Walt Disney Animation Studios
Walt Disney Animation Studios (formerly known as Walt Disney Animation until 1994 and Walt Disney Feature Animation until 2007) is an American animation studio formed in 1986 by the animation staff of Walt Disney Productions during the split of the company, with its non-animation staff formed The Walt Disney Company. The original Walt Disney Productions (formerly known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio until 1926 and Walt Disney Studio until 1929) was founded in 1923 by Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney after their previous studio Laugh-O-Gram Studio went defunct for bankruptcy. As both Walt Disney Productions and Walt Disney Animation Studios combined, it is one of the oldest-running animation studios in the world, and was known for making feature-length movies, though it does make animated shorts as well. The company didn't have a on-screen logo until John Lasseter took in change of the studio in 2007. The current CEO of the studio is Frozen co director and winter Jennifer Lee since 2017.
(March 30, 2007-)
Nickname: "Steamboat Willie"
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 red 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 original scene it depicts from the short. The scene zooms out onto a yellow-gold spotlight background, 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.
- Starting in 2008 with the movie Bolt, the logo was given a high definition look, which used the same animation.
- On Tangled, the animation stays in place as it is slowly overtaken by a large orange circle outline. It zooms out to reveal it is part of a large "50", and as the company name appears at the top, the stacked text "ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE" appears under the "50", and a small "TH" appears at the top right of the "0". The closing version of this variant has the finished product of the animation, then it animates as usual, but the company name is already there and only "ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE" and "TH" fading in.
- On Wreck-It Ralph, the logo is done in a retro video-game style on a black background.
- On Frozen II, the ending of the logo fades into the opening scene of the movie.
- On new animated shorts, as well as at the end of movies, the logo is cut down to its last few seconds.
- On the Prep & Landing specials and Operation: Secret Santa, the logo is still.
FX/SFX: Mostly CGI. The logo was directed by Mike Gabriel and produced by Roy Conli, using Ub Iwerks' original animation drawings from Steamboat Willie as reference.
Music/Sounds: The sound of pages turning followed by Mickey whistling a cheerful tune.
- The Wreck-It Ralph variant has an 8-bit version of the music.
- The animated shorts variant has the last few seconds of Mickey whistling with the music.
- On both Frozen movies, Moana and Raya and the Last Dragon, the movie's opening theme/sounds plays over the logo instead.
- The closing variant is silent, 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 talks over the logo and the 2011 Disney logo before being cut off by the latter turning off with a TV effect, similar to the closing of the previous installment.
- The still logo has the end theme play over it.
- It was first seen on Meet the Robinsons, and can be seen on every Disney animated feature henceforth, most recently Raya and the Last Dragon, as well as short films like How to Hook Up Your Home Theater, The Ballad of Nessie, Tangled Ever After, Paperman, Get a Horse!, Feast and Inner Workings.
- The still version can be seen on the Prep & Landing TV specials, as well as the short Operation: Secret Santa.
- It was also seen on the reissues of Beauty of the Beast (1991) and the 3D version of The Lion King (1994).
- This logo may or may not be retired in the future as a new print logo was introduced recently, though as of now, it is announced to still be used as an on-screen logo.
- This does not appear on Pixar Animation Studios films, as they still use their own logo.
Editor's Note: A very nice throwback to the very first Disney cartoon.