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The Walt Disney Company
  • Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio
  • The Walt Disney Studio
  • Walt Disney Productions
Traded as
Predecessor Laugh-O-Gram Studio
Founded October 16, 1923; 98 years ago (1923-10-16)
Headquarters Team Disney Building, Walt Disney Studios, ,
Area served
Key people
Products Television, publishing, films, music, video games, amusement parks, streaming, broadcasting, radio, web portals
Services Licensing
Revenue Decrease US$65.388 billion (2020)
Operating income
Decrease US$8.108 billion (2020)
DecreaseUS$2.864 billion (2020)
Total assets Increase US$201.549 billion (2020)
Total equity Decrease US$88.263 billion (2020)
Number of employees
223,000 (2019)
  • The Walt Disney Studios
  • Disney General Entertainment Networks
  • Disney Sports Networks
  • Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution
  • Disney International Operations
  • Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

The Walt Disney Company, commonly nicknamed Disney, is one of the largest entertainment and media companies in the world. This studio is famous for their family movies. It was started in 1923 by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Oliver Disney, as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. It had the name of Walt Disney Productions from 1937 to 1985.

Disney Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of the company; the name is found in many of its franchises.

The current chairman and CEO is Bob Chapek since 2020.


The company's main units are Studio Entertainment, Parks and Resorts, Media Networks and Consumer Products.

Studio Entertainment

This unit, also called the Walt Disney Studios, is headed by Chairman Dick Cook. It consists of:

One of the Studios' largest assets lies in Walt Disney Feature Animation, which has made a successful string of animated movies for almost seven decades. Because of failures with most of their recent additions, it has changed its focus from traditional hand-drawn to CGI movies. Pixar, also owned by Disney, is one of the first studios to create CGI movies. Recently, Disney has acquired 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Blue Sky Studios, a big movie production studio, as well as other assets of 21st Century Fox, for $52 billion USD.

Parks and Resorts

Worldwide, Disney has eleven theme parks (as of January 2022):

Disney once owned the sports teams, the Angels (baseball) and the Mighty Ducks (ice hockey), both based in Anaheim, California. They are now the property of other people.

Media Networks

The ABC television network, which Disney bought in 1996, serves as the centre of this unit. Cable television channels within it include Disney Channel, Toon Disney, ABC Family, ESPN and SOAPnet.It also partly owns Lifetime, A&E and E!.

Buena Vista Television, responsible for the syndication of many Disney series, produces some of its own as well: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Ebert & Roeper.

Consumer Products

Merchandising and licensing within the company are overseen in this division. Disney Publishing Worldwide, part of this unit, has Disney Press, Disney Editions and Hyperion Books as its brands.

It once owned the Disney Store shopping chain until 2004. Jim Henson's Muppets have taken its place since then.


Walt Disney at the grand opening of Disneyland, July 1955.
  • 1923: The Disney Company is founded
  • 1925: First appearance of Pegleg Pete cartoons, Alice Solves the Puzzle
  • 1928: First Mickey Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy
  • 1928: First appearance of Minnie Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy
  • 1928: First officail Mickey Mouse episode, Steamboat Willie
  • 1929: Start of the Silly Symphonies: The Skeleton Dance
  • 1929: First Silly Symphony episode, The Skeleton Dance
  • 1930: First appearance of Pluto cartoon, The Chain Gang
  • 1932: First appearance of Goofy cartoon, Mickey's Revue (Columbia Pictures Studios)
  • 1932: First full-colour cartoon, Flowers and Trees
  • 1933: First appearance of Fifi the Peke cartoons, Puppy Love
  • 1933: First Donald Duck Theme Music #1, The Steeplechase
  • 1933: First Pluto's Devil cartoons, Mickey's Pal Pluto
  • 1933: First Pluto's Angel cartoons, Mickey's Pal Pluto
  • 1934: First Walt Disney segment, The Hot Choco-Late Soldiers
  • 1934: First Donald Duck cartoon, The Wise Little Hen
  • 1937: First Daisy Duck cartoons, Don Donald
  • 1937: First Donald Duck episode, Don Donald
  • 1937: First Pluto, Jr. cartoons. Pluto's Quin-Puplets
  • 1937: First full-length animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • 1938: First Huey, Dewey and Louie cartoons, Donald's Nephews
  • 1939: First Goofy episode, Goofy and Wilbur
  • 1939: First Mickey Mouse Theme #1, The Standard Parade
  • 1940: First Disney movie failed at the box office, Pinocchio
  • 1940: First Pluto episode, Bone Trouble
  • 1940: First Donald Duck Theme #2, Window Cleaners
  • 1940: First Goofy Theme #1, Goofy's Glider
  • 1940: First Pluto #1, Private Parate
  • 1940: Studio moves to Burbank, California
  • 1940: Fantasia's debut
  • 1941: Dumbo's debut
  • 1942: Bambi's debut
  • 1942: First P.J. cartoons, Bellboy Donald
  • 1943: First Scrooge McDuck cartoons, The Spirit of '43
  • 1943: First Chip 'n' Dale cartoons, Private Pluto
  • 1944: First Pluto Theme #2, Springtime for Pluto
  • 1945: First Dutch cartoons, Canine Casanova
  • 1946: Much argued-over Song of the South's debut
  • 1947: First Pluto Theme #3, Pluto's Housewarming
  • 1947: First Donald Duck Theme #3, Donald's Dilemma
  • 1947: First Mickey Mouse #2, Mickey's Delayed Date
  • 1950: First Goofy Theme #2, Motor Mania
  • 1954: Walt Disney anthology series starts
  • 1955: Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California
  • 1955: First widescreen cartoon, Lady and the Tramp
  • 1964: Mary Poppins becomes the first Disney movie to be nominated for Best Picture
  • 1966: Walt Disney dies; his brother Roy takes over the studio
  • 1967: Last animated movie from producer Walt Disney, The Jungle Book
  • 1971: Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida
  • 1979: Don Bluth and friends leave the studio
  • 1979: The Black Hole, Disney's first PG movie, is a failure with critics
  • 1980: First home video: Dumbo
  • 1981: Disney's last film that has any The Nine Old Men as the animators: The Fox and the Hound
  • 1983: Disney Channel is launched
  • 1984: Touchstone Pictures starts with Splash
  • 1984: Michael Eisner became the CEO of Disney
  • 1985: Disney's first animated movie that has rated PG: The Black Cauldron
  • 1988: Who framed Roger Rabbit's debut
  • 1988: DisneyToons Studios opens
  • 1989: The Little Mermaid brings new life in the animation division as well as the genre; studio gets its first Oscar in eighteen years for this movie
  • 1990: Hollywood Pictures starts with Arachnophobia
  • 1991: Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture
  • 1993: The Nightmare Before Christmas's debut
  • 1994: Frank Wells was killed from helicopter crash
  • 1994: The Lion King becomes the highest grossing hand drawn animated film in the U.S.
  • 1994: Jeffrey Katzenberg resigns from Disney.
  • 1995: First Pixar movie, Toy Story
  • 2001: First Pixar movie that was nominated for Best Animated Feature, Monster's Inc.
  • 2003: First Pixar movie that won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature,Finding Nemo
  • 2003: Pirates of the Caribbean becomes studio's first family movie with a rating of PG-13
  • 2004: Home on the Range is Disney's last traditionally animated movie to use CAPS
  • 2004: First Pixar movie that has rated PG, The Incredibles
  • 2005: Disneyland celebrates fiftieth birthday
  • 2005: Michael Eisner resigns from Disney. He was replaced by Bob Iger.
  • 2005: First self-made CGI movie, Chicken Little
  • 2009: Up becomes the first Pixar animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture
  • 2009: Disney buys comic book publisher Marvel Comics for 4 billion US dollars.
  • 2012: Disney buys movie studio Lucasfilm for 4 billion US dollars.
  • 2013: Disney releases Frozen, which becomes the studio's first non-Pixar film to win an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
  • 2017: Disney agrees to buy most of Fox's subsidiaries (including 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, and Blue Sky Studios) for 52 billion US dollars.
  • 2018: DisneyToons Studios was closed down
  • 2018: John Lasseter left Disney
  • 2018: Touchstone Pictures was closed down
  • 2019: Disney completes its purchase of 21st Century Fox.
  • 2019: Ed Catmull retires
  • 2019: Disney creates their own streaming service, Disney+, in November 2019.
  • 2020: Bob Iger resigns as the CEO of Disney. He was replaced by Bob Chapek as CEO.
  • 2021: Bob Iger will leave Disney.

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