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Top 5 vintage Disney cartoons on Youku

Get ready for the opening of Mainland China's first Disneyland with some old black and white classics

A long time ago, before the days of computer animation, commercial tie-ins, copyright lawsuits, theme parks, and a mind-boggling amount of merchandise, Walt Disney's world was a whole lot smaller – black and white shorts that first introduced some of the characters that we know and love today.

Relive how it all began with five vintage Disney flicks, which you can watch below.

Steamboat Willie (1928)
Steamboat Willie has been credited for introducing the world to two of its most popular cartoon characters ever - Mickey and Minnie. Directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, this black-and-white short is especially notable for being the first Disney cartoon with synchronised sound, involving character noises and a musical score. Steamboat Willie also attained wide critical acclaim for its technical innovation.

The Karnival Kid (1929)
Despite being the ninth film in the Mickey Mouse series, this is the first short in which we hear Mickey speak. The vocal effects were provided by Carl Stalling (not Walt Disney). Mickey's first words, by the way, were 'Hot dogs! Hot dogs!'

Mickey's Orphans (1931)
Produced by Walt Disney and released by Columbia Pictures, this short was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 5th Academy Awards (1932) but lost to another Disney film, Flowers and Trees (see below).

Flowers and Trees (1932)
Produced by Walt Disney and directed by Burt Gillet, Flowers and Trees – the story of an evil tree stump that sets a forest ablaze – set a few precedents. It won the first Academy Award for Animated Short Subjects, and was the first commercially released film to be produced using the full-colour three-strip Technicolour process.

Three Little Pigs (1933)
Based on the classic fairytale, Three Little Pigs won the 1934 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. This short sits on the 11th place of '50 Greatest Cartoons Of All Time' list which is ranked by members of the animation field; and is preserved in the United States Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being 'culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.'

Shanghai Disneyland's official opening date is June 16 and looks an excellent reason to head southbound on the bullet train.