Disney Animation Studios Disney Animation Studios

Disney Feature’s New Name

Disney’s ad this year in the Annecy animation festival program book announced a new name for their feature animation division. They’ve actually been using the new name for a few months now but this is the first time I’ve run across an announcement about the name change.

Disney Animation Studios
  • Does this actually mean anything? Like are they getting rid of the castle logo and replacing it with this walking, waving Mickey Mouse? And my cynical side can’t help but ask is there some political reason behind all this? By changing this can they now take advantage of some loophole that can now roll all of their animation units (television included) into one nice little Tinkerbell endorsed package or something?

  • Chris

    I think the change was a good idea. It feels more “art housey” now instead of like a financial district. Hopefully it represents a philosophy they will continue to perpetuate. I have faith.

  • Jeff

    Don’t they also want to return to making shorts? That would explain doing away with the word “feature.”

  • slowtiger

    Typography and colouring all scream 1930 to me. I like that, but I don’t know what it means, if it means anything at all.

  • Chuck R.

    Classy design. I like it!

    BTW, Welcome back, Amid.

  • Floyd Norman

    This is the same retro Mickey we used on a jacket we designed for ourselves when I worked in Disney’s Consumer Products Division years ago.

    What does this design say? It says, Disney dammit! The opposite of the evil empire Eisner ran for over twenty years.

  • I wonder who proposed the change and what process of executive approval it went through… just out of curiosity. A lot is changing–quickly or slowly–since Lasseter started walking the grounds, mostly ideologically… perhaps corporate identity is another component of the post-Eisner era.

  • I imagine they changed it because they will also be doing shorts now. The new name is all-encompassing as far as animation goes, whereas the old one suggested they were strictly relegated to features. Just a thought.

  • I like…but then I’m a Disney freak who’s been collecting 1930s Disneyana and Disney WW II related items for about 23 years now.

  • Rat

    Two logos go in front of the Pixar movies. The Walt Disney Pictures logo, and the Pixar Animation Studios logo.

    Now if you look at the pre-Meet-the-Robinsons films from WDFA, there’s no WDFA logo. They just say “Walt Disney Pictures”. Just the castle. Only one logo. And with the company releasing animated movies from houses like Pixar, Vanguard Animation, C.O.R.E. Feature Animation, Studio Ghibli and who knows what all… THEY all got logos. But it’s not just “logo envy.” There was no way to say, “hey audience, this is us. This is OUR picture. This is the continuing of OUR body of work.”

    There was no logo that meant “This was made by the animation studio that Walt Disney built. The studio of the 9 Old Men. The studio of Snow White, Fantasia and Bambi.” (Tough shots can be taken here. We know there’s no comparison.)

    Walt Disney Feature Animation never had a logo. Well, that’s not entirely true. We had this. Yeah.. Reserving artistic commentary on that one. There has been the desire by the artists inside the hat building to change the logo since long before anyone ever imagined John and Ed taking over. They just were the first ones running things who “got it”.

    The moral of The Lion King is “Remember who you are.” That’s what this logo is all about. That Mickey may look familiar.

  • I think it says something very significant, that Disney (the corporation) has gone all these years without a logo that represented it’s animation production.
    I never even thought about it until Rat made his comment above. Always sort of thought of the castle as ‘the Disney logo’. But that same logo has always also been used for Herbie films and all sorts of crap. Theres never really been anything just for the animation has there? Just everything homogenised under this big, meaningless ‘magic of Disney’ idea.
    Says a lot about how that company has *really* treated its precious animation content over the years.

  • Russell

    Now, if they can stop making crap they’d have something!

  • Looks like Lasseter is trying to get Disnsy back to its roots. A good thing for the company in terms of marketing, but also in terms of its creativity and story telling for sure.

  • Hey great. I like this name much better. It feels like it encompasses the entire legacy in a more complete way and it also means that all that stuff we have that is labelled “Walt Disney Feature Animation” is now more of a collectible. :-)

  • John A

    The Mickey pose is the same one that was on the sign above the Hyperion studio. I see this as a positive thing. I would love to see Diney Animation return to its glory days.

  • EHH

    I love the early Mickey Mouse and the coloring. It gives it a 1930s look. Does anyone else agree with me?

  • ThePeterNetwork

    Now if only they would go back to creating traditional, hand-drawn 2D animated films.

  • I gotta say i like everything about it. The 80’s/90’s studio one had a sterile high-tech feel that is very dated now and seemed always to suggest “video” to me. Even the synth music felt cold and cheap. As meagre as it was it just oozed corporate, Wall Steet ‘bling!’ Good riddance!
    The Pixar castle one was much more in the spirit of Walt: grandiose, showmanlike and using the full-orchestrated Randy Newman music cue that said: “get ready to have fun!” I look forward to seeing this new Mickey one in theaters.

  • Rat

    Looking forward, Will? You haven’t seen Meet The Robinsons?

  • Scott

    In your rush to glorify all that is Pixar, Rat, you forget that WDFA had a perfectly fine logo before the one you describe. And that Mickey actually showed what FA did–draw. This Mickey is just a Mickey, like eighty-seven other divisions use.

    As for the film releases, there was no need for a production company logo in front of the WDFA features, like Pixar, Ghibli, Vanguard, etc. all got, because WDFA wasn’t just some production company contracted to make films that Disney would release. Feature Animation *was* Disney. Disney was FA. Now WDAS is just Pixar South.

  • I also agree that the 90’s logo was extremely sterile, plain & streamlined. It screamed “corporation” & “Wall Street”, with seemingly no credit for the creative, artistic & talented side of the spectrum.

    The new logo does seem to hark back to the good ol’ days of the Walt Disney Studios (mostly). I like it. Can’t beat the classics!

  • Rat–i think i’m a bit confused…i did see the STEAMBOAT WILLIE one at the opening of ROBINSONS, i thought this art on this jpeg was yet a newer one to be unveiled later… i guess its just a print announcement about the name…

    i liked the STEAMBOAT WILLIE one okay, but maybe its a bit understated. The big PIXAR “castle” one has a nice, unabashed feeling to it.

  • Mr. Semaj

    I guess the reason for the department not having a logo before was because Disney had always been synonymous with animation. When people saw the “Walt Disney Pictures” logo, it didn’t matter if it was a live-action or animated film being distributed. People just recognized it as the same studio that created Mickey Mouse all those years ago.

    But yes, this new logo is an excellent idea, since now, when Disney releases new animated films, people can better tell which ones are really made by Disney.

  • Rat

    Hey Will,

    Pixar has a castle logo (Walt Disney Pictures Presents) and a lamp logo (A Pixar Animation Studios Film).

    We have a castle logo (Walt Disney Pictures Presents) and a mouse logo (A Walt Disney Animation Studios Film).