Walt Disney Pictures

From Audiovisual Identity Database

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Credits
Descriptions by
Jess Williams, WileE2005, rjsmith09, Matt Anscher, Logohub, indycar and SuperMax124

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, DisneyInternationalFan, Michael Kenchington, BaldiBasicsFan, PBSKidsSchoolOfficial and MinistrycraftEntertainment

Video captures courtesy of
wwodtv, Michael Strum, Jordan Rios, TheJamesmario, Peakpasha, Aster, Sagan's Logos, Logo Archive, UltimateHDVideostify, dylan fagan, and Mr. Gann

Background

Walt Disney Pictures (branded and credited as Disney since 2011) is an American film production studio owned by The Walt Disney Company. The studio is the flagship producer of live-action feature films and is based at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Animated films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and the former DisneyToon Studios are also released under the studio banner. Originally reorganized from Walt Disney Productions (now "The Walt Disney Company") as the live-action division of Disney, today it is one of Hollywood's major film studios.

When Walt Disney died of cancer on December 16th, 1966, his brother Roy O. Disney took over Walt Disney Productions 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 live-action film division as "Walt Disney Pictures" in 1983, while Buena Vista was rebranded to "Buena Vista Pictures Distribution" with its opening card being dropped in favor of a simple in-credit text.

In 1984, a corporate takeover led by Walt's nephew Roy E. Disney led to Michael Eisner and Frank Wells (who died in a helicopter crash in 1994) taking over the company. After the failure of The Black Cauldron, Eisner and Wells revived the struggling animation division, now helmed by Roy E. Disney with their new project, The Little Mermaid, which led to the "Disney Renaissance" through the 1990s.

In 1995, Disney began distributing films made by Pixar, buying the company outright by 2006. Disney retired the Buena Vista brand on films in 2007, with "Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures" taking its place. In 2011, the film division's name was abbreviated, now referred to simply as "Disney".

NOTE: Prior to 1983, there was no proper onscreen Walt Disney Pictures logo; instead, a simple "Walt Disney [Productions] Presents" credit was used.


Contents

1st Logo (October 7, 1983-December 25, 1998) 2nd Logo (June 21, 1985-December 12, 2006; November 12, 2019) 3rd Logo (April 15, 1988) 4th Logo (Pixar-exclusive variant) (November 19, 1995-June 29, 2007) 5th Logo (May 19, 2000-April 14, 2006) 6th Logo (June 24, 2006-) 7th Logo (September 9, 2022-)
1st Logo (October 7, 1983-December 25, 1998) 2nd Logo (June 21, 1985-December 12, 2006; November 12, 2019) 3rd Logo (April 15, 1988) 4th Logo (Pixar-exclusive variant) (November 19, 1995-June 29, 2007) 5th Logo (May 19, 2000-April 14, 2006) 6th Logo (June 24, 2006-) 7th Logo (September 9, 2022-)


1st Logo (October 7, 1983-December 25, 1998)

Logo: Just text reading "WALT DISNEY PICTURES", but applied differently depending on the movie.

Variants:

  • Typically, the text (in blue, orange, or white) is against a black background.
  • Return to Oz features the "WALT DiSNEY" script logo in green (and is the first to do so), on a space-like background.
  • Never Cry Wolf and pre-theatrical versions of Splash have the text in a blue rectangular box with a white outline around it.
  • On Squanto: A Warrior's Tale, the word "presents" fades in below the logo.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The beginning of the movie's theme. On A Far Off Place, and The Three Musketeers, as well as Mighty Joe Young (Only at the end of the film) it's silent.

Availability: Seen on some Disney movies from the era.

  • This logo was most often used on live-action films, often to denote more serious, older-skewing fare. Sometimes preceded or plastered by the 1985 logo. The logo, however, came back in 1990 on trailers.
  • Also seen on The Rocketeer, A Far Off Place, The Three Musketeers, Squanto: A Warrior's Tale (only at the beginning of the film; the next logo appears at the end of the film), Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, and Mighty Joe Young (although the next logo appears on the trailers and TV spots for said film).
  • Also seen on trailers for White Fang, Shipwrecked, Newsies, Hocus Pocus, Cool Runnings, Iron Will, Angels in the Outfield, Jungle 2 Jungle, Rocketman, and George of the Jungle (though the actual films use the next logo instead).

2nd Logo (June 21, 1985-December 12, 2006; November 12, 2019)

Videos

Logo: On a blue gradient background, a shower of light descends from the top of the screen, forming a stylized, segmented Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty castle. The segments seem to be spaced farther apart by the time the light reaches the bottom. Through the main gate of the castle, a white ball of light forms, then extends out to form the words "WALT DiSNEY" in the familiar corporate "Disney" logo font. The word "PICTURES", in a Lubalin Graph-Book font, fades in underneath. A ball of light then appears on the right side of the castle and draws a circular line over it. Three main variants of this are known:

  • June 21, 1985-November 17, 1989: The castle is a lavender/white gradient, and the background is indigo. However, some prints of The Black Cauldron show the castle in pure white.
    • Some versions of this variant show the castle in a light blue/white gradient. In this variant, the semi-circular line is drawn all the way to the bottom left. Also, there is a pause after the initial glow before the shower of light descends, and the flash from the castle gate starts immediately after the castle has been formed.
  • August 3, 1990-April 14, 2006: The castle is now sky blue, and the background is a shady blue gradient. In this version, the semi-circular line ends just above the "W" from "WALT DiSNEY".
  • February 15, 2002-December 12, 2006: Similar to the 1990 variant, but the background is solid blue and a seventh flag is added to the right of the castle. This variant appeared exclusively on films produced by DisneyToon Studios.

Trivia:

  • The Disney script font is basically based on Walt Disney's signature.
  • The castle seen in this logo was actually first used by Disneyland in 1985 to promote the theme park's 30th anniversary.
  • Although Disney switched its newer animated movies from traditional cel animation to digital ink-and-paint via its CAPS (Computer Animation Production System) software, systems, servers, work servers and desks in 1989 and 1990, the cel-animated version of this logo was still used until at least mid-2005, even though two digitally-animated versions debuted in 1994 and 2000.

Variants:

  • The size of the logo may vary.
  • From 1985 until 2005, the logo is filmed and made with traditional ink-and-paint cel animation (which means that the logo was painted on several layers of production cels and animated frame by frame), while from 1995 until 2006, the logo is videotaped and made with digital ink-and-paint.
  • There is a variation used from 1994 until 2006 in which the light forming the castle and the curved line's reflection are a little transparent, the flash forming the words "WALT DiSNEY" is a little brighter, and the word "PICTURES" fades in more quickly.
  • There is a variation of this logo where the animation is slow and choppy, and the "shower of light" is not as apparent (it looks more like somebody sliding a sheet of blue paper down to form the castle logo). The line drawing over the castle still has smooth animation. A smoother version of this variant debuted in 1991.
  • When classic Disney shorts were re-released in the 1990s, the text "A FULLY RESTORED ORIGINAL/ANIMATED CLASSIC", in the font used for "PICTURES", is shown before the logo. On The Old Mill, the text reads "A FULLY RESTORED ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING ANIMATED CLASSIC" with a drawing of an Oscar statue to the left and copyright for the A.M.P.A.S. on the bottom.
  • There is a variant in which the flash that forms the "Walt Disney" text is a little slower and is shaped like an oval. This can be found on 101 Dalmatians (1996), the widescreen version of Lady and the Tramp (1998 WDMC release), Endurance, and the 2004 release of Mary Poppins, plastering the Buena Vista logo.
  • There is a short version of this logo, which also appeared along with the Touchstone Home Video logo on very early Touchstone Home Video releases.
  • On Oliver & Company, the original film release had the 1985 version of the castle, while the 1996 video release uses the 1990 variant.
  • There is an even shorter variant that starts after the "WALT DiSNEY" text is formed. This can be seen in the mid-2000s releases of some classic films, plastering over the RKO and Buena Vista logos. This strangely (albeit, silently) appears on post-2006 prints of Lady and the Tramp and the 2007 print of The Jungle Book before the Buena Vista logo.
  • There is a variant in which the "WALT DiSNEY" text is in what appears to be "shadow" mode. It is unclear whether this is a result of film deterioration, distortion, or if this was indeed an actual variant.
  • There is a variant in which the logo is a still picture. This can be found at the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and on the 1990s re-releases of some 1940s-1950s Disney cartoons, plastering over the 1953 Buena Vista logo.
  • On a few 2003-2006 animated films and The Shaggy Dog (as a variant), "PICTURES" appears with "WALT DiSNEY" instead of fading in after.
  • On current prints of the 1940 adaptation of Swiss Family Robinson, the 1990 version of this logo is in black and white.
  • On the 1996 UK VHS release of Pocahontas, the logo is still, but with a white line glowing.

Closing Variant: Either the full animation or it will start wherein "WALT DiSNEY" is formed by a flash of light.

FX/SFX: Cel animation, which was done by the animation department of Walt Disney Productions, which is now known as Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Music/Sounds: A rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star", originally from Pinocchio; it opens with a chorus singing with a quiet brass rendition of the song's first bar, alongside sparkles evoking pixie dust, followed by an uprising flute and what sounds like a reversed cymbal crash, and then a full orchestral finish of the song's first bar ending with a flute/recorder at the very end. This was arranged by John Debney. Sometimes, it is silent or the opening theme to the movie.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The original version of the regular music was used from 1985-1990, and was enhanced or re-recorded in 1990.
  • There exists some re-orchestrated variants of the music:
    • A slightly re-orchestrated variant on the 1998 VHS release of The Black Cauldron.
    • Another version exists with the choir mixed in for the short variant. Some late 1980s theatrical trailers have a voice-over saying "From the name that means magic in entertainment".
    • The theme is re-orchestrated in a dramatically different key on 1994's White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf. This version was also arranged by John Debney.
    • Some films use a more dramatic re-orchestration.
    • The short Runaway Brain has it sounding more like the 1987 Walt Disney Television theme and the White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf variant.
  • On some 1980s theatrical trailers, a different majestic fanfare, which is not a rendition of the logo's usual theme in any form, is heard.
  • At the end of movies, this logo is usually silent or has the ending theme of the movie playing over it.
  • Some films have the music off-sync with the logo's animation.
  • On re-releases of Disney animated shorts in the 1990s, the logo is silent until the end, when the 1950s Buena Vista music pops up before the cartoon starts.
  • On some films, the film's opening score incorporates the first few bars of "When You Wish Upon a Star" when the logo appears.
  • On one print of Old Yeller, due to a plastering mistake, we hear the film's custom Buena Vista fanfare playing over at the end of the logo.
  • In some films, the opening theme of the movie is heard.
  • On the 2003 DVD of The Rescuers, a thunderclap is heard at the end of the logo. This is because the movie originally had the Buena Vista logo at the start, but on the 1999 VHS of said film, however, the logo is silent.
  • On the Brazilian 2002 VHS of Sleeping Beauty, the first part of the logo is silent. The second half of the logo, along with the film's variation of the Buena Vista logo, had the logo's music play. This is mostly due to an editing error.
  • On the 1996 UK VHS release of Pocahontas, the logo is silent, except John Sachs says "Keep watching after the Pocahontas feature, for an exclusive preview of Disney's 34th animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame".

Availability: This was very common during its 21 years of use, but not as much anymore due to extensive plastering of the 2006 logo on later prints of the company's core titles, although it still isn't too hard to spot these days.

  • Many recent prints of the company's core animation and franchise hits (both TV and home media) have plastered this with the 2006 logo, but it is still intact on older home media and newer prints of its lesser-known films. Thanks to the launch of Disney+, this logo became a bit easier to find with many films on the service using the logo, even those using variants.
  • The first film to use this logo (albeit the short version) was Return to Oz, and this logo was put in front of almost every subsequent Disney film until the logo's retirement in late 2006. The first animated film to use this logo (as well as the first film to use the full version of the logo) was The Black Cauldron, and the final film to use this logo was The Fox and the Hound 2.
  • The 1990 "filmed" version of this logo was first seen on a trailer for The Little Mermaid before making its first theatrical appearance on DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, released on August 3, 1990. It made its final appearance on a trailer for Chicken Little.
  • Starting in the late 1980s, it was also used on newer prints of classic films, among others.
  • The 1994 "videotaped" version first appeared (full version) on The Lion King, released on June 15, 1994, and made its final theatrical appearance at the end of The Wild, released on April 14, 2006.
  • The short version of the 1994 "videotaped" version was first seen on the 1995 Mickey Mouse short Runaway Brain, released on August 11, 1995.
  • The 2002 version debuted at the end of Peter Pan: Return of Neverland, released on February 26, 2002.
  • The last theatrically-released films to use this logo were The Shaggy Dog (as a variant) (the 2006 remake starring Tim Allen), released on March 10, 2006, and at the end of The Wild (the 5th logo is seen at the beginning), released on April 14, 2006.
  • It was seen on trailers for Toy Story as well, but the film itself uses the 4th logo, and then the 6th logo on current prints. The sole Pixar feature to actually use this was the DTV spinoff Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins.
  • The current Blu-ray/DVD release of The Great Mouse Detective uses the 1994 variant of this logo, replacing the 1985 and 1990 logos.
  • It also appeared on pre-2002 prints of The Lion King, as the 2002 IMAX version uses the 5th logo (the original 1995 VHS of The Lion King preserves this logo, however).
  • Also, even though most recent prints of classic films use the 6th logo, it is strangely seen on the 2008 release of The Aristocats, the Diamond Edition DVD of Lady and the Tramp and the Bambi: The Story Behind the Story feature on the DE DVD of Bambi (with the RKO Pictures custom logo theme playing underneath). However, some airings (an example of it being the ones on HBO Asia) of some pre-2006 movies still use this logo up to now.
  • While The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea actually used the newer castle on 2008 prints, the original 2000 release used the 1994 castle (the castle is intact on the early 2010s Australian DVD release of the film).
  • It's also preserved on TV airings, DVD/Blu-ray/digital releases, and theatrical reissues of Hocus Pocus. VHS and earlier DVD releases keep this logo intact.
  • This does not appear on movies from Studio Ghibli, as it only has the aforementioned company's logo and during this logo's usage, Disney used the Buena Vista name on home video releases of Ghibli movies.
  • The logo also appears on some foreign Blu-Ray releases of Flight of the Navigator, including a German release from Splendid Entertainment and the 2012 and 2019 releases from Second Sight Films, which presumably use American prints as Disney doesn't hold the video rights overseas.
  • The restored version of this logo was seen on the 2014 re-issue of the Netflix print of Hercules, while the other prints uses the 6th logo, and on yU+co, the designer of the 2006 logo's page on the Herbie: Fully Loaded opening credits; most versions of the film have it filmed.
  • When the Disney+ streaming service launched, the 1990 version of this logo made a surprise appearance preceding the RKO logo on current prints of the 1940 adaptation of Swiss Family Robinson, which Walt Disney acquired around the time he produced his own, more well-known adaptation.
  • The choppily-animated variant was featured on the 101 Dalmatians July 1991 theatrical re-release and the Walt Disney Classics VHS tape of the movie as well as several other Walt Disney Classics tapes. It was also seen at the end of Fantasia on its 1991 Australian VHS release.
  • Also appeared on the on the 2017 UK theatrical re-release of The Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • This was used in tandem with the 6th logo until December 12, 2006. However, this logo was resurfaced in 2021 as a merchandising line for ShopDisney, based on the original incarnation.

Legacy: Easily one of the most beloved logos out there, due to its longevity and appearing at the front of a myriad of classic films.

3rd Logo (April 15, 1988)

Logo: On a black/cadet blue gradient background, the regular "WALT DiSNEY" script, in a textured baby blue hue, writes itself onscreen (just like the 1986 Walt Disney Home Video logo). The word "P I C T U R E S" fades in below the script in a Times font, with each of the letters spaced-out. A dot of light appears below the script and extends to form a line between the script and text.

FX/SFX: Typical animation for the time period.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Ultra rare.

  • Only appeared at the end of Return to Snowy River, which was originally titled The Man from Snowy River II (the previous logo appears at the beginning).
  • Also seen on a TV spot for said film.

Legacy: An oddity, since it was only used on one film, albeit the end.

4th Logo (Pixar-exclusive variant) (November 19, 1995-June 29, 2007)

Logo: On a blue background, the camera flies out underneath a CGI castle (in silver and light blue), with flags flapping on the top. When the logo zooms out, the logo proceeds as normal, but the "WALT DiSNEY" text is more three-dimensional, and the ball of light drawing the line over the castle drops what seems to be pixie dust, which is much slower than the 2nd logo.

Trivia: This is pretty much a CGI remake of the 2nd logo, although the way the castle appears is much different.

Variants:

  • On original prints of Toy Story, the logo zooms out to reveal Andy's room once the ball of light finishes drawing the line over the castle.
  • Sometimes, the logo is shortened to when the arc is formed over the castle.

Closing Variant: The full animation as transcribed above, except onscreen for a few more seconds.

FX/SFX: Excellent CGI animation from Pixar themselves, who also animated their own logo.

Music/Sounds: A bombastic fanfare composed by Randy Newman, based on "Andy's Birthday" ("Opening" from The Legacy Collection complete score album) from the Toy Story soundtrack, who would later score the 30-second version of "Operation Pull Toy" used on Toy Story 4 with the 6th logo.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the Toy Story variant, a more bombastic version of the fanfare is used, and once the line finishes being drawn over the castle by the ball of light, only the rest of the notes to the third to last note of the fanfare play, with the last two notes played on a trumpet, seguing into the opening theme.
    • It was even included on both the original soundtrack of the film on the track "Andy's Birthday" and on The Legacy Collection complete score album as the track "Opening".
    • The 2009 prints kept the two notes on a trumpet from the logo's score that segues into the opening scene, following the Pixar logo.
  • An early workprint version of A Bug's Life uses the music from the 2nd logo, but the final film has the normal fanfare. Presumably, the actual logo's fanfare would be the music from the 2nd logo, but when they saw the Toy Story variant, they decided that Newman's fanfare fit better, so they chose that for their future films until 2007.
  • On Monsters, Inc. and films directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles and Ratatouille), the opening theme of the movie is used instead.
  • On original prints of Cars, the fanfare is re-orchestrated to put a little more of the logo in at the same duration of the logo's closing re-appearance.
  • At the end of the movie, we hear flapping flags and the sound of pixie dust as the ball of light draws the line over the castle. Sometimes, the closing theme would be used instead.

Availability: This was common during its usage, but it's uncommon nowadays, due to mostly being plastered with the 6th logo.

  • It was seen on early Pixar movies. The first film to use this logo was Toy Story (which also was the first ever feature-length computer animated film) and the final to use it was Ratatouille.
  • Since the logo was retired, it has become plastered by the 6th logo on all current home media prints and most TV airings of the first two Toy Story films (both since 2009 with its 3D re-release), Monsters, Inc. (since 2013), Finding Nemo (since 2012), and Cars (also since 2013), though it is still intact on current prints of A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, and the aforementioned Ratatouille, as well as VHS and pre-2010s DVD releases - as well as reprints of said releases.
  • The logo was last used in the teaser trailer for WALL-E, since the normal film itself uses the 6th logo, and the first Pixar film to use it in general.
  • It also appears on various shorts based on Pixar films. Others from this era do not have this logo.
  • This logo also made a surprise appearance on an Amazon Instant Video print of Monsters, Inc., likely because it was using the 2009 Blu-ray master.
  • Don't expect to find this on trailers for Toy Story nor on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins, as the 2nd logo was used instead.
  • This was also found in the Walt Disney Pictures website until late 2012, starting with the drawing of the arc, then the waving of the flags loop.

Legacy: A CGI update of the 2nd logo, which is fondly remembered by fans of older Pixar films.

5th Logo (May 19, 2000-April 14, 2006)

Logo: On a black background, we see the company name (in the same design as the 2nd and 4th logos) wiping in from left to right. Then we see an orange light/flare shining on the logo, illuminating it with a trail effect that rises from the top of the letters "E" and "Y" in "DiSNEY", making its way around to reveal the castle from the 2nd logo in metallic orange. The entire logo wipes away as soon as the light trail effect illuminates away.

Variants:

  • On trailers, the logo appears to be in a bronze-like color.
  • On Atlantis: The Lost Empire (albeit using a custom variant), there is an extra flag on the rightmost spire. This model would later be used for the 2000-2006 variant of the 2nd logo, as mentioned earlier.

Closing Variants:

  • The logo is still and has the castle in a gradient scheme, albeit different from the trailer version.
  • Sometimes, the full animation is used.

FX/SFX: CGI effects, which are rather unique for their time.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening/closing theme of the movie.

Music/Sounds Variant: On The Pacifier, a marching band plays a suspenseful rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star".

Availability: Fairly common.

  • Seen on most live-action Disney films from the era, such as 102 Dalmatians, Sky High, National Treasure, Holes, Glory Road, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Disney's The Kid, The Rookie, The Pacifier, Tuck Everlasting, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
  • Also seen on some animated films from Disney, such as Dinosaur (which was the first film to use this logo), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (as noted above), Brother Bear (the next logo is used at the end on current prints though), and the 2002 IMAX re-release and 2003 2-Disc DVD release of The Lion King (1994).
  • However, most recent prints plaster it with the next logo; as before, however, the logo is intact on VHS and DVD releases of these films. This logo made its final appearance on the animated film The Wild (only at the beginning, the ending of the film uses the 2nd logo).

6th Logo (June 24, 2006-)

Logo: We fade or cut into a view of a night sky, with a star somewhere on the screen and the clouds on the bottom. We then start flying down through the clouds with the camera. We then pan with the camera down to a very clear view of a river (including a sailboat), with a train running down a railroad track and some buildings nearby. We then fly with the camera past a flag with the Disney coat of arms and pan down as we see some fireworks going off, only to find the castle completely redone in CGI. The fireworks are almost finished when we almost reach a comfortable position in front of the castle. When the fireworks finish, a very small dot (you will have to look closely if you want to see it) appears way closer to the castle and then moves to the right side. The dot then draws a line over the castle as we are slightly panning, and it is almost finished when we are in a comfortable position in front of the castle. When the dot is finished drawing the line, "DiSNEY", in its well-known script (although it is slightly different to the 1985 font), fades in front of the main gate of the castle.

Early Variant: From 2006-2011, the name was like the previous logos. "DiSNEY" was extended to "WALT DiSNEY" and when it does, "P I C T U R E S" fades in. This variant made a final appearance on the 2012 DTV film Treasure Buddies and the end of the 2013 film The Lone Ranger.

Trivia:

  • This logo was designed by motion design agency yu+Co and produced/animated by Peter Jackson's Wētā FX (then known as Wētā Digital) using the Pixar Renderman and Nuke software and took nearly a year to fully complete. This was commissioned by then-chairman of Walt Disney Studios, Dick Cook, and then-studio marketing president, Oren Aviv. The main staff responsible for the rendering were Cyrese Parrish and Cameron Smith. The 3D typography was done by John Stable and John Bias. Producer Baker Bloodworth and director Mike Gabriel were also part of the team responsible of the making of the logo.
  • The logo contains elements from various Disney films: a starry background (either the opening shot of Pinocchio or the Second Star to the Right from Peter Pan), a cloudbank (possibly Mary Poppins), a pirate ship (Peter Pan) and a train track (Dumbo).
  • The arc that appears over the castle is based on Tinker Bell from Peter Pan flying over the castle and sprinkling fairy dust, a hallmark of the introduction sequences of Walt Disney Presents (1958) and The Wonderful World of Disney (1961).
  • The castle is based on both the Cinderella Castle and the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
  • The coat of arms on the castle flag is of Walt Disney's family crest.
  • This was also used on the intro of The Wonderful World of Disney from 2006 to 2022, albeit without the text. The intro was updated three times.
    • The 2006 version had the castle shown at the end of the intro, transitioning from the homepage of the new Disney website via Tinker Bell tapping her wand and flying away. At the end, Tinker Bell flies in and taps her wand, then flies away.
    • The 2007 version had the castle shown at the start and the end of the intro, with the usual fanfare (with the firework sounds) from the logo played in the background, albeit with the first seven notes played two times, along with archival audio of Walt Disney's quote, "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.". At the start, Tinker Bell was shown as she flies to the castle gate as it zooms in on her. At the end, Tinker Bell flies in, taps her wand then flies away.
    • The 2015 and 2020 versions had the castle shown at the end of the intro. The music for both versions is "Heaven's Triumph" by Q-Factory's Robert Etoll.
      • The 2015 version starts from the fireworks bursting in the air. As the castle is reaching its position, The Wonderful World of Disney logo was shown.
      • The 2020 version is starts from the castle is reaching its position. As it does, The Wonderful World of Disney logo was fading in. As the arc is almost drawn, the "Presented by Disney+" tagline (with the animated Disney+ logo) fades in.

Other Variants:

  • On 3D releases, the text (either "DiSNEY" from the 2011 variant or the "WALT DiSNEY" from the 2007 variant) zooms in more to create a 3D illusion. This variant was also used on eight 2D films, despite all of them not being released in 3D. These include Mars Needs Moms, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, both Planes films, Cinderella (2015), Aladdin (2019), Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and the Disney+ original film Noelle.
  • For Walt Disney Animation Studios films between 2007 to early 2012, the logo is much brighter and tinted purple.
  • Another variant has the text already formed while the curved line is drawn. This is mostly seen on trailers.
  • On Disney Blu-ray releases, the text is absent from the logo. This is only seen as a loading screen when the Blu-ray starts.
  • An open-matte version exists.
  • A 4:3 variant was seen on the 2008 DVD of 101 Dalmatians (current home media prints since the 2010s and the Disney+ print omits it), and Disney+'s print of Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves!, plastering the Walt Disney Home Video logo. This was also spotted in the iPad app, Disney Animated. In that variant, the Disney Animated logo was shown at the start as it pans to the city background. At the end, the logo pans up, as frames of Walt Disney Animation Studios films and shorts flying as pages, thus transitioning to the app's main menu. Furthermore, this was also shown at the end of the introduction of the first section, "Art in Motion", transitioning from a picture of the Roy E. Disney Animation Building at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California at night.
  • A full 16:9 open matte version was seen on WētāFX's video of the Enchanted variant and might be seen on HDTV prints thereof.
  • On TV airings of Cars and Toy Story 3, as well as Freeform's airing of Finding Dory, the logo starts with the flag being revealed.
  • Sometimes, the "DiSNEY" text is off center.
  • On Indian films produced by Disney, the logo is brighter, with the sky in a lighter blue color, the clouds having more of a pinkish color, and the castle with a slight tint of green.
  • For later 2021 China releases of Disney films and to commemorate Shanghai Disneyland's 5th anniversary, the castle was replaced by Shanghai Disneyland's Enchanted Storybook Castle (seen in the logo variant from the 2020 live-action remake of Mulan), the flag's icon was replaced by the park's 5th anniversary logo, and the "Disney" text is golden. While the arc is drawing, the Chinese text for "Year of Magical Surprise" (奇妙连连 惊喜一整年) appears on the top of castle, in orange. There are also some minor changes, like the textures of the grass are different than the standard logo, the water reflections are simplified and motion blur was not used on the castle when the highest sphere is shown.
  • On ABC airings of Moana, another shortened variant exists, the logo here is shortened to when the castle is almost at the final angle.
  • A sped-up part of the logo, starting at the camera rotating the castle and with the logo moving upwards in static transitioning to its movie counterpart before the arc was being drawn, was shown on Disney's brand page on the Disney+ website on browser. A frame of the logo, with the text shifted upwards to fit the page's style, was shown after that.
  • On the 2020 Disney Investor Day, transitioning from the Disney+ Originals panel with the white static text with the silhouette of the castle with fireworks in the background, the castle zooms into the right side of the gate as it's turning into a blue gradient background, where the president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Sean Bailey, is standing. Also, during the FX on Hulu panel, a streak of particles create the castle as fireworks burst against a black background, and then it dissolves to form the FX logo.

Closing Variants:

  • Just the last few seconds of the logo, where the line draws over the castle and the text fades in. This was also used as an opening logo on current prints of Monsters, Inc., replacing the 1995 Pixar-exclusive logo.
  • On Pixar movies starting with Finding Dory (with the exception of Onward) and WDAS films from Moana to Encanto (with the exception of Ralph Breaks the Internet), along with the 2019 remake of The Lion King, the full animation as transcribed above is used as a closing logo, very possibly to make the international dubbing credits go along with the music playing in the logo.
    • This is even more evident by the fact that the international prints of these movies up to Raya and the Last Dragon had the short closing variant right after the dubbing credits, with the syncing of the music intact.
    • Similarly, the films Luca, Encanto, and Turning Red, released from June 18, 2021-March 11, 2022, kept the full logo on dubs, and the credits were moved to after the logos. For Lightyear, released on June 17, 2022, the dubbing credits are moved back to before the logo, but after that we fade into the logo beginning with the camera zooming down the castle right when the fireworks start.
  • On current prints of Aladdin (1992), Hercules, and Brother Bear (despite the 5th logo being used at the beginning of the third title), the tail end animation of the logo plays.
  • In some cases, no closing logo appears at all.

FX/SFX: Amazing CGI animation done by WētāFX in collaboration with yU+co.

Music/Sounds: A piano/string piece in which brass instruments join in and build into an orchestral rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star" written and composed by Mark Mancina, and co-arranged and orchestrated by David Metzger, which is completely different from the 2nd logo. The production of the music was overseen by then-president of Walt Disney Music, Chris Montan. Firecracker sound effects are heard when the fireworks go off. An alternate version of this fanfare is subtly different, having louder and clearer sound effects. This all closes out with a long, bombastic, drum-rolled orchestral note accompanied with a choir. This theme would eventually be re-orchestrated for the next logo.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On most movies after the logo's initial years, the film's opening theme is used instead, with no sound effects whatsoever. Some of these have the firework sounds as part of the opening theme, and in very rare cases, the logo is completely silent. Additionally, different sound effects are sometimes used with the opening theme for some films.
  • On Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019) and Artemis Fowl (2020), the fanfare is normal, but the sound effects (most notably the fireworks) are different.
  • The closing variant is either silent, has music from any given soundtrack, or uses the ending theme of the film. When there are sounds, there is the sound of fairy dust over the logo.

Availability: Current and extremely common, but it is currently in the process of being phased out in favor of the next logo. This was used in tandem with the 2nd logo until December 12, 2006 and the 4th logo until June 29, 2007.

General information

  • Seen on all Disney films since Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (trailers for the movie use the previous logo).
  • It also appears on all Pixar films starting with WALL-E. It was also seen on some TV spots for Ratatouille, but the film itself used the 4th logo (as that logo's final appearance).
  • The version with the full company name was last used theatrically on Winnie the Pooh (2011) and on the DTV film Treasure Buddies (2012), but it later made a surprise appearance at the end of The Lone Ranger (2013; theatrical release only). Furthermore, it was also found on the Walt Disney Pictures website, first appeared in 2007.
  • Even though the 2011 variant was actually first used for the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment logo back in 2007, it would later replace the original variant (with the full company name) on the studio's films, starting with The Muppets, and all movies following it. The change was also made to fit into mobile phones and other devices, like the iPod.
  • This logo is currently in the process of being phased out in favor of the next logo, but is expected to appear on some of the company's films and shorts for some time. It most recently appeared on the 2022 version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.

Individual appearances and plasters

  • It also started to appear on current prints of classic Disney films and shorts, as well as pre-2008 Pixar films (with the exceptions of A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille) in the late 2000s, though many others like those aforementioned films still use their old logos. It even plasters the Touchstone Pictures logo on post-2006 prints of The Nightmare Before Christmas (although Touchstone is still listed in the closing credits).
  • Also seen on some Indian films produced by the company, with the UTV Motion Pictures logo appearing on select international releases until 2017.
  • It also appears preceding the Studio Ghibli logo on the 2010 DVD releases of their output, and is even surprisingly retained at the end of the UK DVD release of Ponyo, even though Optimum Releasing (now StudioCanal) distributed the film there.
  • It also appeared on the demo VHS release of Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, and is the only time the logo appeared officially on VHS.
  • Also appears on a few Disney games since the closure of Disney Interactive Studios in 2016, including Disney Infinity 1.0 (as a variant), but otherwise the print Disney wordmark shows up. It also appears on LEGO games published by Lego and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that are based on Disney properties, such as Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lego The Incredibles (as a variant), and Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. This logo did not appear on Cars 3: Driven to Win, as the Disney Consumer Products logo is used instead.
  • The logo usually appeared in ABC shows and specials, such as Dancing with the Stars and American Idol during Disney Night, which occurred once each season, with a variant created for these shows, respectively. For example, in Season 24 of Dancing with the Stars, the logo without the Disney text was shown on the video walls in the stage and the logo precedes the BBC Worldwide Productions logo. Furthermore, the same skybox used in the logo was used in Mickey's 90th Spectacular (albeit using a variant at the start of the show), during the show's finale.
  • Surprisingly, this logo also appears on Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021), The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, Cheaper by the Dozen (2022), and the aforementioned Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2022), instead of the 20th Century Studios logo. This is most likely due to all of these films moving from 20th Century Studios to Disney during production, and could also possibly be due to the poor reception of Home Sweet Home Alone (the only Disney+ original film from 20th Century Studios so far). All of them were released on Disney+, so these are possible reasons.
  • The China-specific version of the logo is rare, and was only seen on Mainland China's releases of the 2021 films Luca, Jungle Cruise (as a variant) and Encanto. Starting with The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, which was released in 2022, the standard logo is used instead. There were also no picture/video captures nor mentions of this variant online until the following year.
  • During the end of the Disney 100th anniversary promotional video, through a transition of Tinker Bell tapping the Disneyland castle with her wand from the intro of The Wonderful World of Disney from the 1950s, various variants (with the without the text in the Tomorrowland variant) are shown, along with different fireworks bursting as the arc is drawing in a higher arc than usual in the standard logo, before fading to black, besides the star, as the star draws the "D" in the Disney logo, then the "1" in "100" to reveal the Disney100 logo.
  • Also seen on the trailer for Strange World, with the film itself using the next logo.
  • Some rumors that either the Jungle Cruise or Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers variants would become the new main logo persisted in the logo's final year, only for the next logo to be unveiled instead.

Legacy: Considered a rightfully iconic logo. However, it has gained some infamy among some for its continual plastering of Disney's previous logos. Outside the logo community, it is also regarded as symbolism for the company's sheer size and force over the industry (for better or for worse). Nonetheless, this is still a favorite of many.

7th Logo (September 9, 2022-)

Logo: It starts off with a night sky, which is identical to the previous logo, except that when we fade in, the night sky has a different, enhanced look. The stars are also different and instead of panning down, we see that it's reflected in a river. A few seconds later, the largest star jumps out of the river, causing the scene to ripple around it. Then the camera pans up and goes through an updated version of the river and buildings as the train passes by on a bridge, now with a waterfall, trees and other elements in the foreground as we follow the star flying around the landscape. Once the camera gets to the waterfall, we pan up to reveal the Cinderella Castle from the back in platinum metallic before the star flies across it and fills it with color, as the camera rotates to the left and then works its way to the front of the castle while multiple colored fireworks are seen going off from all directions. The camera then reaches its standard position, revealing a new sunrise/sunset background and a new river, and the arc (now colored in blue as well as being wider and brighter) draws from the left of the castle rather than from the right, with a star twinkling when it reaches its highest point. As the camera slowly zooms out, the "DiSNEY" script in chiseled silver writes in (which is once again in the 1985 font), then the camera comes to a stop before the logo fades out or cuts to black.

Trivia:

  • According to an official D23 article[1], the flying star that jumps out of the river is meant to represent Tinker Bell from Peter Pan.
  • The pan up/zoom shot to a castle through a forest/waterfall background is a homage to Beauty and the Beast, which opened with a similar shot.
  • Like the previous logo, the train seen halfway through the logo might be a reference to Casey Jr. from Dumbo.
  • At the end of the logo, Matterhorn Mountain from Third Man on the Mountain (and the Disneyland attraction Matterhorn Bobsleds) and Pride Rock from The Lion King can be seen on opposite sides of the castle. You can also see the lanterns from Tangled in the river, and the Will O' the Wisps from Brave on the grass.
  • Three Mickey Mouse head-shaped fireworks are shown when the castle appears. Two more of those are also shown as the camera pans across the castle. This references the hidden Mickeys.
    • Overall, there are five Mickey Mouse head-shaped fireworks in total.
  • The castle's color that starts off platinum references the company's 100th anniversary in 2023, as platinum is a recurring color across the 100th anniversary branding of the company.
  • The arc, which traditionally appears from right to left, appears from left to right in this logo, possibly homaging the 2006 print logo and the animated logo of Disney+. The arc, as well as the star's trail, is also in Disney+'s main color, blue.
  • This was also used as the intro to The Wonderful World of Disney since 2022, albeit without the text forming. This version of the intro was based on the 2020 version of the intro, in which it starts as the castle is reaching its position, albeit being shown after the archival audio of Walt Disney saying "...here we go.". Simuar to the previous versions, the castle was shown at the end of the intro. As the castle reaching its position, the Wonderful World of Disney logo along with the "Presented by Disney+" tagline (with the animated Disney+ logo being shown as the arc is being drawn), was fading in. After that, it transitions to the print Disney100 logo. Just like the 2015 and 2020 versions of the intro, the music is "Heaven's Triumph", composed by Q-Factory's Robert Etoll.

Variants:

  • A short variant exists where it starts on the arc drawing as the text is already formed. This can be seen on trailers. Unknown when this variant will start to appear at the end of films.
  • For the logo's debut and its first official year from 2022-2023, after the text is drawn, a "100" is drawn in the same fashion. Then, the text "100 YEARS OF WONDER" (in spaced out letters to fit the width of "DiSNEY100") fades in below.
    • There exists a version where the aforementioned text is absent, which is only shown in trailers. Furthermore, in the international version of the teaser trailer of Elemental, the trailer version had the afterformentioned text added.

Closing Variant: So far, the full animation as transcribed above.

FX/SFX: Entirely done in CGI animation that's even better than before. This was all created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in collaboration with Disney Studios Content.

Music/Sounds: A longer and re-orchestrated version of the "When You Wish Upon a Star" theme from the previous logo. We also hear the sounds of a whistling train as the train passes by, as well as the sounds of the waterfall rushing as we get close to it; the firework sounds are also made louder. At the final note, which is held longer, we also hear a choir vocalizing and a three-note orchestral tune, followed by an ascending tune, ending in an orchestral hit.

Music/Sounds Trivia: The fanfare was composed by Christophe Beck, best known as the composer for the Frozen films, as well as for The Peanuts Movie, Trolls, and Free Guy.

Availability: Brand new.

  • This logo made its debut in the Disney Studios & Animation and Pixar panel at the 2022 D23 Expo and appears in the trailers of the Disney+ original films Hocus Pocus 2 and Disenchanted (both use the previous logo in the actual films), and the studio's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid (2023), which were all released on September 9, 2022 at the Expo, as well as the Day 1 livestream of D23 Expo Daily on Disney+, hosted by Ashley Eckstein (known for voicing Ahsoka Tano in the Star Wars franchise, most notably the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series) and Jordan Fisher (known for voicing Robaire, one of the members of 4*Town in Disney/Pixar's Turning Red).
  • It then appeared on the teaser trailer for Elemental, released on November 17, 2022.
  • It then made its official theatrical debut with Strange World on November 23, 2022. The previous logo appears on the trailer.
  • Currently, it is being used in tandem with the previous logo.

Legacy: Many consider it a love letter to Disney's filmography, and an appropriate successor to the previous logo, especially with their upcoming 100th anniversary and the studio's 40th anniversary.

Copyright Stamps

Here is some information about the copyright stamps on the Disney films:

  • 1930-1931: Copyright © by Walter E. Disney
  • 1931-1940: Copyright © by Walt Disney Productions Ltd
  • 1940-1986: Copyright © by Walt Disney Productions
  • July 2, 1986-March 8, 1996: Copyright © by The Walt Disney Company
  • April 12, 1996-present: Copyright © by Disney Enterprises Inc
  • November 25, 1998-present: Copyright © by Disney Enterprises Inc/Pixar Animation Studios (on Pixar films).

References

External Links

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