Walt Disney Pictures
|Standard Logos||Logo Variations||Trailer Variations||Print Logos|
Originally established in 1923 by Walter Elias "Walt" Disney, "Walt Disney Productions" (renamed "The Walt Disney Company" in 1986) produced its first animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, the film was a hit and was followed up by more films including Pinocchio, Bambi and the experimental symphony film Fantasia. During the second world war, Disney's main focus shifted to production of military films and as such, production of animated features all but stopped. During this time, Disney put out "compilation films". That is, films consisting of a number of shorts put together, such as The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos. Around the same time, Disney began producing live-action films, with its first live action foray being the highly controversial animation hybrid Song of the South. an all-live action adaption of Treasure Island would follow by the end of the decade. By the end of the 1940s, Disney was also producing the True Life series of nature films.
In 1950, Disney returned to the animated films that made them successful with the release of Cinderella. This was followed in quick succession by Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953).The latter film would be the last Disney film to be distributed by RKO as in 1953, Disney established its own distribution arm, Buena Vista Distribution, named after the road on which the studio was situated.
When Walt Disney passed away in December 1966, his brother Roy O. Disney took over the studio 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 original film division as "Walt Disney Pictures", while Buena Vista was rebranded to "Buena Vista Pictures Distribution" with it's opening card being dropped in favor of an in-credit text.
In 1984, a corporate takeover, lead by Walt's nephew Roy E. Disney lead to Michael Eisner and Frank Wells 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 lead 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, wth "Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures"taking its place. In 2011, the film division's name was abbreviated, now referred to simply as "Disney".
1st Logo (December 21, 1937-June 21, 1985)
Nicknames: "Pre Walt Disney Castle", "In Credit Disney"
Logo: 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". While originally an in-credit text, on some films starting in 1948, "Walt Disney" is in the 1948 signature script (as seen later on The Wonderful World of Disney as well as the first Walt Disney Home Entertainment logo).
- On Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (the first film to use this logo), the text reads "A Walt Disney FEATURE Production". The end title has the RKO Radio Pictures logo in the background with the words "A WALT DISNEY FEATURE Production IN TECHNICOLOR". Until 2009, post-RKO reissue prints used the usual "The End, A Walt Disney Production" notice.
- 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. The text "the end" is omitted, 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.
- In 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 a Day for Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (the last two of 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?.
- The original German and Swedish prints of The Rescuers (as seen on VHS releases) lacks the "The End" text of the closing title card.
- Some films, like The Reluctant Dragon, Dumbo and Saludos Amigos have the end title containing "Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.".
- For The Jungle Book's 1997 restoration for the 30th Anniversary Edition, the closing text ("The End - A Walt Disney Production") is white instead of the original yellow, possibly due to a restoration coloring error.
- In foreign countries, "presents" is replaced by that country's translation (such as "Presenta" on Italian and Spanish prints).
FX/SFX: Usually none, but on 101 Dalmatians, the logo is animated, with the zoom-out of a dot, with big circles appearing all around the logo while the text is appearing, and a dot erasing the text with background translating to white continuing the opening titles to the film.
Music/Sounds: Usually the opening and closing themes of the movie.
Availability: Common. Still saved on classic Disney shorts and movies of the era, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Rescuers, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, Pete's Dragon, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Saludos Amigos, Fun and Fancy Free, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Make Mine Music, Melody Time, The Three Caballeros, Song of the South, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, So Dear to My Heart, The Reluctant Dragon, The Fox and the Hound, The Sword in the Stone, Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp, among others. The only known film to not have this in-credit is Fantasia, aside from a copyright notice appearing on the title card of the film. The foreign versions are rare because they were only released in theatres, VHS, laserdisc and some DVD releases as they are usually replaced with the domestic English credits for current DVD/Blu-ray releases.
Editor's Note: Will evoke fond memories of Walt Disney and his classic films, and the days of old-fashioned opening credits and "THE END" notices. Many films have memorable visuals and music to go with the themes, usually in a positive way, though some films have dramatic fanfares that could be off-putting to younger viewers.
2nd Logo (50th Anniversary) (December 22, 1972-July 12, 1973)
Nickname: "50 Happy Years", "Smiling Mickey"
Logo: On a scarlet background with black, wavy, moving Moiré patterns, a blue version of Disney's 50th anniversary logo (a big "50" with Mickey Mouse ears on the "0" with the word "HAPPY" above it and "YEARS" below) appears and eventually changes the background into a blue background with images of Disney cartoon characters, outlined in green, facing the 50. The "50" logo zooms out followed by "HAPPY" zooming out above it and "YEARS" doing the same below. Tinker Bell appears, flies around, and waves her wand, changing the screen to black. The 1954 Buena Vista logo would follow.
FX/SFX: The several logo designs appearing, the zoom-in (revealing the background), Tinker Bell flying around, and the transition effect to the Buena Vista logo.
Music/Sounds: The first two bars of "When You Wish Upon a Star". An announcer (Dick Wesson) says "And now, a 50th-anniversary presentation from Walt Disney Productions!". On international releases, the announcer is absent, and the music is two full tones lower.
Availability: Extremely rare. Appeared before the 1954 Buena Vista logo on the studio's films (both original and reissues) in 1973 and also appeared briefly (twice) on The Wonderful World of Disney episode "50 Happy Years". Remains intact on Charley and the Angel. Its first known appearance was on Snowball Express, and its last known appearance was on A Disney Cartoon Jubilee.
Editor's Note: The first animated logo from the company, but not the first official one. This was only used during the company's 50th anniversary at the time. The company would not get an official animated logo until 1985 with the 5th logo.
3rd Logo (June 25, 1980)
Nicknames: "In Credit Disney II", "Disney Script"
Logo: Superimposed over the opening credits, we have "WALT DiSNEY" in the familiar corporate Disney logo font and in yellow. Right under is "PRODUCTIONS", also in yellow.
Music/Sounds: The opening theme.
Availability: Extinct. This was spotted on Mickey Mouse Disco, after the Buena Vista logo. The short was seen on television several times, which includes being in episodes of various Disney cartoon compilation shows, such as Mickey's Mouse Tracks, Donald's Quack Attack and The Ink and Paint Club. It has never been made available on home video, but it can be seen currently on 16mm copies of the short.
Editor's Note: Probably the first movie logo with the famed "DiSNEY" signature font, although it was already in use elsewhere since 1972.
4th Logo (October 7, 1983-December 25, 1998)
Nickname: "Walt Dullsney Pictures", "The Walt Disney Text of Boredom", "Boring Disney"
Logo: Again, just text reading "WALT DISNEY PICTURES", but applied differently depending on the movie.
- Typically, the text (in blue, orange, or white) is against a black background.
- Return to Oz features the "WALT DiSNEY" script logo in green, on a space-like background.
- Never Cry Wolf has the text in a blue rectangular box with a white outline around it.
- Squanto: A Warrior's Tale has the word "Presents" fades below the logo.
Music/Sounds: The beginning of the movie's theme. On A Far Off Place and The Three Musketeers, it's silent.
Availability: Rare. Again, on some Disney movies from the era. This logo was most often used on live-action films, often to denote more serious 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 the 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).
Editor's Note: This tends to be regarded as overly simple and plain for a Disney logo.
5th Logo (June 21, 1985-December 12, 2006, November 12, 2019)
Nickname: "The Disney Castle", "Magic Kingdom", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle", "Classic Castle", "The Castle of Memories", "The Blue Castle", "Nostalgic Castle", "Walt Disney Castle", "Cel-animated Castle", "The Disney Renaissance Logo", "Disney Script II", "White Disney Script", "2D Castle"
Logo: 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:
- 1985-1990: 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. 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.
- 1990-2006: The castle is sky blue, and the background is a shady blue gradient. In this variant, the semi-circular line ends just above the "W" from "WALT DiSNEY".
- 2000-2006: 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 is mainly used on DisneyToon Studios' productions.
- 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 in 1989 and 1990, 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, this logo was still animated on hand-painted cels until at least the middle of 2005, even though two digitally-animated versions of this logo debuted in 1994 and 2000.
- 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). 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 film), the widescreen version of Lady and the Tramp (1998 WDMC release), and the 2004 release of Mary Poppins, plastering the Buena Vista logo.
- 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 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.
- 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 (such as Bambi and Cinderella, among others), 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 (such as Pluto's Fledgling), plastering over the 1953 Buena Vista logo.
- On a few 2003-2006 animated films such as Piglet's Big Movie and 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.
- On current prints of the 1940 adaptation of Swiss Family Robinson, the 1985 version of this logo is in black and white.
Closing Variant: Either the full animation or it will start wherein "WALT DiSNEY" is formed by a flash of light.
FX/SFX: The "glowing castle", the "flash", and the drawing of the line. This 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"; 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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, such as Recess: School's Out, Jungle 2 Jungle, and The Princess Diaries, use a more dramatic re-orchestration.
- In 1995 short Runaway Brain, the logo's theme is re-orchestrated and sounds more like the 1988 Walt Disney Television logo.
- 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, 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 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.
- In 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, such as The Emperor's New Groove, Mulan, Pocahontas, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the opening theme of the movie is heard.
- On The Santa Clause 2, the rendition is heard without the flute/recorder.
- 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, with the thunderclap playing over it), on the 1999 VHS of said film, however, the logo is silent.
- The logo's music was heard in a scene of 102 Dalmatians, which was taken from the 1998 VHS version of Lady & The Tramp.
- On The Lion King, we hear ambient noises of the African savannah.
- At the end of Hercules, we hear Hades (voiced by James Woods) talking over the logo ("What am I, an echo or something? Hello? Hello?! Am I talking to, what, hyperspace? Hello, it's me. Nobody listens.").
Availability: Uncommon. Back in the day, it was a lot more common, as it was used for 21 years. Since the logo retired, it has become rarer as many recent prints (both TV and home media) have plastered this with the 2006 logo, though it is still intact on older home media, with multiple films on Disney+ having the logo also intact.
- The first film to use this logo (albeit the short version) 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 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.
- The 1990 "filmed" version of this logo was first seen on a trailer for The Little Mermaid and made its final appearance on a trailer for Chicken Little.
- Starting in the late 1980's, it was also used on newer prints of classic films, such as Cinderella (starting in 1988), Peter Pan (starting in 1990), Fantasia (starting in 1991), 101 Dalmatians (starting in 1992), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (starting in 1993), The Fox and the Hound, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty (all starting in 1995, in Pinocchio's case, only outside the USA and Canada.), The Aristocats (starting in 1996), Bambi, Mary Poppins, Fun and Fancy Free, Old Yeller, The Jungle Book (all starting in 1997), Lady and the Tramp (starting in 1998), The Rescuers (starting in 1999), Alice in Wonderland (starting in 2000) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (starting in 2001), 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 April 7, 1995.
- The 2002 version was first seen on Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, released on February 26, 2002 (it was also the first Disney direct-to-video movie to use this logo), and made its final appearance on The Fox and the Hound 2 (which as a whole the last film use this logo), released on December 12, 2006.
- The last theatrically-released films to use this logo was The Shaggy Dog (the 2006 remake starring Tim Allen), released on March 10, 2006, and at the end of The Wild (the 9th logo is seen at the beginning), released on April 14, 2006.
- The last direct-to-video releases to use this was Bambi II, Brother Bear 2, and The Fox and the Hound 2.
- It was seen on trailers for Toy Story as well, but the film itself uses the 7th logo.
- 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 8th logo (the original 1995 VHS of The Lion King preserves this logo, however).
- Also, even though most recent prints of classic films use the 9th 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.
- 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 9th logo.
- When the Disney+ streaming service launched, the 1985 version 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.
Editor's Note: Easily one of the most beloved logos out there, due to its longevity and appearing at the front of a myriad of classic films. On a side note, The Little Mermaid 2 actually used the newer castle on 2008 prints. The original 2000 release saw the 1994 castle.
6th Logo (April 15, 1988)
Nicknames: "Disney Script III", "Animated Script"
Logo: On a black/cadet blue gradient background, the regular "WALT DiSNEY" script, in a textured baby blue hue, writes itself onscreen (a la 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, although smooth.
Availability: Ultra rare. Only known to appear at the end of Return to Snowy River, which was originally titled The Man from Snowy River II (the 5th logo appears at the beginning). Also seen on a TV spot for said film.
Editor's Note: Quite an oddity in general, given its usage and obscurity.
7th Logo (Pixar Variant) (November 19, 1995-June 29, 2007)
Nicknames: "The Pixar Castle", "Pixar Kingdom", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle III", "Sleeping Beauty Castle 3D", "CGI Disney Castle", "The Disney Castle II", "Walt Disney Castle II", "Majestic Castle", "The Zooming Castle", "Pre-Ultra Majestic Castle", "Disney Script IV", "White Disney Script II", "CGI Disney Script", "The Bicolored Castle"
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 5th logo.
Trivia: This is pretty much a CGI remake of the 5th logo, although the way the castle appears is much different.
- On Toy Story, the logo zooms out to reveal Andy's room once the ball of light finishes drawing the line over the castle.
- On trailers and on Monsters, Inc., the logo is shortened to when the arc is formed over the castle. Don't expect to find this as a closing variant, though.
Closing Variant: The full animation as transcribed above.
FX/SFX: The camera zooming out and the animation from the 5th logo. Very nice CGI from Pixar themselves.
Music/Sounds: A bombastic/majestic fanfare composed by Randy Newman.
- 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.
- The opening theme of the movie was used on Monsters, Inc. aswell as films directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles and Ratatouille).
- 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 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: Fairly common, but it was more common during its usage. It was used on all Pixar movies beginning with Toy Story (which was also the first ever feature-length CGI film) and made its final appearance on Ratatouille. Since the logo was retired, it has become rarer, mostly being plastered by the 9th logo on Blu-Ray and DVD prints, as well as most TV airings of these movies (such as the first two Toy Story films, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and Cars), though it is still intact on current prints of A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, and the aforementioned Ratatouille, as well as pre-2010s VHS and DVD releases. The logo was last used in the teaser trailer for WALL-E, since the normal film itself uses the 9th logo. It can also be seen on various shorts based off Pixar films such as Mike's New Car, Jack Jack Attack, Mater and the Ghostlight, and Your Friend the Rat. 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.
Editor's Note: A nice CGI update of the 5th logo, which is fondly regarded by fans of older Pixar films.
8th Logo (May 19, 2000-April 14, 2006)
Nicknames: "Hidden Disney Castle", "The Flare", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle III", "The Flashlight", "Golden Disney Castle", "Walt Disney Castle III", "2D Castle II" "Disney Script V", "Golden Disney Script", "Golden Castle"
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/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 in metallic orange. The entire logo wipes away as soon as the light trail effect illuminates away.
Variant: On trailers, the logo appears to be in a bronze-like color.
Closing Variant: The closing variation of this logo is still. Also, the castle is in a gradient scheme, albeit different from the trailer version. On some movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Brother Bear, and the 2002/2003 releases of The Lion King (1994), the full animation is being used as a closing variant.
FX/SFX: The text wiping in, the light effect, and the logo wiping out. The effects used are rather unique for their time.
Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie. On Holes, we hear the sound of a fire being lit when the arc draws.
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), Brother Bear (the 9th 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 5th logo).
Editor's Note: A stylish and well-done adaption of the original Disney castle logo for older-skewing films.
9th Logo (July 7, 2006-)
Nicknames: "CGI Magic Kingdom", "The Disney Castle IV", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle IV", "Majestic Castle II", "Ultra Majestic Castle", "The Happiest Place on Earth", "The Zooming Castle II", "The Castle and the Fireworks", "CGI Disney Castle II", "Sleeping Beauty Castle 3D II", "Walt Disney Castle IV", "Plastering Castle", "Disney Script VI", "Glossy Disney Script"
Logo: We fade 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, with a train running down the 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, "WALT 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. When it does, "P I C T U R E S" fades in below the script.
Later Variant: Only the word "DiSNEY" is shown. Even though this was actually first used for the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment logo back in 2007, it would later replace the previous variant with the full company name on the studio's films, starting with The Muppets. The change was also made to fit into mobile phones and other devices, like the iPod.
Trivia: This logo was produced using the Renderman and Nuke softwares and took nearly a year to fully complete. The main staff responsible for the rendering were Cyrese Parrish and Cameron Smith.
- On 3D releases, the "WALT DiSNEY" (or, in later years, "DiSNEY") text zooms in more to create a 3D illusion. This variant was also used on 2D films, despite them not being released in 3D. You can find this variant on the following films: Mars Needs Moms, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Planes, Planes: Fire and Rescue, Cinderella (2015), Aladdin (2019), Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and the Disney+ original film Noelle.
- Another variant has the "WALT DiSNEY" (or in later years, "DiSNEY") text already formed while the curved line is drawn. This is mostly seen on trailers.
- On Disney Blu-ray releases, the word "DiSNEY" 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 (the Disney+ print omits it), and a full 16:9 open matte version was seen on Weta Digital's video of the Enchanted opening titles and might be seen on HDTV prints thereof.
- On current prints of Cars and the ABC prints of Toy Story 3, the logo starts with the flag being revealed.
- In one variant, the lights of the castle can be seen in the reflection of the river.
- 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 the opening logo on current prints of Monsters, Inc. to plaster the 1995 logo.
- On some animated films, the logo will play the full animation at the end. This occurs on Pixar films starting with Finding Dory (save for Onward), Walt Disney Animation Studios films starting with Moana (save for Ralph Breaks the Internet), and The Lion King (2019).
- On current prints of Aladdin (1992), Hercules, and Brother Bear (despite the 8th logo being used at the beginning), the tail end animation of the logo plays.
FX/SFX: The camera flying and panning down to reveal the castle. Beautiful, mind-blowing CGI animation done by Weta Digital (with a collaboration from yU+co).
Music/Sounds: An orchestral and choir rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star" composed by Mark Mancina, which is completely different from the 5th logo. Firecracker sound effects are heard when the fireworks go off. An alternate version, used since post-November 2011, is subtly different, having louder and clearer sound effects. In most cases (such as Frozen, Moana, Inside Out, Onward, the Planes films, etc.), it's the opening theme of the movie.
- In some cases, the logo is silent.
- On Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, a vaguely rock-sounding remix of the theme is used, albeit only halfway through when the highest spire is revealed.
- On Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, as the opening theme plays, we only hear the sounds of the fireworks and water flowing.
- The closing variant is mostly silent, but sometimes, the closing theme of the movie will be heard over the logo. On some films (such as The Princess and the Frog), we hear the sound of fairy dust over the logo.
- At the end of current prints of Aladdin (1992) and Hercules, Genie gives an extra goodbye for the former, and Hades gives an extra talk about his achievement for the latter, both over the logos.
- At the end of Up, it has the sound of a record popping.
- On Prom, the fanfare abruptly changes into a rock version near the end when the castle transforms.
- On Coco, the fanfare is played by a mariachi band.
- On Incredibles 2, a completely different fanfare, composed by Michael Giacchino, plays over this and the following Pixar logo.
- On The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, a more dramatic rearrangement fanfare plays over the logo.
- On Lady and the Tramp (2019), a 50s style jazzy rendition of the fanfare plays over it.
- On Safety, when the highest spire is revealed, snare drums and extra trumpet sounds are added to accompany it, depicting it was played by a marching band.
- On Soul, the fanfare is played in a somewhat off-key jazz rendition by Joe's band class, with noisy trumpets, squalling saxophones, and a tailgate trombone.
Availability: Ultra common.
- Seen on all Disney films since Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (the 8th logo is shown on the trailer instead though).
- It's also seen on all Pixar films starting with WALL-E.
- 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).
- It also started to appear on current prints of classic Disney films, shorts and pre-2008 Pixar films in the late 2000s, such as Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians (1961; both starting in 2008; the latter shows the logo at the start of the film, but the Disney+ print omits it), the first two Toy Story films, Pinocchio, Dumbo (1941), and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (all starting in 2009), Beauty and the Beast (1991; starting in 2010), Bambi, Alice in Wonderland (1951), and The Lion King (1994; all starting in 2011; also on the first title, it plastered over the original RKO logo at the start until 2017), Finding Nemo and Cinderella (1950; starting in 2012, but some post-2012 prints of the latter, like the Disney+ print, use the 5th logo instead), Monsters, Inc., Aladdin (1992), Peter Pan, and The Little Mermaid (all starting in 2013), Hercules (the Netflix print uses the 6th logo), The Jungle Book (1967; starting in 2014), and Cars (starting in 2017)
- Seen also on some Indian films produced by this company like Khoobsurat.
- It also appears preceding the Studio Ghibli logo on the 2010 DVD releases of their output, such as Ponyo, and is even surprisingly retained at the end of the UK DVD release of said film, even though Optimum Releasing distributed the film there.
- It also appeared once on the 2006/2007?? demo VHS release of Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
- 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.
Editor's Note: This logo is easily one of the best ever made, with its lush music, dream-like animation, nice sound effects, and CGI that still looks fantastic over 15 years later. However, it has gained some infamy among some for its continual plastering of Disney's previous logos. Nonetheless, this is still a favorite of many.
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-September 17, 1985: 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).