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Walt Disney Pictures

Logo descriptions by Matt Williams, WileE2005, rjsmith09 and Matt Anscher Logo captures by Eric S. and others ''Editions by Bob Fish, V of Doom, mr3urious, Nathan B., Optimus Prime 2000, userjt, universalxdisney172, shnick1985, and HiddenResearcher Video captures courtesy of Nightwing726, heyblondin, LDEJRuff', IntroHD, and ConsoleZ In Memory of Walt Disney (1901-1966)


Background: Originally established in 1923 as animation studio "Walt Disney Productions" (renamed "The Walt Disney Company" in 1986), Walt Disney Productions produced its first animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but never used a proper logo until 1985. Instead it used an in-credit text on most of its films. In 1983, the company was described as "Walt Disney Pictures" with the establishment of its own movie arm, and the Buena Vista text was modified to "Distributed by BUENA VISTA PICTURES DISTRIBUTION" and moved to the end credits. Unfortunately, Disney retired the Buena Vista brand in 2007. However, the Buena Vista name was retained as a home video company. Also, Disney-era Studio Ghibli films didn't have the Walt Disney Pictures logo, instead using the text "WALT DISNEY STUDIOS (HOME ENTERTAINMENT) PRESENTS" on there.


1st Logo (December 21, 1937-June 21, 1985)



Logo: This is not really a logo, only an in-credit text. At the start of the film, we see the words "Walt Disney Presents" or "Walt Disney Productions Presents". At the end of the film, we see "The End, A Walt Disney Production" or "The End, Walt Disney Productions". Variants:

  • On Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (the first film to use this logo), the text reads "A Walt Disney Feature Production"
  • From 1982 to 1985, the studio's theatrical product under the Disney name (except for the two shorts released in 1983, Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore and Mickey's Christmas Carol) had simply "Walt Disney Productions" at the end of the credits. No "the end", as the practice of using these two words at the closing of films had pretty much ceased by now.
  • On Popeye and Dragonslayer, the text reads as "Paramount Pictures Corporation and Walt Disney Productions present", as both films were distributed in America by Paramount and internationally by Disney.
  • On some films, the movie's title is seen on the end-title. Some examples include Make Mine Music, Fun & Fancy Free, Melody Time, and Treasure Island.
  • On Treasure Island and One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, notices for filming locations are added.
  • Sometimes, only "The End" is seen. Some examples are The Three Caballeros and Make Mine Music.
  • Song of the South does not have the "A Walt Disney Production" text at the end title.
  • Even after Walt Disney's death in 1966, "A Walt Disney Production" continued to be used until 1970 (the last to use it was The Aristocats). Strangely, it was seen on One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore.
  • Even after Walt Disney's death in 1966, "Walt Disney Presents" continued to be used until 1968 (the last to use it was Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day). Strangely, it was seen on One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (the latter two which were technically in production while Walt Disney was still alive, as he originally envisioned the first three featurettes as a feature-length film).
  • "The End" was absent on Dad, Can I Borrow the Car.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: Usually the opening and closing themes of the movie.

Availability: Still saved on classic Disney shorts and movies of the era, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo and Lady and the Tramp, among others.

Scare Factor: None.


2nd Logo (October 7, 1983-December 25, 1998)




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

Variants:

  • Return to Oz features the "Walt Disney" script logo, and is the first to do so.
  • Never Cry Wolf has the text in a box.


FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The beginning of the movie's theme.

Availability: Again, on some Disney movies from the era; most films that feature this logo are live-action (an example is Return to Oz). Sometimes preceded 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 for said film). Some TV airings remove this or replace it with the 3rd logo.

Scare Factor: None to low.


3rd Logo (June 21, 1985-December 12, 2006)




Nicknames: "The Castle", "Magic Kingdom", "Disney", "Sleeping Beauty Castle", "Disney Castle"

Logo: On a blue gradient backdrop, 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" fades in underneath, and a white circular line is drawn over the castle to the tip of the "W".

Trivia: The Disney script font is basically based on Walt Disney's signature.

Variants:

  • In the original variant, 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 the 1985-1990 variant show the castle in a light blue/white gradient.
  • The size of the logo may vary.
  • Prior to 1990, 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.
  • 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). A smoother version of this variant debuted in 1991.
  • When classic Disney shorts were re-released in the 1990's, 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 a copyright for the A.M.P.A.S. on the bottom.
  • There is a short version that can be seen on Return to Oz, the Roger Rabbit short Tummy Trouble, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, the 1995 Mickey Mouse short Runaway Brain, Treasure Planet, and the 1980's re-issue of the 1939 Goofy short Goofy and Wilbur. It also appeared, along with the Touchstone Home Video logo, on very early Touchstone Home Video releases, mainly Splash, My Science Project and Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend.
  • 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 tape deterioration, distortion or if this was indeed an actual variant.
  • On Leroy & Stitch, "PICTURES" appears with "Walt Disney" instead of fading in after.
  • Depending on the movie, there could be a variant which includes characters or a style from the movie (or an alternate variant of the original version). Click here for a list of these variants.

FX/SFX: The "glowing castle", the "flash", the drawing of the line.

Cheesy Factor: The "flash" and reveal of the castle are rather outdated.

Music/Sounds: A rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star" finishing off with a flute/recorder at the very end. During the formation of the castle and "Walt Disney" text, sound effects evoking pixie dust are heard.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On some movies like The Journey of Natty Gann and Return to Snowy River, this logo is silent.
  • There is a slightly re-orchestrated variant on the 1998 VHS release of The Black Cauldron.
  • There is a slightly re-orchestrated theme with a 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.
  • Some movies such as The Parent Trap, Jungle 2 Jungle, and The Princess Diaries, use a more dramatic re-orchestration.
  • At the end of D3: The Mighty Ducks, it uses a flash sound and then a laser sound.
  • At the end of movies, this logo is usually silent or has the ending theme of the movie playing over it.
  • Some films, such as Flight of the Navigator and The Rescuers Down Under, as well as the 1998 VHS of The Little Mermaid, have the music off-sync with the logo's animation.
  • On the 2003 DVD release of The Rescuers, a thunderclap was heard under the logo. This is because the movie originally started with a Buena Vista logo with the same thunderclap, and was replaced with the 1985 Walt Disney Pictures logo for all re-releases post-1989. The opening Buena Vista logo is preserved on the current (2012) DVD and Blu-ray releases, as well as the 1992 VHS and laserdisc releases.
  • 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 Oliver & Company, the beginning of the song "Once Upon a Time in New York City" plays. Also, the original film had the 1985 version of the castle, while the 1996 video release uses the 1990 variant.
  • Sometimes, the music is off-sync with the logo animation, like on The' Rescuers Down Under and the 1998 VHS of The Little Mermaid.
  • On some films, the films opening score incorporates the first few bars of "When You Wish Upon a Star" when the logo appears.
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</u>Availability: Very common. The first movie to use this was Return to Oz, and this logo has been put in front of almost every subsequent Disney film until the logo's retirement on current releases in late 2006. The last movies to use this logo in theaters were The Wild and The Shaggy Dog, and the last direct-to-video movies to use this were Bambi II, Brother Bear II, and The Fox and the Hound 2. It was used in theatrical releases of films for 21 years. However, starting in the early 1990s, it is currently used on newer prints of classic films, such as 101 Dalmatians (starting in 1992, except for the 2008 re-release, which uses the 2006 logo), The Aristocats (starting in 1996), Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book (both starting in 1997) and The Rescuers (starting in 1999), among others.

Scare Factor: None to low. This is a very popular logo.


4th Logo (April 15, 1988)

Logo: On a very shady cadet blue background, the regular "Walt Disney" script in a textured baby blue hue, writes itself onscreen (think 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. A dot of light appears below the script and extends to form a line between the script and text.

FX/SFX: Typical 1988 animation.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Only known to appear at the end of Return to Snowy River (the 3rd logo appears at the beginning). Also spotted on a TV spot for said film.

Scare Factor: None.



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

Nicknames: "Metallic Orange Disney Castle", "The Flashlight", "Disney Castle II"

Logo: On a black background, we see the orange text "Walt Disney PICTURES" wiping in from left to right. Then we see an orange light shining on the logo, illuminating it with a trail effect that rises from the top of the the letters "e" and "y" in "Disney", making its way around to reveal the castle in metallic orange. The entire logo wipes away as soon as the light trail effect illuminates away.

FX/SFX: The text wiping in, the light effect, the logo wiping out.

Music/Sounds: The sound of a flame lighting, or no sound.

Availability: Seen on live action films such as 102 Dalmatians, Holes, G'lory Road, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Disney's The Kid, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Also on Disney's CGI film Dinosaur (which was the first film to use this logo) and the traditionally-animated Brother Bear, as well as the 2002 IMAX re-release of The Lion King.

Scare Factor: Minimum.


6th Logo (Pixar Variant) (November 19, 1995-June 29, 2007)




Nicknames: "The Pixar Castle", "Pixar Kingdom", "Sleeping Beauty Castle 3D", "Disney Castle III", "Disney/Pixar Castle"

Logo: On a blue BG, the camera flies out underneath a 3D CGI castle, 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.

FX/SFX: Very nice CGI from Pixar!

Music/Sounds: A bombastic/majestic fanfare composed by Randy Newman. The Pixar films directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles and Ratatouille), as well as Monsters, Inc., have that film's respective cue music. On Cars, the fanfare was 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 film, we hear flapping flags and a chime sound as the line is drawn. Availability: Fairly common. Seen on all Disney/Pixar productions from Toy Story to Ratatouille. The Blu-ray and 3D re-releases of these movies (Such as Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D) have this plastered with the 7th logo. The same goes with some airings of these films on ABC Family.

Scare Factor: None. This is a great logo.


'7'th Logo (July 7, 2006- )


Nicknames: "The CGI Castle", "CGI Magic Kingdom", "Disney Castle IV", "CGI Disney Castle", "Cinderella Castle", "Ultra Majestic Castle", "The Happiest Place on Earth"

Logo: On a night sky background, we see a star, a la Pinocchio. Then, some clouds appear, a la Mary Poppins, and a pirate ship, a la Peter Pan. We then see the castle, done in CGI, while different fireworks are appearing. A circular line is drawn over the castle (in the same vein as the previous logo), then the castle enters many dots from the bottom of the screen to reveal "Walt Disney", in the post-1979 Disney script logo font, albeit slightly revised. "PICTURES" fades in, while the circular line is nearly staying visible on the logo. 'Variants:

  • The short version of the CGI castle was seen at the end of some movies.
  • On Disney Digital 3-D releases, the "Walt Disney" text zooms in more to create the 3-D illusion when we are wearing 3-D glasses.
  • One variation only shows the word "Disney" in its well-known script. This is used on newer films from the studio, starting with The Muppets. This would later replace the previous standard variant (which featured the entire company name "Walt Disney PICTURES"), as newer films from the studio used this variant of the logo or featured variations of it. This change was made to fit into mobile phones and other devices similiar to the iPod.
  • Another variant is where the "Walt Disney" text is there while the curve is drawn.

'FX/SFX: The camera panning down to reveal the castle. This logo has beautiful, mind-blowing, CGI animation done, ironically, not by Disney, but by Weta Digital.

Music/Sounds: An orchestration of "When You Wish Upon a Star" composed by Mark Mancina, completely different from the 3rd logo. Also, firecracker sound effects are heard when the fireworks go off.

Music/Sounds Variant: On Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides there is no music, though we can still hear the fireworks as well as the sounds of a river boat and water flowing.

Availability: Common. It was first seen on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (although on a trailer for the movie, the 5th logo is shown instead). Current on new Disney movies such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua and High School Musical 3: Senior Year and newer direct to video movies such as Tinkerbell and Space Buddies. It also can be seen on Pixar movies starting with WALL-E. This also plasters over the 3rd and 5th logos on re-releases of Disney animated classics and some remastered prints of Disney movies on Blu-ray (and some DVDs). Along with prints of their films on ABC Family, Disney Channel, and networks that air Disney movies from time to time.

Scare Factor: None. This is one of the most beautiful logos ever, combined with the lush music, dream-like animation, and nice sound effects. _______________________________________________________________ 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.
  • 1941-1986 :Copyright © by Walt Disney Productions
  • 1986-1996: Copyright © by The Walt Disney Company
  • 1996-present: Copyright © by Disney Enterprises, Inc.
  • 1998-present: Copyright © by Disney Enterprises, Inc./Pixar Animation Studios (on Pixar films).

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