This week Amanda Ronan escorts us on a trip down memory lane through classic Disney movies in search of their animated equine stars.
Disney has a rich history of horse animation reaching all the way back to 1937 with Prince Charming’s horse in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The Disney horse began to have a little more “character” with Samson, who attempted to steer his Prince away from the dulcet sounds of Aurora’s voice in Sleeping Beauty (1959). Fortunately, Samson was easily bribed by Prince Philip with an extra bag of oats.
Not to be confused with Prince Philip is the lovely Draft, Philippe, from Beauty and the Beast (1991). Philippe plays what I call a “Lassie” character, in that his main role in the movie is to find a person to rescue the other person he just left to the wolves. His DisneyWiki describes him as “frightened easily but loyal.” Still a cutie…
Three horses really seemed to change the tide for Disney equines, though. Khan of Mulan (1998), Maximus of Tangled (2010), and Angus of Brave (2012) transformed the humble horse into more than mere props to carry the prince and princess into the end credits–they evolved into crucial supporting roles.
But horses didn’t just star in Disney’s feature films, they were on the small screen as well.
Check out these classic gems. You’re going to love Goofy’s slow motion posting trot in How to Ride a Horse (1950).
This one shows Donald having a real bad day. I think we can all relate to his plight in Dude Duck (1951).
The next cartoon’s subject matter should be no surprise as Walt Disney himself was an avid polo player and member of the Riviera Polo Club. Mickey’s Polo Team (1936) is also the earliest Disney equine animation I was able to find.
I know there are many more lovable Disney horses… So who’s your favorite?
About the Author
Amanda’s experience with horses is just as eclectic as her taste in movies. She has dabbled in almost every discipline from eventing to team penning to fox hunting. She started riding when she was 8 with her local 4-H club in Western performance events. She moved on to the AQHA circuit with her Quarter Horse, “Aggie,” when she was 12 and he was a green 2 year old. Through college she held a working student position at Seahorse Sporthorses, owned by Terri Adams, where she was introduced to the wonderful world of show jumping and eventing. Along with Aggie, who just turned 20 years old, she has two OTTBs in her herd named “Gump” and “Lizard.” Amanda continues her jumping training with Ms. Adams and works on that necessary evil also known as dressage with Mimi Burch of Blue Moon Farm.