Walt Disney Pictures started off as Walt Disney Productions on October 16, 1923. Since then, third-party distributor RKO Radio Pictures released Disney movies from 1936 to 1954, before Buena Vista Distribution Company was founded. The name "Walt Disney Productions" first appeared in the opening credits as of 1968, and then at the end of each film as of 1971. This is due to the fact that Walt Disney himself died in 1966.
RKO Radio Pictures (1937-1953)
Prior to 1953, Walt Disney's films were distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. This includes the first 14 Disney animated features:
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
- Pinocchio (1940)
- Fantasia (1940)
- Dumbo (1941)
- Bambi (1942)
- Saludos Amigos (1943)
- The Three Caballeros (1945)
- Make Mine Music (1946)
- Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
- Melody Time (1948)
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
- Cinderella (1950)
- Alice in Wonderland (1951)
- Peter Pan (1953)
Other films previously distributed by RKO Radio Pictures include Song of the South (1946), So Dear to My Heart (1948), the first all-live action film, Treasure Island (1950), and its last film, Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue (1954).
Buena Vista Distribution (1954-1984)
This is what the first Buena Vista logo looks like. It appears on all VHS and DVD prints of Sleeping Beauty (1959), the 1991 VHS of Dumbo (1941), and the 1995 VHS of Cinderella (1950).
Other films with this logo include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Lady and the Tramp (1955), The Great Locomotive Chase (1956), Old Yeller (1957), The Shaggy Dog (1959), and its last film, Kidnapped (1960).
In 1960, the word "Film" was dropped from the company's first name, changing it to Buena Vista Distribution. The logo with this name shown above was seen on films released from the early to mid 1960s, such as 101 Dalmatians (1961), The Sword in the Stone (1963), pre-1997 prints of Mary Poppins (1964), and Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966). The next Buena Vista logo, from 1966, was seen on films from the late 1960s to early 1980s. The Aristocats originally had this logo on 16mm prints, but wasn't seen again until the Blu-ray release in 2012. Other movies with this logo include Robin Hood (1973), The Rescuers (1977), and The Fox and the Hound (1981). The final logo was first seen on The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (June 27, 1979). The last film to ever have this logo was Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983). There were no Walt Disney Pictures films ever released in 1984, except for some featurettes.
As of October 14, 1983, an in-credit closing text logo was used for films distributed by Walt Disney Pictures until after September 28, 2007. The text logo comprises of the words "Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution".
In 2004, KRS Logos claimed this logo as in use until 1981.
Golden era (1985-2006)
In 1983, Walt Disney Productions was renamed as Walt Disney Pictures. The first film to have the new company name's first logo is Return to Oz (June 21, 1985), which made its home video debut on June 25, 1986. The logo can also be found on The Black Cauldron (1985), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), Flight of the Navigator (1986), Benji the Hunted (1987), and a few others. Within television networks, the logo premiered on ABC with The Journey of Natty Gann on October 4, 1987.
On VHS, this Walt Disney Pictures logo was seen on 1988 prints of Cinderella, and 1990 prints of The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan, all later seen on The Disney Channel from October 1989 to November 1991. In 1990, the logo was modernized, and was first seen in The Prince and the Pauper on November 16 of that year. On VHS releases, it was first seen on DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp on March 15, 1991, when the second generation of Walt Disney Home Video began. It was also first seen on The Disney Channel in August 1991.
Since then, the logo was commonly used on many films, such as 1991 prints of The Rescuers Down Under, 1992 prints of 101 Dalmatians, The Great Mouse Detective and Beauty and the Beast, 1993 prints of Aladdin, original 1995 prints of The Lion King, 1996 prints of Pocahontas, The Aristocats and Oliver & Company, 1997 prints of The Jungle Book, 1998 prints of The Little Mermaid, and lots more. Some films with this logo were also broadcast on TBS, ABC Family, and Hub Network.
The last film to have it was The Fox and the Hound 2 on December 12, 2006, several months after the current Walt Disney Pictures logo began.
Starting in 2000, an alternate logo was spotted on some Disney movies, such as Dinosaur (2000), 102 Dalmatians (2000), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), and even the 2002 IMAX theatrical re-release of The Lion King, which was later transferred to DVD in October 2003.
When KRS Logos launched online in 2004, this logo was still current back then.
One of the last films to use this logo and the first to be presented in Disney Digital 3D was Chicken Little (2005).
Pixar Animation Studios (1995-present)
The Pixar version of the Walt Disney Pictures logo was seen on Pixar Animation Studios' first eight feature films, from Toy Story up to Ratatouille. Each film also always used the Pixar Animation Studios logo seen to the right of the Walt Disney Pictures logo. 13 years after its debut, this logo was discontinued on the Blu-ray and 3D releases of first two Toy Story films, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo 3D.
High-definition era (2006-present)
The current Walt Disney Pictures logo, done with CGI animation, was first seen on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on July 7, 2006 (on DVD on December 5, 2006). As of November 23, 2011, the logo now just uses the word "Disney" on brand new Disney films in theaters today, and on newer prints of classic Disney movies, especially the Diamond Edition prints.
As of 2008, Pixar now also uses the 2006 Walt Disney Pictures logo in every one of its films. WALL-E was the first Pixar film to have this logo.
Walt Disney Animation Studios (2007-present)
First seen on March 30, 2007 with Meet the Robinsons (on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 23, 2007), this logo is currently seen on all new prints of Walt Disney animated feature films.
As of October 10, 2010, there were confirmed titles for films released from 2011 to 2013. Cars 2 had already been announced for a June 24, 2011 theatrical release, and the teaser trailer was scheduled to appear on the Toy Story 3 DVD and Blu-ray on November 2, 2010. Brave was originally scheduled for June 15, 2012, but on March 16, 2011, it was delayed by one week to June 22. Monsters Inc. 2 (Monsters University) was originally scheduled for November 2, 2012, while Reboot Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph) was scheduled for 2013. On April 4, 2011, Monsters Inc. 2, retitled Monsters University, was delayed to its final release date of June 21, 2013, allowing Reboot Ralph to take its place. The latter film was retitled "Wreck-It Ralph" on June 13, 2011, and a Pixar film involving the human mind (Inside Out) was announced for a 2014 release at the D23 Expo on August 6, 2011.
Frozen, a story based on The Snow Queen, was announced for a November 27, 2013 theatrical release on December 22, 2011.
Big Hero 6 was first unveiled on June 29, 2012, and was scheduled for release on November 7, 2014, while the human mind film from Pixar (Inside Out) was re-scheduled for a June 19, 2015 release. Also unveiled on August 17, 2012 for 2016 were Finding Nemo 2 (Finding Dory) and a film about la Día de los Muertos (Coco).
On April 2, 2013, Finding Nemo 2, retitled Finding Dory, was announced a release date of November 25, 2015.
As of November 23, 2013, Zootopia, having been unveiled for the first time, was scheduled for a March 4, 2016 release, and Finding Dory, previously scheduled for November 25, 2015, was delayed to June 17, 2016.
As of November 28, 2015, the film about la Día de los Muertos, given an official title of Coco, was slated for release on November 22, 2017, while Toy Story 4 was delayed to June 15, 2018, while its original release date of June 15, 2017 was occupied by Cars 3. On the other hand, Incredibles 2 was given a release date of June 21, 2019. Also unveiled was a Wreck-It Ralph sequel film.
On October 26, 2016, The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 have switched release dates, while the Wreck-It Ralph sequel, titled Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, was given a release date of March 9, 2018.
As of October 12, 2018, all Disney films set for release before Toy Story 4 now have a teaser trailer.
- http://www.disney.com (1996-1999)
- http://disney.go.com (1999-2013)
- http://disney.com (2013-present)
|Walt Disney||Film (mainstream) • Home media (mainstream) • Film and home media (Touchstone) • Television (mainstream) • Television (Disney/ABC)|
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