Walt Disney Pictures Inc is an American film production company and division of The Walt Disney Studios, owned by The Walt Disney Company. The division is based at the Walt Disney Studios and is the main producer of live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Studios unit. It took on its current name in 1983. Today, in conjunction with the other units of The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Pictures is classified as one of Hollywood's "Big Six" film studios. Nearly all of Walt Disney Pictures' releases are distributed theatrically by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, through home media platforms via Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and through television syndication by Disney–ABC Domestic Television.
The studio's predecessor (and the modern-day The Walt Disney Company's as a whole) was originally founded as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, by filmmaker Walt Disney and his business partner and brother, Roy, in 1923.
The creation of Mickey Mouse and subsequent short films and merchandise generated revenue for the studio which was renamed as The Walt Disney Studio at the Hyperion Studio in 1926. In 1929, it was renamed once again to Walt Disney Productions. The studio's streak of success continued in the 1930s, culminating with the 1937 release of the first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which become a huge financial success. With the profits from Snow White, Walt relocated to a third studio in Burbank, California.
In the 1940s, Disney began experimenting with full-length live-action films, with the introduction of hybrid live action-animated films such as The Reluctant Dragon (1941) and Songs of the South (1946). That same decade, the studio began producing nature documentaries with the release of Seal Island (1948), the first of the True-Life Adventures series and a subsequent Academy Award winner for Best Live-Action Short Film.
Walt Disney Productions had its first fully live-action film in 1950 with the release of Treasure Island, considered by Disney to be the official conception for what would eventually evolve into the modern-day Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. By 1953, the company ended their agreements with such third-party distributors as RKO Radio Pictures and United Artists and formed their own distribution company, Buena Vista Distribution.
A newly formed unit, Walt Disney Pictures, was incorporated on April 1, 1983 to diversify film subjects and expand audiences for their film releases. In April 1983, Richard Berger was hired by Disney CEO Ron W. Miller as film president. Touchstone Films was started by Miller in February 1984 as a label for their PG-rated films with an expected half of Disney's 6 to 8 movies yearly slate would be released under the label. Berger was pushed out as a new CEO was appointed for Walt Disney Productions later in 1984, as Michael Eisner brought his own film chief, Jeffrey Katzenberg. Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures were formed within that unit on February 16, 1983 and February 1, 1989 respectively.
Some well-known Disney releases include the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Mary Poppins, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Tron, National Treasure, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Princess Diaries, Alice in Wonderland, The Muppets, Saving Mr. Banks, The Lone Ranger, Into the Woods, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (through Lucasfilm Ltd).
Animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Up, Frozen, and Big Hero 6; Other live-action films through Marvel Studios films such as Avengers Assemble. Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and Doctor Strange; and 20th Century Studios films such as Ad Astra, The Call of the Wild, and The King's Man are also released by Walt Disney Pictures.
Walt Disney Pictures has produced four films that have received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture; Mary Poppins (1964), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Up (2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010).
Walt Disney Television, Disney's former television production division that produced television programs from 1983 to 2003.
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