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.

History

First generation (1937-1942)

At the beginning of time, Walt Disney's films were distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. The first five animated films were released in theaters as follows:

Title Release date
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs December 21, 1937
Pinocchio February 7, 1940
Fantasia November 13, 1940
Dumbo October 23, 1941
Bambi August 13, 1942

Second generation (1943-1950)

During World War II, a series of six package films were made by Walt Disney, in addition to re-releases of films from earlier years to raise revenue.

Title Release date
Saludos Amigos February 6, 1943
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs February 22, 1944
The Three Caballeros February 3, 1945
Pinocchio October 17, 1945
Make Mine Music April 20, 1946
Fantasia September 1, 1946
Fun and Fancy Free September 27, 1947
Bambi December 25, 1947
Melody Time May 27, 1948
Dumbo June 22, 1949
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad October 5, 1949
Cinderella February 15, 1950

Also making their theatrical debuts during this era were hybrid live action/animation films Song of the South (1946) and So Dear to My Heart (1948). After World War II ended, Walt Disney continued production of animated films in 1948. His last one in this era was Cinderella (1950). When this film hit theaters, all of the package films were sent back to the Disney Vault for several decades.

Third generation (1951-1957)

During the third generation of Walt Disney's films, Buena Vista Distribution was founded in 1953, and further production of Disney's films moved to there from RKO Radio Pictures.

For this generation, Alice in Wonderland temporarily took Dumbo's place.

Buena Vista Film Distribution (1954).jpg
Title Release date
Alice in Wonderland July 28, 1951
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs February 13, 1952
Peter Pan February 5, 1953
Pinocchio February 18, 1954
Lady and the Tramp June 22, 1955
Fantasia February 7, 1956
Cinderella February 14, 1957
Bambi July 3, 1957

Fourth generation (1958-1966)

In 1960, the word "Film" was dropped from the company's first name, changing it to Buena Vista Distribution. Dumbo also returned for this generation, after Alice in Wonderland moved to network television.

Mary Poppins' theatrical release on August 27, 1964 could be one reason why no animated films were re-released that year.

This was the last generation of re-releases during Walt Disney's life, before he died on December 15, 1966.

Buena Vista Distribution (1960).jpg
Title Release date
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs February 7, 1958
Peter Pan May 14, 1958
Sleeping Beauty January 29, 1959
Dumbo December 24, 1959
101 Dalmatians January 25, 1961
Pinocchio January 18, 1962
Lady and the Tramp September 26, 1962
Fantasia February 20, 1963
The Sword in the Stone December 25, 1963
Cinderella June 9, 1965
Bambi March 25, 1966

Fifth generation (1967-1975)

Buena Vista Distribution (1966).jpg

For the fifth generation of Walt Disney Pictures' animated films, Walt Disney Productions was established following Walt's death. Alice in Wonderland also returned to theaters in 1974.

Title Release date
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs June 11, 1967
The Jungle Book October 18, 1967
Peter Pan June 18, 1969
Fantasia December 17, 1969
101 Dalmatians December 25, 1969
Sleeping Beauty June 10, 1970
The Aristocats December 11, 1970
Pinocchio July 7, 1971
Lady and the Tramp December 17, 1971
Dumbo October 11, 1972
The Sword in the Stone December 22, 1972
Cinderella March 23, 1973
Robin Hood November 8, 1973
Alice in Wonderland March 15, 1974
Bambi June 20, 1975

Sixth generation (1975-1982)

Buena Vista Distribution (1979).jpg

The sixth and final generation prior to the rebranding of Walt Disney Productions to Walt Disney Pictures, the following films were re-released:

Title Release date
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs December 20, 1975
Dumbo March 26, 1976
Peter Pan June 18, 1976
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh March 11, 1977
Fantasia April 15, 1977
The Rescuers June 22, 1977
The Jungle Book June 9, 1978
Pinocchio December 15, 1978
101 Dalmatians June 7, 1979
Sleeping Beauty September 28, 1979
Lady and the Tramp March 7, 1980
The Aristocats December 19, 1980
Alice in Wonderland April 3, 1981
The Fox and the Hound July 10, 1981
Cinderella December 18, 1981
Robin Hood March 26, 1982
Fantasia (re-release) April 2, 1982
Bambi June 4, 1982

During this era, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo and Alice in Wonderland were all released on VHS in 1981. Fantasia was also re-released in theaters twice for this generation, the second one in place of The Sword in the Stone, which was pushed back to 1983.

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.

Seventh generation (1982-1988)

Walt Disney Pictures (1985).jpg

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.

Dumbo, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland and Robin Hood no longer played in theaters as of this generation due to getting VHS releases at that time.

The logo can also be found on 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.

Animated films released during this era included:

Title Release date
Peter Pan December 17, 1982
The Sword in the Stone March 25, 1983
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs July 15, 1983
The Rescuers December 16, 1983
The Jungle Book July 27, 1984
Pinocchio December 21, 1984
Fantasia February 8, 1985
The Black Cauldron July 24, 1985
101 Dalmatians December 20, 1985
Sleeping Beauty March 7, 1986
The Great Mouse Detective July 2, 1986
Lady and the Tramp December 19, 1986
The Aristocats April 10, 1987
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (re-release) July 17, 1987
Cinderella November 20, 1987
The Fox and the Hound March 25, 1988
Bambi July 15, 1988
Oliver & Company November 18, 1988

Eighth generation (1989-1996)

Walt Disney Pictures (1990).jpg

Lady and the Tramp, The Aristocats, Cinderella, The Fox and the Hound and Bambi all did not return to theaters for this generation, all instead getting VHS releases.

A few films went through digital restoration prior to their final re-releases in theaters. The films released during this era include:

The Rescuers March 17, 1989
Peter Pan July 14, 1989
The Little Mermaid November 17, 1989
The Black Cauldron
(as "Taran and the Magic Cauldron")
March 21, 1990
The Jungle Book July 13, 1990
Fantasia October 5, 1990
The Rescuers Down Under November 16, 1990
101 Dalmatians July 12, 1991
Beauty and the Beast November 22, 1991
The Great Mouse Detective February 14, 1992
Pinocchio June 26, 1992
Aladdin November 25, 1992
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs July 2, 1993
The Lion King June 24, 1994
The Lion King (re-issue) November 18, 1994
Pocahontas June 23, 1995
Sleeping Beauty September 10, 1995
(delayed from March 1993)
Oliver & Company March 29, 1996
The Hunchback of Notre Dame June 21, 1996

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.

Since the early 1990s, the 1990 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.

Ninth generation (1997-2006)

Walt Disney Pictures (1995).jpg Pixar Animation Studios (1995).jpg Walt Disney Pictures (2000).jpg

The last film to get a re-release in theaters within the old tradition was The Little Mermaid, on November 14, 1997; after that, Pixar released more of its feature-length films in place of re-releases of old films from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Such examples include A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2, alongside the flagship company's animated films.

Some films with the regular logo appeared on television networks such as on TBS, ABC Family, and Hub Network.

A Pixar-ified version of the Walt Disney Pictures logo was exclusively seen on Pixar Animation Studios films, and was seen on every film from Toy Story to Ratatouille, although The Incredibles was the last film under this generation.

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 Special Edition re-release of The Lion King, which was later transferred to DVD in October 2003 after only playing in IMAX theaters.

When KRS Logos launched online in 2004, this logo was still current back then.

The last film to have the 1990 Walt Disney Pictures logo was The Fox and the Hound 2 on December 12, 2006, several months after the current Walt Disney Pictures logo shown below began.

Tenth generation (2005-present)

Walt Disney Pictures (2006).jpg Walt Disney Pictures (2011).jpg

The current era of Disney animation began in late 2005 with Chicken Little (2005), when it became the first film ever to be presented in Disney Digital 3D. However, it wasn't the first film to have the current Walt Disney Pictures logo. That title went to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, when it first played in theaters on July 7, 2006 (and released on DVD on December 5, 2006). This logo was done with CGI animation.

Pixar still used the 1995 Walt Disney Pictures logo on Cars and Ratatouille, before finally using the current logo on films starting with WALL-E.

Walt Disney Animation Studios (2007).jpg "Wreck-It Ralph" variant

As of March 30, 2007, starting with Meet the Robinsons (on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 23, 2007), the Walt Disney Animation Studios logo is currently seen on all new prints of Walt Disney animated feature films.

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.

2010-2019

A lot of events occurred to Walt Disney Pictures' films alongside production of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

During production of Season 1...

These films were in development as of April 8, 2008:

Other events:

  • Five concept art images for Rapunzel were unveiled on July 30, 2009.
  • The first production art for Cars 2 was unveiled on January 23, 2010.
  • "Rapunzel" was retitled "Tangled" on February 12, 2010.
  • John Lasseter became co-director for Cars 2 as of June 23, 2010.
During production of Season 2...

These films were in development:

  • Brave (formerly The Bear and the Bow) (June 15, 2012)
  • Monsters, Inc. 2 (November 16, 2012) (replaced "Newt")
  • Reboot Ralph (March 22, 2013) (replaced King of the Elves)

Other events:

  • Monsters, Inc. 2 started off as a sequel instead of a prequel.
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios shelved King of the Elves before Wreck-It Ralph was announced.
  • The first official logo for Brave was unveiled on September 22, 2010.
  • Concept art for Brave was unveiled on March 28, 2011.
  • A first look at Merida (from Brave) was unveiled on May 26, 2011.
During production of Season 3...

These films were in development:

  • Wreck-It Ralph (formerly Reboot Ralph) (November 2, 2012)
  • Monsters University (formerly Monsters, Inc. 2) (June 21, 2013)
  • Frozen (November 27, 2013)
  • Two untitled Pixar films (May 30, 2014 at the earliest)

Other events:

  • Wreck-It Ralph and Monsters University were showcased at the D23 Expo in 2011.
  • The songs for Frozen were written by Kristen Anderson and Robert Lopez, and the first director was Chris Buck.
During development of Season 4...

These films were in development:

Other events:

  • Michael Arndt was currently screenwriting Inside Out.
  • Late during this season, Bob Peterson and John Walker were removed from The Good Dinosaur due to story problems.
During development of Season 5...

These films were in development:

  • Inside Out (June 19, 2015)
  • The Good Dinosaur (November 25, 2015)
  • Zootopia (March 4, 2016)
  • Finding Dory (the Finding Nemo sequel) (June 17, 2016)
  • Moana (November 23, 2016 at the earliest)
  • Giants (November 23, 2016 at the earliest)
  • A film directed by Dean Wellins (November 23, 2016 at the earliest)
  • A film about "la Día de los Muertos" (June 16, 2017 at the earliest)
  • Cars 3 (June 16, 2017 at the earliest)
  • The Incredibles 2 (June 16, 2017 at the earliest)

Other events:

  • Casting for Inside Out was announced.
During development of Season 6...

These films were in development:

  • Zootopia (March 4, 2016)
  • Finding Dory (June 17, 2016)
  • Moana (November 23, 2016)
  • Toy Story 4 (June 16, 2017)
  • A film about "la Día de los Muertos" (November 22, 2017 at the earliest)
  • Cars 3 (November 22, 2017 at the earliest)
  • The Incredibles 2 (November 22, 2017 at the earliest)
  • Giants (March 9, 2018 at the earliest)
  • A film directed by Dean Wellins (March 9, 2018 at the earliest)

Other events:

  • Casting for Zootopia was announced.
  • New plot details for Finding Dory were revealed at the D23 Expo in 2015.
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios announced more details about Moana.
  • Casting for Moana began in October 2015.
During development of Season 7...

These films were in development:

  • Moana (November 23, 2016)
  • Cars 3 (June 16, 2017)
  • Coco (the film about "la Día de los Muertos") (November 22, 2017)
  • Gigantic (formerly "Giants") (March 9, 2018)
  • Toy Story 4 (June 15, 2018)
  • Sequels to Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen (November 21, 2018 at the earliest) (both replaced Dean Wellins' film)
  • The Incredibles 2 (June 21, 2019)

Other events:

  • A new character exclusive to Cars 3 was unveiled.
During development of Season 8...

These films were in development:

  • Wreck-It Ralph 2 (March 9, 2018)
  • Incredibles 2 (June 15, 2018)
  • Gigantic (November 21, 2018)
  • Toy Story 4 (June 21, 2019)
  • Frozen 2 (November 27, 2019 at the earliest)
During development of Season 9...

These films were in development:

  • Ralph Breaks the Internet (November 21, 2018)
  • Toy Story 4 (June 21, 2019)
  • Frozen 2 (November 27, 2019)
  • A "suburban fantasy world" film unveiled at the D23 Expo in 2017, directed by Dan Scanlon

Other events:

  • Gigantic got shelved in mid-2017, like King of the Elves.
During development of both Seasons 9 and 10 (the clip shows)...
  • The "suburban fantasy world" film was officially titled "Onward" in December 2018.

Weblinks

Main site:

Pixar Animation Studios:

Japanese version:

Latin American version, in Spanish:

Korean version:

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