Walt Disney Pictures

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Walt Disney Pictures, Inc.
Division of Walt Disney Studios
Industry Film
Founded October 16, 1923; 92 years ago (1923-10-16) (as Disney Bros. Cartoon Studio)
Founder Walt Disney
Roy O. 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, division of Walt Disney Studios, owned by The Walt Disney Company. The division is based at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, 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 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 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 Cameron Smith and Cyrese Parrish.[18] 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, the words "Walt" and "Pictures" were dropped from the branding.[19]


The studio's first feature-length motion picture was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and its first live-action film was Treasure Island (1950). Animated films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar are also released by Walt Disney Pictures. Walt Disney Pictures has released four films that have received an Academy Award for Best Picture nomination; Mary Poppins (1964), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Up (2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010).[20]

Highest-grossing films[edit]

Highest-grossing films in North America[21]
Rank Title Year Box office gross
1 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 2006 $423,315,812
2 The Lion King 1994 $422,783,777
3 Toy Story 3 2010 $415,004,880
4 Frozen 2013 $400,738,009
5 Finding Nemo 2003 $380,843,261
6 Inside Out 2015 $356,002,827
7 Zootopia 2016 $334,403,528
8 Alice in Wonderland 2010 $334,191,110
9 The Jungle Book 2016 $327,497,565
10 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 2007 $309,420,425
11 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 $305,413,918
12 Up 2009 $293,004,164
13 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 2005 $291,710,957
14 Monsters, Inc. 2001 $289,916,256
15 Toy Story 2 1999 $276,554,625
16 Monsters University 2013 $268,492,764
17 The Incredibles 2004 $261,441,092
18 Cars 2006 $244,082,982
19 Maleficent 2014 $241,410,378
20 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 2011 $241,071,802
21 Brave 2012 $237,283,207
22 Oz the Great and Powerful 2013 $234,911,825
23 WALL-E 2008 $223,808,164
24 Big Hero 6 2014 $222,527,828
25 National Treasure: Book of Secrets 2007 $219,964,115
Highest-grossing films worldwide
Rank Title Year Box office gross
1 Frozen 2013 $1,279,852,693
2 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 2006 $1,066,179,725
3 Toy Story 3 2010 $1,063,171,911
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 2011 $1,045,713,802
5 Alice in Wonderland 2010 $1,025,467,110
6 The Lion King 1994 $987,483,777
7 Zootopia 2016 $981,803,528
8 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 2007 $963,420,425
9 Finding Nemo 2003 $936,743,261
10 The Jungle Book 2016 $857,697,565
11 Inside Out 2015 $851,175,046
12 Maleficent 2014 $758,410,378
13 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 2005 $745,013,115
14 Monsters University 2013 $743,559,607
15 Up 2009 $731,342,744
16 Big Hero 6 2014 $657,827,828
17 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 $654,264,015
18 The Incredibles 2004 $631,442,092
19 Ratatouille 2007 $623,722,818
20 Tangled 2010 $591,794,936
21 Monsters, Inc. 2001 $562,816,256
22 Cars 2 2011 $559,852,396
23 Cinderella 2015 $542,686,737
24 Brave 2012 $538,983,207
25 WALL-E 2008 $521,311,860

—Includes theatrical reissue(s).

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. ^ "Behance". www.behance.net. Retrieved 2016-01-19. 
  19. ^ Walker, RV (March 28, 2015). "The Disney Logo: A Brief History of its Evolution and Variations". Nerdist Industries. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  20. ^ Tribou, Richard (January 16, 2014). "Not-so-golden year for Disney's chances at the Oscars". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Box Office by Studio – Disney All Time". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 27, 2016. 

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