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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, HiddenResearcher, McDonald's1, indycar, and RomNick1998

Video captures courtesy of Nightwing726, heyblondin, IntroHD, ConoleZ, MaxGoesFourth, and James S. Campbell, III

In memory of Walt Disney (1901-1966)

Background[]

Walt Disney Pictures 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 and Pixar Animation 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 passed away in December 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", while Buena Vista was rebranded to "Buena Vista Pictures Distribution" with its 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. Eisner also established Hollywood Pictures to internally compete with Touchstone Pictures. 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 the final film using the brand being The Game Plan and "Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures" taking its place on subsequent films beginning with Enchanted. In 2011, the film division's name was abbreviated, now referred to simply as "Disney".

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

Nicknames: "Walt Dull-sney Pictures", "The Walt Disney Text of Boredom", "Boring Disney"

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, and is the first to do so.
  • 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.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the film or none.

Availability: Rare. Seen 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 American release of 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), Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, and Mighty Joe Young (although the next logo appears on trailers and TV spots). 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 overtly simple and plain for a Disney logo. In fairness, this was probably a placeholder for the more elaborate logos used later on.

2nd Logo (June 21, 1985-December 12, 2006)[]

Nicknames: "The Disney Castle", "Magic Kingdom", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle", "Classic Castle", "The Castle of Hollywood", "The Castle of Memories", "The Blue Castle", "Nostalgic Castle", "Walt Disney Castle", "Cel-animated Castle", "The Disney Renaissance Logo", "Disney Script", "White Disney Script", "2D Castle", "Abstract Castle"

Logo: On a blue background (à la the 1975 Paramount Pictures 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 an ITC Lubalin Graph 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 exist:

  • 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, and the background is blue. 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. This is the only variant of the logo not to use digital ink and paint animation, as Disney did not switch to that technique until 1989 and 1990.
  • March 21, 1990-April 14, 2006: The castle is sky blue, and the background is blue. Also, the semi-circular line ends just above the "W" in the script. This variant exists in cel animated/filmed and digitally animated/videotaped versions.
  • June 15, 2001-December 12, 2006: Similar to the 1990 variant, but the seventh flag is added to the right of the castle. This variant is mainly used on DisneyToon Studios' productions and is the only one not to use cel animation or be shot on film.

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 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 2001.
  • All three main variants of this logo became the basis for the Walt Disney Television, Walt Disney Television Animation, and Buena Vista International Television logos.

Variants:

  • The size of the logo may vary depending on the aspect ratio of the film.
  • From 1985-2005, 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 1994 until 2006, the logo is videotaped and made with digital ink-and-paint.
  • There is a variation used from 1994-2006 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. This variation was often used on the 1994 digitally videotaped version and can be seen, for example, at the beginning of the 2007 DVD print of Peter Pan.
  • There is another variation for the cel animated version in 1990 which has a lower frame rate for most of the animation except the line drawing over the castle, which has smoother animation. A more refined 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 script is a little slower and is shaped like an oval. The arc above the castle is slightly larger than normal as well. This can be found on 101 Dalmatians, 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 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 1980s 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.
  • There is an even shorter variant that starts after the "WALT DiSNEY PICTURES" text is formed. This can be seen on the 2005-07 Platinum Edition releases of Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan, and The Jungle Book, either plastering over or preceding the RKO and Buena Vista logos. This strangely (albeit, silently) appears on post-2006 prints of Lady and the Tramp and the 2007 Platinum Edition 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 2003-06 animated films and The Shaggy Dog (as a variant), the script and "PICTURES" appear together instead of fading in after.
  • At the end of both Fantasia 2000 and The Emperor's New Groove, the arc disappears after it is drawn over the castle.
  • 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 the current prints of Swiss Family Robinson (1940), the 1990 version of the logo is in black and white.
  • On the 2010 25th Anniversary Edition DVD release of The Black Cauldron, the 1985 variant is digitally videotaped.

Closing Variant: Either the full animation or it will fades in 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 in traditional animation 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 synthesized chorus singing and a quiet brass rendition of the song's first six notes, alongside sparkles evoking pixie dust, followed by an uprising flute and what sounds like a reversed cymbal crash, then a full orchestral finish of the song's first eight notes, ending with a synth. 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 fanfare was used from 1985 to 1990, and was enhanced or re-recorded in 1990.
  • There is a slightly re-orchestrated variant on the 1998 VHS release and the 2010 25th Anniversary DVD release of The Black Cauldron.
  • There is a slightly rearranged 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 entirely-different sounding horn fanfare 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 use a more dramatic rearrangement.
  • In the 1995 short Runaway Brain, the theme is rearranged to sound more like the 1988 Walt Disney Television logo and the White Fang 2 variant.
  • On D3: The Mighty Ducks, it uses a flash sound when the script is formed, and then laser sounds when the arc is being drawn over the castle.
  • 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 and the 1998 VHS of The Little Mermaid (1989) have the music off-sync with the logo's animation.
  • On 1990s re-releases of Disney animated shorts, the logo is silent until the end, when the 1950s Buena Vista music is heard.
  • 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, the film's custom Buena Vista fanfare playing over the end of the logo.
  • On 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 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 the 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 and the Tramp.
  • On The Lion King, ambient noises of the African savanna are heard.
  • 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."). This was removed in some foreign prints of the movie.
  • Similarly, at the end of Aladdin, specifically on the 2004 home video releases, Genie (voiced by the late Robin Williams) is heard talking over the logo ("You have been a fabulous audience! Tell you what, you're the best audience in the whole world! Take care of yourself! Goodnight, Alice! Goodnight, Agrabah! ¡Adios, amigos!"), over the end of the film's closing theme. The original theatrical and 1993 video releases don't carry this comment.
  • On the 2002 Brazilian VHS release 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 normal music play, most likely due to an editing error.

Availability: Common.

  • This was seen on most films from the studio released between 1985 and 2006, and was used in tandem with the next logo until December 12, 2006. For a while it became harder to find due to extensive plastering, but it isn't too hard to spot nowadays.
    • The shortened 1985 version debuted on Return to Oz (released on June 21, 1985); the full version debuted on The Black Cauldron (released on July 24, 1985), and made its last appearance on original prints of The Little Mermaid (released on November 17, 1989, despite its official trailer using the next variant). It also appeared on the 1990 UK reissue trailer for Fantasia.
    • The 1990 version debuted on Taran and the Magic Cauldron (cancelled re-release), and made its final appearance (albeit as a variant) on The Shaggy Dog (released on March 10, 2006); it made its final closing appearance on The Wild (released on April 14, 2006).
    • The 2002 version debuted (albeit as a variant at the beginning and normally at the end) on Return to Never Land (released on February 15, 2002), and made its final appearance at the end of The Fox and the Hound 2 (released on December 12, 2006).
  • Starting in the late 1980s, it was also used on newer prints of classic films, such as Cinderella (1950) (starting in 1988), Fantasia (starting in 1991), 101 Dalmatians (1961) (starting in 1992), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (starting in 1993), The Fox and the Hound, Pinocchio (1940), 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 (1967) (all starting in 1997), Lady and the Tramp (1956) (starting in 1998), The Rescuers (starting in 1999, using the 1985 version), Alice in Wonderland (1951) (starting in 2000) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (starting in 2001), among others.
  • The 1994 "videotaped" version was 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 Mickey Mouse short Runaway Brain, released on August 11, 1995.
  • The 2001 version was first seen on Atlantis: The Lost Empire, released on June 15, 2001 (though using a variant at both the beginning and end of the movie). The normal variant debuted at the end of Peter Pan: Return to Never Land, released on February 26, 2002, and made its final appearance on The Fox and the Hound 2 (which as a whole was the last film to use this logo), released on December 12, 2006.
  • The last theatrically-released films to use this logo were The Shaggy Dog (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.
  • The last direct-to-video releases to use this were Bambi II, Brother Bear 2, and The Fox and the Hound 2.
  • It was also seen on trailers for Toy Story as well, but the film itself uses the 4th 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.
  • The original 1988 theatrical film release of Oliver & Company used the 1985 version of the castle, while post-1996 releases use the 1990 variant.
  • The original 2000 release of The Little Mermaid 2 used the 1994 castle, while the 2001 castle is used on post-2008 prints.
  • It also appeared on pre-2002 prints of The Lion King, as the 2002 IMAX version uses the 5th logo (the original 1995 VHS preserves this logo, however).
  • Also, even though most recent prints of classic films use the 6th logo, it is strangely seen on the 2007 Platinum Edition DVDs of Peter Pan (1953) and The Jungle Book (1967), the 2008-09 Special Edition DVD releases of The Aristocats, The Jungle Book 2, 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, and Oliver & Company, the 2012 Diamond Edition DVD release of Lady and the Tramp (1956) and the Bambi: The Story Behind the Story feature on the Diamond Edition 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 also 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 Sigt 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 (since removed) Netflix print of Hercules, while the other prints use the 6th logo.
  • When the Disney+ streaming service launched, the 1990 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.
  • The 1990 lower-frame rate variant was featured on the 1991 theatrical re-release and Walt Disney Classics VHS of 101 Dalmatians, as well as several other WDC tapes. It was seen on The Muppets Christmas Carol, The Santa Clause and Muppets Treasure Island. It was also seen on the 1990 theatrical re-release of Fantasia and at the end of the 1991 Australian and UK/Irish VHS of the said film.
  • Used in tandem with the 6th logo until December 16, 2008.
  • It also appeared on some UK/Irish VHS tapes of Disney films from the late 1990s and early 2000s as a de-facto home entertainment logo.

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.

3rd Logo (April 15, 1988)[]

WALT DISNEY PICTURES 1988 LOGO

Nicknames: "Disney Script II", "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.

Music/Sounds: None.

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 in Australia and Untamed in the United Kingdom and Ireland (the 2nd logo appears at the beginning). Also spotted on a TV spot for said film. A print version of this logo also appeared on film posters for Cheetah (1989). Used in tandem with the second logo.

Editor's Note: Quite an oddity in general, given its usage and obscurity.

4th Logo (Pixar Variant) (November 19, 1995-June 29, 2007)[]

Nicknames: "The Pixar Castle", "Pixar Kingdom", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle II", "Sleeping Beauty Castle 3D", "CGI Disney Castle", "The Disney Castle II", "Walt Disney Castle II", "The Castle of Hollywood II", "Majestic Castle", "The Zooming Castle", "Pre-Ultra Majestic Castle", "Disney Script III", "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 rippling 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 second logo, although the way the castle appears is very different.

Variants:

  • 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 the original VHS and VCD release, the logo is blue-tinted and filmed.
  • On trailers and on Monsters, Inc., the logo is shortened to when the arc is formed over the castle. This does not appear as a closing variant, though.
  • Widescreen and full screen versions of this logo exist.
  • On the VCD release of The Incredibles, the logo is slightly stretched horizontally, along with the Pixar logo and the opening interviews, except for the last one with Elastigirl.

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

FX/SFX: The camera zooming out and the animation from the 2nd logo. Very nice CGI from Pixar themselves.

Music/Sounds: A bombastic/majestic fanfare composed by Randy Newman, based on "Andy's Birthday" from the Toy Story soundtrack. Sometimes, the theme trails into the Pixar logo. This is heard on Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, and Cars.

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.
  • An early work print version of A Bug's Life uses the "When You Wish Upon A Star" music from the 2nd logo.
  • Sometimes, the opening theme of the movie is used instead. This is the case for Monsters, Inc., 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, there are rippling flags and the sound of a bell tree glissing and dinging as the ball of light draws the pixie dust line over the castle. On A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc. and the original (pre-outtakes) release of Toy Story 2, the closing theme was 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. It is strangely absent from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins.
  • Since the logo was retired, it has become rarer, mostly being plastered by the 6th logo on Blu-ray and DVD prints, as well as most TV airings of 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 VHS releases. It did, however, make a surprise appearance on the 2021 DVD of Cars, due to being a reissue of the original 2006 DVD.
  • The logo was last used in the teaser trailer for WALL-E, since the film itself uses the 6th 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 made a surprise appearance on an Amazon Video print of Monsters, Inc., likely because it was using the 2009 Blu-ray master.
  • Used in tandem with the 6th logo until June 29, 2007.

Editor's Note: A nice CGI update of the 2nd logo, which is fondly regarded by fans of older Pixar movies.

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

Nicknames: "Hidden Disney Castle", "The Flare", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle III", "The Castle of Hollywood III", "The Flashlight", "Golden Disney Castle", "Walt Disney Castle III", "2D Castle II", "Disney Script IV", "Golden Disney Script", "Golden Castle"

Logo: On a black background is the orange text "WALT DiSNEY PICTURES" wiping in from left to right. Then, 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 and is leaving behind the arc.

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, 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, a sound of a fire being lit is heard 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 (only at the end; don't expect this logo to appear at the beginning). Also seen on some animated films from Disney, such as Dinosaur (which was the first film to use this logo), Brother Bear (the 6th logo is used at the end on current prints though), and the 2002 IMAX re-release and 2003 DVD of The Lion King. 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). Used in tandem with the second logo.

Editor's Note: A stylish and well-done adaption of the original Disney castle logo for older-skewing films.

6th Logo (June 24, 2006-December 15, 2022; September 29, 2023)[]

Walt Disney Pictures logo

Nicknames: "CGI Magic Kingdom", "The Disney Castle IV", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle IV", "Majestic Castle II", "Ultra Majestic Castle", "The Castle and the Fireworks", "CGI Disney Castle II", "Sleeping Beauty Castle 3D II", "Walt Disney Castle IV", "The Plastering Castle", "Disney Script VI", "Glossy Disney Script"

Logo: There is a view of a night sky, with a star somewhere on the screen and the clouds on the bottom. The screen then start flying down through the clouds, revealing a horizon with a winding river (including a yacht), with a train running down a railroad track and some buildings nearby. The screen then flies down past a flag with the Disney coat of arms and continues panning down as fireworks start going off around the setting. The camera continues to turn, pan downwards and zoom out until the castle, now completely redone in CGI, is in full view. Once the camera stops at a comfortable position, with the castle in full view and two walls lined up on opposite sides with a winding river in front, the fireworks stop exploding and a small speck appears from the left side of the castle, flying towards the bottom right side. It then draws a line over the castle, leaving behind pixie dust. "WALT DiSNEY", in its distinctive (albeit somewhat altered) script font, alongside "P I C T U R E S" in a Trajan Pro font (or as of 2011, just "DiSNEY") fades in front of the castle.

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. Furthermore, the logo, without the text, was used in the intro to The Wonderful World of Disney since 2007. However, the logo's music, along with the firework sounds, albeit the first 7 notes of the intro are played twice, followed with archival audio of Walt Disney's quote about one of his accomplishments, "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse.", was used in the 2008 version of the intro. The second half of the logo's music, in high tone, was used in Disney Movies VR, along with the castle, rendered for VR displays using the Unity engine, and with different fireworks with firework sounds playing over when the Disney section is highlighted, being shown in the app's main hub.
  • The logo contains elements from 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 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.

Variants:

  • On 3-D releases, the text zooms in more to create a three-dimensional illusion. This variant was also used on 2D films, despite them not being released in 3D. These include Mars Needs Moms, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, both Planes films, Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016) (only on the closing logo), 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 and TV spots.
  • On Disney Blu-ray releases, the word "DiSNEY" is absent from the logo. This is seen as a loading screen when the Blu-ray starts and during the Disney Blu-ray logo.
  • An open matte version exists. A 4:3 variant was seen on the 2008 DVD of 101 Dalmatians (1961) (current home media prints since the Diamond Edition release and the Disney+ print omit it), and a full 16:9 open matte version was seen on Weta Digital's video and of the Enchanted opening titles. Also, the variant from Beauty and the Beast (2017) also used a 16:9 open matte version on its in-flight and IMAX Aspect Ratio versions.
  • Sometimes, the "DiSNEY" text is off center.
  • On TV-syndicated airings of Cars and Toy Story 3, a slightly shortened version exists, starting with the flag being revealed.
  • On MacFarland, USA, a very short version exists which starts when the castle is fully revealed.
  • On Jungle Cruise, the logo is enhanced, including the Disney logo standing (instead of fading in) and the lights of the castle and the Disney logo can be seen in the reflection of the river. The clouds in the sky are removed.
  • Both the original 2006 and 2011 variants exist in widescreen and full screen formats.
  • The size of the logo may vary.

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 the opening logo on current prints of Monsters, Inc. to plaster the 1995 Pixar-exclusive logo.
  • On animated films from Finding Dory to Lightyear (with the exception of Onward and Ralph Breaks the Internet), along with the live-action Lion King, the full animation as described above is used as a closing logo. This is due to dubbing information (director, translator, sound mixer, studio, additional voices, etc.) and the original main voice cast being displayed there in place on international localized prints. After that, the regular closing logo plays out.
  • On current prints of Aladdin, Hercules, and Brother Bear (despite the previous logo being intact at the beginning), the tail end of the logo plays.
  • In some cases, the closing logo doesn't appear at all.

FX/SFX: The camera flying and panning down to reveal the castle. Beautiful, mind-blowing CGI animation designed by yU+co, and animated by Weta Digital.

Music/Sounds: A piano/string piece in which brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments and a choir join in and build into an majestic orchestral-choral 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. On most occasions, other sound effects are added, including a train whistle, the sound of a flag flapping, and the sound of fairy dust sparkling as the curved line is drawn (in some films, such as The Muppets, certain sounds such as the train whistle aren’t heard). This all closes out with a long, bombastic note.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • In some cases, the logo is silent or has the opening theme of the movie playing over it, with some of the normal sound effects retained.
  • On many features after the logo's initial years, the opening theme or song of the movie is used without any sound effects whatsoever.
  • An alternate version is subtly different, having louder and clearer sound effects. This version can be seen in National Treasure: Book of Secrets and G-Force, with the latter film using these sound effects with the normal music. Most of these sound effects were also used in the logo on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Secretariat, The Muppets, and Muppets Most Wanted (the latter two films also pair these sound effects with the normal theme).
  • On Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, a vaguely rock-sounding remix of the theme is used with the sound effects intact, albeit only halfway through when the highest spire is revealed. The theme is also double-pitched, and was performed by the Jonas Brothers themselves.
  • On Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, as the opening theme plays, only the sounds of the fireworks and water flowing are heard.
  • The closing variant is mostly silent, but sometimes, the closing theme of the movie will be heard over the logo, or, very rarely, the same fanfare used to open up films. On some films (such as The Princess and the Frog, Frozen, and some Pixar films), the sound of fairy dust are heard over the logo.
  • At the end of current prints of Aladdin 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 Frankenweenie (2012), the logo starts off with a reorchestrated version of the fanfare, composed by Danny Elfman. But as the curved line is drawn over the castle, lightning flashes, causing the logo suddenly becomes black and white. This causes the music to change to a much spookier tune, complete with an organ.
  • On Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva la Fiesta, the fanfare is played by a mariachi band (which is a part of the opening theme) with the firework sounds removed.
    • Another mariachi-themed version of the fanfare is heard in Coco, albeit played in the same key as the normal fanfare. The fireworks sounds are also removed here.
  • On The Jungle Book (2016), there is a rearranged version of the fanfare, composed by John Debney, which eventually transitions into the opening theme of the movie once the logo is completed. No sound effects are used for this variant.
    • On The Lion King (2019), a similar version of this fanfare is used, albeit now composed by Hans Zimmer and without any transitional music cues at the end. Like the former film, there are no sound effects.
  • On Incredibles 2, a completely different fanfare titled "Episode Two", composed by Michael Giacchino, plays over this and the following Pixar logo.
  • On Christopher Robin, the sound of fairy dust is heard when the curved line is drawn.
  • On The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, the sound effects are intact again, and a more dramatic rearrangement of the fanfare plays over the logo.
  • On Lady and the Tramp (2019), a 50s style jazzy rendition of the fanfare plays over it.
  • On Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, "I've Gotta Be Me" by Tony Bennett plays over it.
  • On Safety, when the highest spire is revealed, snare drums and extra trumpet sounds are added to accompany it, as if it were played by a marching band.
  • On Soul, the firework sounds are removed again, and the fanfare is played in a somewhat off-key jazz rendition by Joe's band class, with noisy trumpets, squalling saxaphones, and a tailgate trombone.
  • On Flora and Ulysses, the logo uses the opening theme, with only sound effects for the train and flag, as well as the curved line being drawn, but there are strangely no firework sounds.
  • On Pinocchio (2022), Jiminy Cricket sings along with the tail end of the logo's fanfare. Once again, this logo transitions to the film’s opening.
  • On Hocus Pocus 2, the logo starts off with a reorchestrated version of the fanfare, composed by John Debney, but as the camera rotates around the castle, the fanfare transitions into the opening theme of the film.
  • At the Encanto Live-to-Film Concert Experience, a Colombian-styled version of the logo's fanfare is played.

Availability: Ultra common. This was used in tandem with the 2nd logo until December 16, 2008, the 4th logo until June 29, 2007, and the 7th logo until December 9, 2022.

  • Seen on multiple Disney films from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (the previous logo is shown on trailers, however) to Disenchanted (the next logo is shown on trailers).
  • It appears on some Walden Media films co-produced with Walt Disney Pictures since Bridge to Terabithia.
  • It also appears on all Pixar films from 2008 to 2022, the first of them being WALL-E, and the last being Lightyear. It was seen on some TV spots for Ratatouille, but the normal film itself used the 4th logo, and is the logo's final appearance.
  • The logo appears on Walt Disney Animation Studios films from 2007 to 2021, first being Meet the Robinsons and last being Encanto.
  • The version with the full company name last appeared theatrically on Winnie the Pooh (2011), and direct-to-video on Treasure Buddies (2012), but it later made a surprise appearance at the end of The Lone Ranger (2013), albeit only on the theatrical release.
  • 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.
  • It also started to appear on current prints of classic Disney films and shorts and most pre-2008 Pixar films (with the exceptions of A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille) in the late 2000s, beginning with the 2008 Platinum Edition DVD release of 101 Dalmatians (1961), though many others like those aformentioned films still use their old logos. It even plasters the Touchstone Pictures logo on post-2006 prints of The Nightmare Before Christmas, although the Touchstone is still listed in the closing credits.
  • Seen also on some Indian films produced by this company, including 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.
  • On VHS, it appeared on the 2006 demo VHS release of Cinderella III: A Twist in Time and the 2007 Disney Movie Club Exclusive VHS release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
  • The logo usually appeared on ABC shows and specials, such as Dancing with the Stars and American Idol during Disney Night, which occured once each season.
  • This logo also appears on 20th Century adaptations like Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021), The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, and Cheaper by the Dozen (2022), instead of the said company's logo. This is most likely due to all movies moving to this company during production. However, none of the studios are explicitly mentioned in their end credits. Coincidentally, all three of them were Disney+ releases so this is also a possible reason. A similar case with Deep Water does not have 20th Century logo at all, and just cuts to the film's opening.
  • It also makes an appearance at the Encanto Live-to-Film Concert Experience, which was located at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles from November 11-12, 2022.
  • The last film to use the full version of this logo was Night of the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, released on Disney+, while the last film to use the short version of the logo was Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, released on ABC on December 15, 2022, then on Disney+ the next day. The final short film series to use the full version of this logo was the 2nd season of Launchpad, which was released on September 29, 2023 on Disney+.

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 16 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.

7th Logo (September 9, 2022-)[]

Nicknames: "CGI Magic Kingdom II", "The Disney Castle V", "Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella Castle V", "Majestic Castle III", "Ultra Majestic Castle II", "100 Years of Wonder", "Disney100", "The Sunset Castle", "100th Anniversary Castle", "100 Years of Walt Disney", "Centennial Castle", "Century Castle", "The ILM Castle", "The Mountain Castle", "The Platinum Castle"

Logo: It starts off with the enhanced night sky, with the largest star jumps out of the river, causing the scene to ripple around it. Instead of panning down, the camera pans up and goes through an updated version of the river and buildings as an approaching train passes by on a bridge, now with a waterfall, trees and other elements in the foreground as it follows the star flying around the landscape, a la the Star Skipper from the Paramount Animation logo. Once the camera gets to the waterfall, it pans up to reveal the Cinderella Castle from the back before the star flies across it, as the camera rotates to the left and then works its way to the famed position while multiple fireworks are seen exploding from all directions. The camera then reaches its standard position, revealing a new sunset background and a new river, and the arc (now colored in blue as well as being wider and brighter) draws counter-clockwise rather than other way around, with a star twinkling when it reaches its highest point. As the camera slowly zooms out, the "DiSNEY" script shown in glass writes in (which is once again in the 1985 font), then the camera comes to a stop before the logo fades out.

Trivia:

  • According to an official D23 article, 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.
    • The castle's color changing is also a nod to the scene of the spell cast on the Beast's castle being broken from said film.
  • Like the previous logo, the train seen halfway through the logo might be a reference to Casey Jr. from Dumbo.
  • During the turnaround of the castle, a pirate ship resembling the Jolly Roger from Peter Pan can be seen in the background.
  • At the end of the logo, the 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, as well as the lanterns from Tangled in the river and Will O' the Wisps from Brave on the grass.
  • Three Mickey Mouse-shaped fireworks are shown when the castle appears. Two more of those are also shown as the camera is panning around the castle.
  • The castle that starts off platinum references the company's 100 anniversary in 2023, as platinum is a recurring color across the 100th anniversary branding of the company.
  • The arc, which traditionally appears clockwise, appears counter-clockwise in this logo, possibly homaging the 2006 print logo and the animated logo of Disney+. The arc is also in the same color as the 1985 logo's arc, light blue.
  • This was also used as the intro to The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC since 2022, albeit without the text forming.
  • Unlike previous logos, this is the first time that the open matte version of the logo used as standard logo for film not played in 2.25:1 and 2.39:1 format.
    • Both two previous castle logo were only shown in open matte version in special cases. For the 1985 logo, the only open matte version was used in The Jungle Book 2, and for the 2007 logo (including its 2011 modified version), the open matte version was used in IMAX special aspect ratio/cable network release/in-flight entertainment release of Enchanted and the 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast due to their pan-in camera transition, as well as the 2008 DVD release of 101 Dalmatians.

Variant:

  • Like the 2007 logo, a short variant exists where it starts on the arc drawing as the text is already formed.
    • It currently used in all trailers, and is used as the closing logo since the international print of Strange World. The first film to use this as a closing logo domestically was Chang Can Dunk. It is used as an opening logo for the short film Carl's Date, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
  • For the logo's debut and its first official year in 2022 to 2023, the text was moved a little bit to the left to make way for the studio's 100th anniversary logo. It was followed by a "100" in the same fashion. Then, the text "100 YEARS OF WONDER" in spaced out letters fades in below. Throughout 2023, the text is absent, first seen in Chang Can Dunk and last seen in Diary of the Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever. When camera pans up the waterfall to the back of the castle, it starts off platinum metallic then turns color as the star flies by.

FX/SFX: Entirely done in CGI animation that's even better than before. This was all created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) (which also made the 1997 DreamWorks Pictures logo) in collaboration with Disney Studios Content.

Music/Sounds: A longer and more majestic re-arrangement of the "When You Wish Upon a Star" theme from the previous logo. Additionally, there are the sounds of fairy dust as the star flies, a whistling train as the train passes by, and the firework sounds are made louder, syncing to the notes. This version of the fanfare was composed by Christophe Beck and conducted by Tim Davies.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • In some cases, the opening and closing themes of the film is heard or none at all.
  • Sometimes on the closing variant, the sound of fairy dust is heard.
  • On short films, the first few seconds of the theme with the fairy dust sound are heard. The theme trails to the Pixar logo on Carl's Date.
  • On Wish, the theme trails into the opening theme of the movie.
  • On Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Concert, only the sound effects are heard over the last few seconds of the score.
  • On the website for the 2023 Clio Entertainment Awards, a completely different arrangement of "When You Wish Upon a Star" is used, starting with an extended version of the 2006 logo's opening piano notes (originally composed by Mark Mancina) until a powerful version of the familiar theme comes in with the reveal of the castle. The train whistle is also much louder.

Availability: Brand new.

  • Debuted 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 (the former uses the previous logo), and the studio's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid (2023), which were all released on September 9, 2022 at the Expo. However, the former two films used the 2011 version of the previous logo instead.
  • It made its official debut with Strange World on November 23, 2022, although the 2011 version of the previous logo is seen on the film's teaser trailer.
  • The first Disney+ original film to use this logo was Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl, which is based on the Encanto Live-to-Film Concert Experience at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, although the event itself used the 2011 version of the previous logo.
  • It also appears on Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (which is produced by Lucasfilm Ltd., one of Disney's subsidiaries), albeit only at the beginning of the film.
  • It also appears on newer Pixar films since 2023, starting with Elemental.
  • It was used in tandem with the previous logo until December 9, 2022.
  • The post-100 version of the logo was debuted on a trailer for Inside Out 2, while the full opening logo of it was debuted on a Disney+ original documentary film, The Beach Boys.

Editor's Note: A wonderful love letter to Disney's filmography, and an appropriate successor to the previous logo, especially with their 100th anniversary. This is also the first logo since the 5th logo to use the corporate Disney text.

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-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 20, 1998-present: Copyright © by Disney Enterprises, Inc./Pixar Animation Studios (on Pixar films).


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