Walt Disney Cartoons

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Compiled by
Lenhill and RSX-798


Walt Disney started making cartoons in 1921 at Laugh-O-Gram Studio. They eventually moved to Los Angeles in 1923 and the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio was formed in order to release the Alice Comedies at Winkler Pictures. They started working on Oswald the Lucky Rabbit at Universal Pictures in 1927, before dropping it in 1928 to work with Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony at Pat Powers' Celebrity Productions. Pat Powers would eventually go on to distribute the Flip the Frog and Willie Whopper cartoons, through MGM, as well as the ComiColor cartoons. They eventually moved to Columbia Pictures in 1930, then at United Artists in 1932. They eventually moved to RKO Radio Pictures in 1937 to replace Van Beuren Productions as RKO's cartoon provider and stayed for two decades until 1956, even after Disney formed Buena Vista Film Distribution in 1953. It never used a logo until 1935.

1st Logo (February 23, 1935-May 29, 1937)

Logo: On a gray background, we see the text "WALT DISNEY" in a blocky-like font, and below it was the series' logo in red, followed by the text "IN TECHNICOLOR". Underneath is the text "UNITED ARTISTS PICTURE, the yellow MPPDA logo, and a copyright date.

Closing Title: On the same gray background, we see a white outlined circle. The text inside was "A WALT DISNEY", then the series' title, followed by a rectangle with a yellow circle, and then the text "THE END". Below it was a disclaimers for RCA Victor and Technicolor.

Variant: On B&W rereleases, the whole logo is in B&W, and all Technicolor references are removed.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The cartoon's theme.

Availability: Rare, as it has fallen victim to being replaced with reissue titles. First seen on "The Band Concert" and last appeared on "Modern Victims".

2nd Logo (September 24, 1937-September 2, 1959, December 21, 2007)

Logo: On a red cloth/burlap-like background, we see the text "A" with the text "WALT DISNEY" in a blocky/rounded-type font and the text "CARTOON" (or mostly the series' logo in red with the text reading "IN TECHNICOLOR" (1937-1948), "Color by TECHNICOLOR" (1948-1956) or "TECHNICOLOR" (1956-1959) below. Underneath is the copyright disclaimer and the logos.

Closing Title:

  • 1937-1956: On the same burlap background, we see a spotlight. The same text is shown on top, surrounded by a yellow circle, and then the text "The End" in a script font, and below are references to Technicolor and RCA.
  • 1956-1959: On the same background, "The End" was moved to the center, and below it was the red text "A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION".
  • There's another version where it has "The End" in teal script font in the center of a blue or red background, with "A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION" in white very below.
  • The other version featured the text "The End" onto the same red sunburst background, and below it is the text "A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION".
  • On 1970s B&W reissues, the end title is in B&W.


  • On cartoons from 1937 to 1954, an additional disclaimer for RKO Radio Pictures is shown between the Technicolor disclaimer and copyright information.
  • On some one-shot cartoons like Lambert, The Sheepish Lion and Susie, The Little Blue Coupé, an alternate version of the logo exists where the logo is on a red sunburst background, the Technicolor text is moved to the top and in pink, and the center has the text "Walt Disney" (in the 1951-1979 font) with "PRESENTS" below.
  • On some one-shot cartoons, like Pigs is Pigs, Football (Now and Then), Casey Bats Again and Social Lion, the logo is on the same sunburst background, and has the text "A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION" ("WALT DISNEY" has the classic font. "A" and "Production" are in script). The Technicolor text was moved to the top and it was in an old-styled font.
  • When the cartoons are reissued for TV in the 1970s, the logo is on a burlap background with some music notes behind it. The logo would sometimes appear on old B&W cartoons.
  • On some reissues, the background is red with some musical notes "waving".
  • On some reissues, the text is "A Walt Disney Production" in a script-like font, and below it was either "Color by TECHNICOLOR" (1954-1956) or "TECHNICOLOR" (1956-1959).

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The theme of the cartoon's short.

Availability: Extremely common. Was found on many Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Silly Symphony, Pluto, Chip 'n Dale cartoons and some Academy ratio releases of CinemaScope titles. Was first shown on "Hawaiian Holiday" and last appeared on "How to Have an Accident at Work". The logo made a surprise appearance on "How to Hook Up Your Home Theater".

3rd Logo (1941-1944)

Logo: On a black background with a blue thorn pattern, you see the text "A". Next to that was the text "WALT DISNEY" in a large font, and below it is "PRODUCTION" in spaced-out letters.

Then, it fades to a reversed version of the pattern with the text "PHOTOGRAPHED IN" in spaced-out letters and "TECHNICOLOR in the same bold font. Then the text "DISTRIBUTED BY" i spaced-out letters and the text "R.K.O RADIO PICTURES, INC." in the same bold font. Copyright info is shown below.

Closing: On the same background as the opening logo, we see the text: "THE END in the same bold font, and below that is the text "A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION" and "IN TECHNICOLOR". Below was another text "DISTRIBUTED BY R.K.O RADIO PICTURES, INC"

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The beginning of the theme of the respective short.

Availability: Rare. Seen on shorts released at the time, but now may be replaced with the 2nd reissue logo. These titles can be seen on The Pelican and the Snipe and Reason and Emotion.

4th Logo (November 23, 1954-July 27, 1956)

Logo: On a black background with some grids, we see an outline of Donald Duck holding a flashlight. A light turns on a red parallelogram with the text "a Walt Disney" on the top left, then another light turns on the green parallelogram with the text reading either "Cartoon" or "Donald Duck" on the bottom right, followed by another flashlight turning on a blue parallelogram with the text "color by Technicolor" in red, and then another parallelogram shows copyright info with logos, and then the light turns off.

Closing: On a black background, we see a sky blue paralleogram with black parallelograms with yellow and blue edges. Inside it was the text "the end" and below it was the text "{{color|yellow|A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION" is shown below the logo.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: The theme of the cartoon's short.

Availability: Rare. First seen on the Donald Duck cartoon "Grand Canyonscope" and last seen on the Humphrey the Bear cartoon "In the Bag".

5th Logo (August 28, 1957)

Logo: On a blue marble background, we see the text "A" in white, then "Walt Disney" appears in the pre-1979 signature font, and below it was the text "CARTOON" and the text "{{font|Arial Narrow|TECHNICOLOR" is shown below inside a transparent parallelogram. Below it was copyright information.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The theme of the cartoon's short.

Availability: Rare. Can only be seen on The Truth About Mother Goose.

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