to reality. Maybe you never did. Blink twice if you’re trapped. We’re coming for you. Blink twice. Two times. Not once more. Blink three times and it’s game over.

wendy and peter pan in front of big ben Disney

1953 -1954: Peter Pan

You’re not just a Boomer, you’re a cool Boomer. Hell, you’re reading Polygon right now, aren’t you? You’re young at heart and you’ve always been. You keep up with the times. You game. You say “yeet” even if you’re not sure what it mean. Some people might have thought you were immature when you were in your early adulthood, and OK, they weren’t totally wrong, but those old stooges just didn’t know how to have fun.

Also you love peanut butter. It’s good. It’s solid. It’s a comforting staple. However, you have mixed feelings about jelly.

tramp and lady share a romantic spaghetti meal Disney

1955 - 1958: Lady and the Tramp

You’re a true romantic, and a little suspect of all the dating apps and other forms of digital connection-making. When you were younger, you wined and dined your partner. You showed them how much you loved them. You still do because — not to get too mushy — you have so much love to give.

Contrary to your hopeless romantic leanings, your favorite movie is The Godfather.

prince phillip and aurora meet in the forest, about to dance to once upon a dream Disney

1959 - 1960: Sleeping Beauty

You’re a bit of a dreamer — whether it’s day or night — but instead of finding yourself actively trying to escape reality, you tend to just wish things were different. You construct elaborate scenarios that sometimes feel more real than reality. Engaging with the real world feels like a hassle, and puts you to bed on the early side. But you do it anyway.

You also really love classical music. You go to orchestra concerts, the opera, and ballets! Nothing makes you feel as alive as a sweet symphony. Bravo, maestro!


1961 - 1962: One Hundred and One Dalmatians

You pulled yourself up by the bootstraps. Though your life hasn’t been easy on the professional front, you’re surrounded by a network of loved ones. You have a goofy sense of humor, which just naturally draws people towards you. You also have a great taste in music. Sure, maybe you were out of work for a bit, and maybe you struggled to pay rent from time to time, but you never let that get you down. You’re really protective of your family and will do anything for them.

You went through a phase of your life where you were really into interpretive dance. You’ve since destroyed all evidence of that phase.


1963 - 1966: The Sword in the Stone

You often feel unwanted. Maybe you feel like your parents wanted another child. Maybe you feel like your friends want someone cooler. You struggle with that insecurity and your way of dealing with it is putting 110% into all that you do. You work hard, you play hard, you hope to prove yourself worthy. And even if people doubted you before, at this point in your life, you’ve proved your place in the world.

You’re one of those people who takes St. Patrick’s Day a little too seriously, regardless of whether or not you actually have any Irish blood.

Mowgli sits on Baloo’s stomach as the bear floats down a river and they sing together in The Jungle Book Image: Walt Disney Animation Studios

1967 - 1969: The Jungle Book

Forget feeling unwanted: you feel like you don’t belong literally anywhere. You have a hidden dark side that you suppress in order to fit in. Sometimes you wonder if it’s really worth it to do so. You had a lot of mentors in your youth, but none of their teachings really stuck with you. Instead, you’ve sort of become a mosaic of personalities. In your younger days, you shirked responsibility, but the consequences of your actions quickly caught up with you and you learned not to do that ever again. It was a devastating, yet formative experience.

You’ve always been drawn to fire. The burn. The glow.

marie, toulouse, and berlioz look up Disney

1970 - 1972: The Aristocats

You appreciate the finer things in life. You were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and should someone try to take that away from you, you will hiss and cry and spit. Early in life, you checked out how the other half lives. It was fun! Maybe this lasted a bit longer than one adventure. Maybe you went abroad and decided to become an artist and sleep on a mattress in a studio apartment. Maybe you got really into DIY punk. Eventually, you snapped out of this because you realized you really, really missed designer shoes and flying business class. Still, though, your rebellious phase is a fun talking point at cocktail parties.

You have one or more prints in your home of the Eiffel Tower. It’s probably a soft, faded pink on some sort of wood like surface, with a quote about Paris. You unironically say stuff like “It’s wine o'clock!”

Robin Hood, being hot Disney

1973 - 1976: Robin Hood

You’re a revolutionary. Even in your middle age, your passion for justice hasn’t quieted. You’re here to make this world a better one, in whatever way you can. Maybe you personally haven’t experienced injustice, but a lot of important people in your life have and you’re not about to let that fly. You hand out flyers, you participate in marches, you make donations — as long as you’re fighting the good fight, you feel alive. You’re extremely ready for election day.

You don’t know what the kids mean when they say “furries.”

Bianca and Bernard look shocked Disney

1977 - 1980: The Rescuers

You’ve been asked to tone down your ideological leanings multiple times in your life and you’ve done so. Perhaps that is why you feel like a compromised version of yourself. Not that you aren’t successful, but sometimes you feel like your peers are better recognized than you, even though in your opinion, you’ve done basically the same exact thing. You’re trying not to be bitter about it, though, and enjoy your own quirks and personality for what they are. It’s just so hard to be flanked by two hot foxes.

In love, you are often insecure and think that your partner is so much cooler and more put together than you are. This has been a recurring theme throughout your life.

a sad todd Disney

1981 - 1984: The Fox and the Hound

Your home life was tinged with strife. You had a very close relationship in your childhood and formative years that changed you for good, but perhaps not for the better. Conflict surrounds you even in your adulthood. Perhaps a significant figure in your life walked out very early on. Perhaps a long lasting friendship dissolved. This has all made you very wary and distrusting.

Sometimes you wonder about whether the chicken or the egg came first. This thought plagues you.

Image: Disney

1985: The Black Cauldron

You always think you could do better, but only after the fact do you realize, yeah, maybe you should’ve stuck to what you believed in more. You were good. You could’ve been even better if you and others had seen the potential. You’ve been through a lot in your life and you’re struggling to make sense of it all.

The Lord of the Rings franchise is kind of an anchor. You’re pretty into Lord of the Rings. LIke you got really mad about the Hobbit movies because the Lord of the Rings was so good.

Basil and Dr. Dawson look alarmed Disney

1986 - 1987: The Great Mouse Detective

Some call you a bit stuck up. You think you’re better than those people. They can suck it. You have few close friends who are dazzled by your genius. That’s why you keep them around after all. Your sharp powers of observation mean that you pick up on things that other people just don’t notice. Whether that means using your deduction skills to get to the bottom of a case, staying up to date on the hottest gossip or knowing exactly what local political drama is about to unfold depends. One thing’s for sure — everyone goes to you when they need to online stalk their Tinder match.

You’re the type of person who has a catchphrase. It changes a lot, but you like to have a go-to unique ditty to just pull out in any occasion.

a group of dogs and oliver Disney

1988: Oliver & Company

You love the city. The thought of living in the suburbs is worse than death. You like a fast-paced life, full of excitement and thrills. You are ambitious, taking big risks to get what you want. At one point in your past, you totally shunned your less than savory past to fit in with the cool kids. That ended up not panning out for you — but you learned. You took more risks, some grandiose, others calculated. Most of them did pay off. You realize that your past is what makes you strong, so instead of turning away from it, you actively embrace it.

You have formed your life and identity around the musical stylings of Billy Joel.

Ariel singing “Part of Your World” and reaching a hand out to the surface Image: Disney

1989: The Little Mermaid

People used to tell you how much they loved you, and you relished in their praise. You were on top of the game, the most popular person around. Today, you just can’t keep up with the times. Your big quest is embracing change. But that’s the reason you got super popular in the first place! You were constantly looking to the future, aiming for the next best thing, pushing boundaries. Maybe get in touch with the innovator you used to be instead of dwelling on the past.

You’re also probably a hoarder. You like to collect mementos of your past and keep the close. There are boxes and boxes under your bed that are just full of old ticket stubs.

bernard, bianca, and jake Disney

1990: The Rescuers Down Under

In the shadow of someone who came before you, you’re trying to make your own name. This could be at work, in your family, within your personal relationships, in your own creative goals — the point is, you feel the pressure to live up to something. And you’re trying tooth and nail to do so. Does it always work out? Results vary. Good thing the person who came before you wasn’t actually that great either. They just set some standards that you have to live by. But you’re trying new things, trying to push away from the shadow that you have been cast in.

You love to go camping, and everyone knows, because whenever you have an upcoming camping trip you just talk about “going off the grid” and “getting in touch with nature” and then when you get back all you do is talk about how great it was to “go off the grid” and “get in touch with nature.” Just letting you know.

Beauty and the Beast Image: Disney

1991: Beauty and the Beast

When you were growing up, you craved adventure and glory. Now that you’ve achieved some success, you just crave stability and some normalcy in life. In your youth, you were heralded as a smart kid — even if you did feel like a bit of an oddball from time to time — and you achieved great success in your adolescence. Nowadays, you feel like your accomplishments don’t stack up. Sometimes you feel an urge to reinvent yourself to prove something to your naysayers, but by doing so, you’ll lose sight of who you are and what made you special. Remember that your successes were well-earned.

You still mentally sort people into Hogwarts houses when you meet them. You’re also really into Myers-Briggs stuff. You spend a lot of time debating the Houses and personalities of fictional characters. What do you mean Belle isn’t totally an INFP Ravenpuff?!

jasmine and aladdin on the magic carpet Image: Disney

1992 - 1993: Aladdin

You had a bit of a rough start in life, but once you looked inward and realized you were but a diamond in the rough, you passionately chased after your dreams. You changed a lot about yourself to get to where you are today — and you’re still changing. With each experience, you’ve learned from your mistakes. It’s not so much about losing yourself as it is about finding yourself. Though you had a bit of a rocky start, at this point in your life you’re pretty comfortable with who you are and now that you’ve sort of settled in, you’re ready to see the world.

You have a thing for Netflix comedy specials, very niche podcasts, and old cartoons. New versions of said cartoons are never as good as the idealized versions in your memory.

simba with a fake mane made of flowers in The Lion King (1994), during the “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” sequence Disney

1994: The Lion King

Everyone had pretty low expectations for you, honestly, but you’ve blown them all out of the water. Sure, the ones who doubt you may say that your success comes from the uncredited works of others, but first of all, they can’t prove that and second of all, at the end of the day, you’re the one who packaged it all up in an innovative way and claimed your throne. Take that naysayers! But credit is due: you struggled to get where you are, dealt with some internalized guilt, put in the hard work once someone kicked some sense into you, and your success — while surprising — isn’t unearned. One thing’s for sure: you’re at the top of your game, bay-beee, and there’s no end in sight just yet. You wear your crown with pride.

You’re still mourning the loss of Vine and don’t really “get” TikTok. Isn’t it just a less cool version of Vine?

pocahontas, but made up of all the colors of the wind — get it? Disney

1995: Pocahontas

In your childhood, you felt the weight of great expectations thrust upon you. Everyone wanted you to succeed. Everyone thought you would achieve great things. You did not. It wasn’t by any fault of your own, really, but some combination of all the pressure to succeed, all the meddling by higher-ups who thought they knew you better, and the fact that you were basically forced to grow up very quickly. You’re still trying, though, and maybe it’s more about finding your own path than it is about following what others have set out for you. Listen to your heart instead of what everyone else wants from you. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain, even if others express disapproval.

You’re also, like, really into recycling and if you haven’t ziplined before, it’s definitely on your bucket list.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Quasimodo holding onto a rooftop cross Disney

1996: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

You have a strong moral code and a very clear view of what is right and what is wrong. You are a bit of a snobbish intellectual type, but c’mon — it’s totally justified when you’re as smart as you are. You don’t like to admit this, but you have a hidden dark side, one that easily succumbs to anger and temptation. It scares you a bit and you do your best to keep it in check, but when it overwhelms you, it totally takes control of your personality. Stay strong, remember that deep inside you know what is right and what is wrong and that the side of justice always wins in the end.

Also, you probably vape.

Hercules holds Phil the satyr Image: Disney

1997: Hercules

You have a wacky sense of humor and use it to deflect from your issues. When things get rough, you sometimes instinctually just yeet out of the situation. But that’s not to say you don’t know the value of hard work. You just prefer to do the work you personally find rewarding. You have this inner thirst to prove yourself and find a place where you belong, but perhaps a misguided approach to how you should be doing it. Sometimes you bend over backwards to please people, other times you make the wrong jokes at the wrong time.

You crave social media clout and validation, sometimes to an unhealthy degree. You have to remember that true happiness doesn’t come from likes and retweets, but from your loved ones. But those likes and retweets are pretty sweet.

Mulan I’ll make a man out of you song Walt Disney Pictures

1998: Mulan

Anyone who tells you that you can’t do something is going to be proved wrong. You’re very protective of those close to you and will do anything to prevent them from coming to harm. Gutsy, determined, and not afraid to speak your mind, you don’t believe there is such a thing as one right way to live your life. But this confidence didn’t come right away and it took you a little while to figure out your own path. One thing’s for sure, you’re here to take names and kick ass — grim economic future be damned!

You love fitness classes and tag your instagram photos with #wanderlust.

Tarzan stands besides a projected image of a man

1999: Tarzan

You long to find a group of people who will accept you unconditionally. But it’s been a bit of a struggle. You don’t always fit in. Sometimes you just feel like an entirely different species. You often feel caught in an in-between; when people talk about the transition period between generations, you always feel like they’re specifically talking about you. You feel drawn to the past, but have a clear-eyed vision for the future, even if sometimes you’re not sure how to execute it. But don’t worry: out there, somewhere, you’ll find your people soon. You’re adaptable and a quick-learner.

You’re also really into electric scooters.

Disney and Image: Walt Disney Pictures

2000: The Emperor’s New Groove and Dinosaur

You have two moods: attention-seeking self-centered diva or the literal most boring person on the planet. There is no in-between. One minute you’re clamoring for attention, the other you are but a dusty dinosaur walking across a dusty landscape looking for dusty water. Your flamboyant side has a great, rocking sense of humor — which you use to cope with the side that basically is just struggling along. You’re trying. You really are.

You fear llamas. Something about their blank, vacant, yet totally unhinged eyes gets to you.

milo standing in front of a chalkboard Disney

2001: Atlantis: The Lost Empire

You’re very studious and you have a plan to totally save the world. If only people would listen to you! You are brimming with potential, could probably be president one day, but no one takes you seriously. They just don’t get you. Maybe you’re inexperienced. Maybe you’re too quirky. Maybe you need some polish. But if someone just gives you a chance, you know that you’ll blow them all away. Sometimes, your overeagerness means you don’t really listen to advice, though. Not just from your superiors, but from the people you’re supposedly trying to help. Take a moment to cool your steam-powered jets and tune into them.

You have a very diverse group of friends that just naturally gravitated together over shared interests. This is somewhat of a bragging point for you.

Disney and Image: Walt Disney Animation

2002: Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet

Oh, you are totally weird. Like really weird. But how that weirdness manifests depends on who you’re with. Sometimes people get you. And when people get you, they totally get you and your weirdness is like the coolest thing about you. But there are times when your weirdness is just too far out there. They just don’t vibe with you, if you know what I mean? Not your fault: You’re a really passionate person when it comes to your interests and hobbies and you’re not afraid to push the limits when it comes to creativity. Aliens crash landing in Hawaii? Steampunk Treasure Island? That’s all totally entry-level to the vast limits of your mind.

You’re really into memes, to the point where anything that originates on Twitter you dub as “normie.” Please, it’s all about deep fried Facebook shitpost groups. Keep up.

Kenai the grizzly looks deeply annoyed Disney

2003: Brother Bear

There are great plans for your future, but you’re not sure you’re going to be able to achieve what everyone thinks you’re capable of. Because of that insecurity, you often lash out against others and keep them at an emotional distance. You have a grumpy exterior and let very few people in. How can you love others when you hardly love yourself? But if you just take a chance on letting someone in, you might find out that it’s not so scary.

You keep a picture of your favorite celebrity somewhere in close vicinity of you at all times. Maybe it’s your phone background. Maybe it’s a framed picture in your bedroom. Maybe you printed it out on computer paper to tape in your locker. Wherever it is, it’s never far.

three cows. one wears a hat. she looks pissed off. Disney

2004: Home on the Range

Things seem to be falling apart right now. The future is bleak. Your home life may be kinda whack. Things are being held together by strings as you try to figure out what even your future will be like. But don’t have a cow, man. Things will perk up. And you’ll always be known for your classic style.

You love taking selfie videos of yourself lip syncing. You have a short attention span but that doesn’t matter because your mind is moving a million miles a minute at all possible times.

Chicken Little’s vast, blank eyes look up into utter darkness Image: Disney

2005 - 2006: Chicken Little

The world is ending. Everything is unknown. Good luck, kid.


Soul, Turning Red, and Luca head to the big screen for the first time


What we learned from Wish: Walt Disney liked to dress up his farm animals


The Disney 100 4K Steelbooks are all $17 a pop for Cyber Monday

View all stories in Disney