Walt Disney Pictures

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Walt Disney Pictures, Inc.
Division of Walt Disney Studios
Industry Film
Founded 1923; 92 years ago (1923) (as Disney Bros. Cartoon Studio)
Founder Walt Disney
Roy E. Disney
Headquarters 500 S. Buena Vista Street,
Burbank, California
, United States
Key people
Sean Bailey (president, motion picture production)[1]
Products Motion pictures
Parent The Walt Disney Studios
(The Walt Disney Company)
Website www.waltdisneystudios.com

Walt Disney Pictures, Inc. is an American film production company and division of The Walt Disney Studios, owned by The Walt Disney Company. The division is based at the Walt Disney Studios and is the main producer of live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Studios unit. It took on its current name in 1983. Today, in conjunction with the other units of The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Pictures is classified as one of Hollywood's "Big Six" film studios.[2][3] Nearly all of Walt Disney Pictures' releases are distributed theatrically by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, through home media platforms via Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and through television syndication by Disney–ABC Domestic Television.


The studio's predecessor (and the modern-day The Walt Disney Company's as a whole) was originally founded as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, by filmmaker Walt Disney and his business partner and brother, Roy, in 1923.

The creation of Mickey Mouse and subsequent short films and merchandise generated revenue for the studio which was renamed as The Walt Disney Studio at the Hyperion Studio in 1926.[4] In 1929, it was renamed once again to Walt Disney Productions. The studio's streak of success continued in the 1930s, culminating with the 1937 release of the first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which became a huge financial success.[5] With the profits from Snow White, Walt relocated to a third studio in Burbank, California.[6]

In the 1940s, Disney began experimenting with full-length live-action films, with the introduction of hybrid live action-animated films such as The Reluctant Dragon (1941) and Song of the South (1946).[7] That same decade, the studio began producing nature documentaries with the release of Seal Island (1948), the first of the True-Life Adventures series and a subsequent Academy Award winner for Best Live-Action Short Film.[8][9]

Walt Disney Productions had its first fully live-action film in 1950 with the release of Treasure Island, considered by Disney to be the official conception for what would eventually evolve into the modern-day Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.[10] By 1953, the company ended their agreements with such third-party distributors as RKO Radio Pictures and United Artists and formed their own distribution company, Buena Vista Distribution.[11]

A newly formed unit, Walt Disney Pictures, was incorporated on April 1, 1983 to diversify film subjects and expand audiences for their film releases.[12] In April 1983, Richard Berger was hired by Disney CEO Ron W. Miller as film president. Touchstone Films was started by Miller in February 1984 as a label for their PG-rated films with an expected half of Disney's 6 to 8 movies yearly slate would be released under the label.[13] Berger was pushed out as a new CEO was appointed for Walt Disney Productions later in 1984, as Michael Eisner brought his own film chief, Jeffrey Katzenberg.[14] Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures were formed within that unit on February 16, 1983 and February 1, 1989 respectively.[15]


Originally—instead of a traditional production logo—the opening credits of Disney films featured a title card that read "Walt Disney presents" and subsequently, "Walt Disney Productions presents". Beginning with the release of The Black Cauldron in 1985, Walt Disney Pictures introduced its now-conventional fantasy castle logo.[16] The logo was created by Walt Disney Feature Animation in traditional animation and featured a white Sleeping Beauty Castle design against a blue background, with the studio's name in Waltograph typeface and underscored by "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio.[17]

This logo and variations was seen before all films until 2006, when it was updated with the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at the behest of then-Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook and studio marketing president Oren Aviv.[17] Designed by Disney animation director Mike Gabriel and producer Baker Bloodworth, the modernized logo was created completely in computer animation by Weta Digital and featured a redesigned 3D Waltograph typography. The final rendering of the logo was done by Cyrese Parrish and Cameron Smith. In addition, the revamped logo includes visual references to Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, and Cinderella, and its redesigned castle incorporates elements from both Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella Castle, as well as Walt Disney's family crest. Mark Mancina wrote a new composition and arrangement of "When You Wish Upon A Star" to accompany the 2006 logo.[17] Beginning with the release of The Muppets in 2011, both "Walt" and "Pictures" were dropped from the logo.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Walt Disney Studios » Executive Details: Sean Bailey". The Walt Disney Studios. 
  2. ^ Schatz, Tom. The Studio System and Conglomerate Hollywood (PDF). Blackwell Publishing. Disney also exploited new technologies and delivery systems, creating synergies that were altogether unique among the studios, and that finally enabled the perpetual “mini-major” to ascend to major studio status. 
  3. ^ Finler (2003), The Hollywood Story pp. 324–25.
  4. ^ "Chronology of the Walt Disney Company (1926)". kpolsson.com. 
  5. ^ Gabler, Neal (2007). Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination. New York: Random House. pp. 276–277. ISBN 0-679-75747-3. 
  6. ^ Schroeder, Russel (1996). Walt Disney: His Life in Pictures. New York: Disney Press. 
  7. ^ "The Walt Disney Company History". Company Profiles. fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Best of Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures (1975)". NY Times Movies. New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  9. ^ "New York Times: Seal Island". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  10. ^ "The Walt Disney Studios". Disney Corporate. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  11. ^ Fixmer, Fixmer (April 25, 2007). "Disney to Drop Buena Vista Brand Name, People Say (Update1)". bloomberg.com. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Business Entity Detail: Walt Disney Pictures (search on Entity Number: C1138747)". California Business Search. California Secretary of State. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  13. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (February 16, 1984). "Touchstone Label to Replace Disney Name on Some Films". New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  14. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (December 2, 1988). "COMPANY NEWS; Disney Expansion Set; Film Output to Double". New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  15. ^ Kunz, William M. (2007). "2". Culture Conglomerates: Consolidation in the Motion Picture and Television Industries. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 42, 45. ISBN 9780742540668. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ Guerrasio, Jason (June 22, 2015). "Why the iconic Walt Disney Pictures logo was changed for ‘Tomorrowland’". Businesses Insider. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c "Old Disney magic in new animated logo". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 18, 2006. Retrieved July 10, 2006. 
  18. ^ Walker, RV (March 28, 2015). "The Disney Logo: A Brief History of its Evolution and Variations". Nerdist Industries. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 

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