Walt Disney Animation Studios

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Logoboy95 and TheLogoFan2004

Captures by
V of Doom, EnormousRat, and LogosForTheWin

Editions by
Henrynguye5, Scj323347, Prodigy012‎, Omoniyi.ade0614, and Tjdrum2000

Video captures courtesy of
Raphael Freire Zanardo and EnormousRat


Background

Walt Disney Animation Studios is an American animation studio originally formed as Walt Disney Feature Animation from the split of Walt Disney Productions, now known as The Walt Disney Company, in 1986. The studio is the main producer of animated feature films produced for Disney's film division Walt Disney Pictures (except for those produced by fellow Disney subsidiary Pixar Animation Studios). The company didn't have an on-screen logo of its own until it took on its current name in 2007 (films made by the studio from 1986 until then showed the Walt Disney Pictures logo at the beginning).

(March 30, 2007-)

Logo: On a gold paper background, a red circle is drawn in. As the camera zooms out, more pieces of paper fold out on the screen like a flipbook (a la the 2002 Marvel logo), and quickly the circle becomes a rough sketch of Mickey Mouse in his appearance from the 1928 Disney cartoon Steamboat Willie. Eventually, the pages stop flipping, and the sketch animates (showing Mickey happily whistling while turning the wheel on the steamboat he is driving) before slowly turning into the archival footage of the original scene it depicts from the short. The scene zooms out onto the background with a spotlight, and below the picture, the words "WALT DiSNEY" write themselves in a sketchier version of the signature corporate font, with "ANIMATION STUDIOS" fading in underneath. As Mickey finishes his whistling, he switches to the part of him sailing before he smiles instead of pulling the ship horn's rope.

Variants:

  • Starting in 2008, the logo was given a high definition look, which used the same animation.
  • In the iPad app Disney Animated, the logo is in a 4:3 aspect ratio and was shown when we introduce the first section, "Art in Motion". In this variant, the logo zooms into an abridged version of the archival footage of Steamboat Willie. As the animation finishes, it cuts into a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • On Tangled and Encanto, a custom variant was used:
    • The former has the animation staying in place as it is slowly overtaken by a large orange circle outline, with the wheel being filled with black before transforming into the normal scene. It then zooms out to reveal it is part of a large "50", with the company name entirely in brown appearing at the top, while the stacked text "ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE" appears under the "50", and a small "TH" appears at the top-right corner. The closing version of this variant has the finished product of the animation shown in close-up, then it animates as usual but at a fast-pace, and the company name is already there, with the rest of the text fading in.
    • The latter has the "50" replaced by a "60" and the logo is shortened to the number zooming out to its place. The closing variant just has the last seconds of the normal logo.
      • A trailer for the latter film has the company logo replaced with "OUR".
  • On Wreck-It Ralph, the logo is done in a retro video-game style on a black background to fit with the movie's arcade theme.
  • On Frozen II, the ending of the logo fades into the opening scene of the movie.
  • A shortened version has the logo in its last few seconds, albeit the first note of the music being played at the start.
  • Sometimes, the logo is still.

Technique: CGI directed by Mike Gabriel and produced by Roy Conli, using Ub Iwerks' original animation drawings from the short as reference.

Music/Sounds: The sound of pages turning followed by Mickey whistling a cheerful tune with a piano ditty, in which it's archived audio from the cartoon.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On Wreck-It Ralph, an 8-bit version of the music plays over the logo.
  • The shortened variant has the last few seconds of Mickey whistling with the music.
  • On some films, the film's opening theme or sound effects plays over the logo instead.
  • The closing variant is silent or (post-2016) has the ending theme of the movie, except for on The Princess and the Frog where it just has Mickey's whistling without any background music at all, Zootopia, where nature-like sounds play over the logo, and Ralph Breaks the Internet, wherein Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) talks over the logo, which carried over to the 2011 Disney logo.
  • The still logo has the end theme play over it.

Availability: Current and common.

  • It was first seen on Meet the Robinsons, and can be seen on every Disney animated feature henceforth, as well as short films starting with How to Hook Up Your Home Theater and on television shows such as Baymax!.
  • The still version can be seen on the Prep & Landing TV specials, as well as the short Operation: Secret Santa.
  • This logo does not appear on video games, as they used the standard DIS logo instead.
  • It was also seen on the reissues of Beauty of the Beast (1991) and the 3D version of The Lion King (1994).
  • It was never seen on trailers of the company's films, which just used the Disney logo instead.
  • Although a new print logo was introduced in 2020, this logo is still being used as an on-screen logo.
  • This logo also doesn't appear on the 2022 short Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, despite it being produced by the company.
  • The shortened logo was shown at the start of Strange World as well as some shorts and at the end of films produced by the company, without Mickey's whistling.

Legacy: This is a throwback to one of the studio's most important films, since it popularized Mickey Mouse, the company's mascot (though the character debuted earlier on the short Plane Crazy).

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