The Walt Disney Company

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Descriptions by
Jess Williams, WileE2005, rjsmith09, Matt Anscher, Logohub, indycar and TheLogoFan2004

Captures by
Eric S., iheartparamount, indycar, DaffyDuckScrewball, yctheguardie, SubparMario63 and others

Editions by
Bob Fish, V of Doom, mr3urious, Nathan B., Optimus Prime 2000, userjt, universalxdisney172, shnick1985, HiddenResearcher, McDonald's1, indycar, KPLN, JakeWilliams025, iheartparamount, Unnepad, Logohub, Connormchenry97, DisneyInternationalFan and BaldiBasicsFan

Video captures courtesy of
wwodtv, Michael Strum, Jordan Rios, TheJamesmario, Peakpasha, Aster, Sagan's Logos, Logo Archive, VPJHuk and UltimateHDVideostify


The Walt Disney Company (formerly known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio until 1926, Walt Disney Studio until 1929 and Walt Disney Productions until 1986) was founded as an animation studio in 1923 by Walter Elias "Walt" Disney and Roy O. Disney after their previous studio Laugh-O-Gram Studio went defunct for bankruptcy. In 1937, the company produced its first animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is also the first North American animated feature. Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, the film was a hit and was followed up by more films including Pinocchio, Bambi and the experimental symphony film Fantasia. During the second world war, Disney's main focus shifted to production of military films and as such, production of animated features all but stopped. During this time, Disney put out "compilation films". That is, films consisting of a number of shorts put together, such as The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos. Around the same time, Disney began producing live-action films, with its first live action foray being the highly controversial animation hybrid Song of the South. an all-live action adaption of Treasure Island would follow by the end of the decade. By the end of the 1940s, Disney was also producing the True Life series of nature films.

In 1950, Disney returned to the animated films that made them successful with the release of Cinderella. This was followed in quick succession by Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953). The latter film would be the last Disney film to be distributed by RKO as in 1953, Disney established its own distribution arm, Buena Vista Distribution, named after the road on which the studio was situated.

When Walt Disney died in December 1966, his brother Roy O. Disney took over the studio and oversaw the release of films such as The Jungle Book, The Happiest Millionaire and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Roy died from a stroke in 1971, shortly after the opening of Walt Disney World. Walt's son in law Ron Miller began running the studio with the help of Walt and Roy's associates Card Walker and Donn Tatum. This era of leadership at Disney is widely associated with a series of ambitious live action flops such as The Black Hole and Tron, though most of these films have since gained a cult following. Despite Disney's live action struggles, the animation unit continued to have success with films such as Robin Hood. During his tenure, Miller established Touchstone Pictures and rebranded the feature film division as "Walt Disney Pictures", while Buena Vista was rebranded to "Buena Vista Pictures Distribution" with its opening card being dropped in favor of an in-credit text.

In 1986, the animation unit was split off, becoming Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Productions was renamed "The Walt Disney Company".

Walt Disney Productions


1st Logo (December 21, 1948-June 22, 1977) 2nd Logo (50th Anniversary) (December 22, 1972-July 12, 1973) 3rd Logo (June 25, 1980) 4th Logo (1980) 5th Logo (1981) 6th Logo (1982) 7th Logo (1985)
1st Logo (December 21, 1948-June 22, 1977) 2nd Logo (50th Anniversary) (December 22, 1972-July 12, 1973) 3rd Logo (June 25, 1980) 4th Logo (1980) 5th Logo (1981) 6th Logo (1982) 7th Logo (1985)

The Walt Disney Company



Walt Disney Productions

1st Logo (December 21, 1948-June 22, 1977)

Logo: At the start of the film, we see the 1948 corporate Walt Disney signature above "Presents". Starting in 1973, this was changed to "Walt Disney Productions Presents".

FX/SFX: Usually none, but on 101 Dalmatians, traditional animation by Walt Disney Animation Studios is used.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Uncommon. Still saved on some classic Disney shorts and movies of the era, making its first appearance on the True-Life Adventures series of films and last appearing on The Rescuers. However, most films released during this period use an in-credit text instead of the signature script.

Legacy: A favorite among fans of Walt Disney and his classic films.

2nd Logo (50th Anniversary) (December 22, 1972-July 12, 1973)


Logo: On a scarlet background with black, wavy, moving Moiré patterns, a blue version of Disney's 50th anniversary logo (a big "50" with Mickey Mouse ears on the "0" with the word "HAPPY" above it and "YEARS" below) appears and eventually changes the background into a blue background with images of Disney cartoon characters, outlined in green, facing the 50. The "50" logo zooms out followed by "HAPPY" zooming out above it and "YEARS" doing the same below. Tinker Bell appears, flies around, and waves her wand, changing the screen to black. The 1954 Buena Vista logo would follow.

FX/SFX: Traditional animation, which is again from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Music/Sounds: The first two bars of "When You Wish Upon a Star". An announcer (Dick Wesson) says "And now, a 50th-anniversary presentation from Walt Disney Productions!". On international releases, the announcer is absent, and the music is two full tones lower.

Availability: Extremely rare. Appeared before the 1954 Buena Vista logo on the studio's films (both original and reissues) in 1973 and also appeared briefly (twice) on The Wonderful World of Disney episode "50 Happy Years". Remains intact on Charley and the Angel. Its first known appearance was on Snowball Express, and its last known appearance was on A Disney Cartoon Jubilee.

3rd Logo (June 25, 1980)

Walt Disney Production (1980) Disco.JPG.jpg

Logo: Superimposed over the opening credits, we have "WALT DiSNEY" in the familiar corporate Disney logo font and in yellow. Right under is "PRODUCTIONS", also in yellow.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme.

Availability: Extinct. This was spotted on Mickey Mouse Disco, after the Buena Vista logo. The short was seen on television several times, which includes being in episodes of various Disney cartoon compilation shows, such as Mickey's Mouse Tracks, Donald's Quack Attack and The Ink and Paint Club among others. It has never been made available on home video or on streaming, but it can be seen currently on 16mm copies of the short.

Legacy: Probably the first movie logo with the famed "DiSNEY" signature font, although it was already in use elsewhere since 1956.

4th Logo (1980)

Logo: We see a dark blue Mickey head with waves in sky blue within a blue background and on the Mickey head, the words "Walt Disney" in the original signature script are on the top and the word "PRODUCTIONS" is on the bottom.

Variant: A zoomed-out version exists, appearing alongside the 1975 Paramount Pictures logo.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The trailer theme.

Availability: Near extinction. The logo made its only appearance on the international trailer for Robert Altman's Popeye. The trailer was considered lost until recently when the trailer and the logo were discovered on the Greek VHS release of Donald Duck Goes West.

Legacy: It became a subject of discussions and speculations on the internet, being considered the most mysterious out of all the Disney logos.

5th Logo (1981)

Walt Disney Productions (1981) Fox and Hound.jpeg

Logo: On a blue background, we see "WALT DiSNEY" in the familiar corporate Disney logo font and in red. Right under is "PRODUCTIONS" in white. The text is zooming in to the camera.

FX/SFX: The zoom-in.

Music/Sounds: Just an announcer saying the company name along with the sounds from the trailer.

Availability: Ultra rare. This was spotted on the original theatrical trailer of The Fox and the Hound.

6th Logo (1982)

Walt Disney Productions (1982).jpeg

Logo: On a twilight background, we see the "WALT DiSNEY" script in 3D and in red, with "PRODUCTIONS" below also in red. The background fades into a cloud time-lapse. Lightning sparks appear and accumulate before being absorbed by the Disney logo, which shines and 'melts' into a red ring.

FX/SFX: Live action footage and traditional animation.

Music/Sounds: A choir, followed by sounds of electricity.

Availability: Ultra rare. Seen on a 1982 Walt Disney Home Video demonstration tape.

7th Logo (1985)

Logo: On a red background, we see "WALT DiSNEY" in white, with "PRODUCTIONS" and "PRESENTS" below.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extremely rare. Can be seen on British pre-cert tapes of Walt Disney's Cartoon Classics: Cartoon Bonanza 1 and 2.

The Walt Disney Company


Walt Disney Company logo 1990s.png

Logo: On a black screen, we see the copyright year in Roman numerals, with "The WALT DiSNEY Company" below it. "All Rights Reserved" is seen below everything.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None or the ending theme.

Availability: Extinct. It was only used on television, replacing the in-credit Walt Disney Productions text seen at the end of shows. Seen on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club and the making-of featurette for A Goofy Movie. It would later be replaced by Disney Enterprises.