The Walt Disney Company facts for kids

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The Walt Disney Company, commonly nicknamed Disney, is one of the largest entertainment and media companies in the world. 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 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, its biggest rival (also owned by Disney), dominates the latter industry.

Parks and Resorts

Worldwide, Disney has eleven theme parks (as of October 2019):

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.


  • 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 Mickey Mouse episode, Plane Crazy
  • 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 appearance of Figaro cartoons, 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
  • 1941: First Winnie the Pooh character Gopher, Canine Caddy
  • 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
  • 1966: Walt Disney dies; his brother Roy takes over
  • 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 traditionally animated movie: The Fox and the Hound
  • 1983: Disney Channel is launched
  • 1984: Touchstone Pictures starts with Splash
  • 1985: Disney's first animated movie to use computer animation: The Black Cauldron
  • 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
  • 1995: First Pixar movie, Toy Story
  • 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
  • 2005: Disneyland celebrates fiftieth birthday
  • 2005: First self-made CGI movie, Chicken Little
  • 2009: Disney buys comic book publisher Marvel Comics for 4 billion US dollars.
  • 2012: Disney buys movie studio Lucasfilm for 4 billion US dollars.

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The Walt Disney Company Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.