|Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia:
The Walt Disney Company (most commonly known as Disney) (NYSE: DIS) is one of the largest media and entertainment corporations in the world. Founded on October 16, 1923 by brothers Walt and Roy Disney as a small animation studio, today it is one of the largest Hollywood studios and also owns nine theme parks and several television networks, including ABC.
Disney's corporate headquarters and primary production facilities are located at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The company is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It had revenues of $31.9 billion in 2005.
Disney's main operating units are Walt Disney Studio Entertainment, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Walt Disney Media Networks, and Walt Disney Consumer Products.
Walt Disney Studio Entertainment, also known as the Walt Disney Studios, is possibly the most important function of the company. Headed by chairman Dick Cook, until 1955, the Walt Disney Company's main form of business was motion pictures. Today, the Walt Disney Studios is the collective name of Disney's movie studios, record labels, distribution companies, television studios, animation houses and any other form of optical media.
The Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group is a collection of Disney's main movie studios, made up of;
Walt Disney Pictures
Miramax Films (operate autonomusly in New York)
Buena Vista Music Group
Walt Disney Records
Lyric Street Records
Walt Disney Theatrical
Hyperion Theatrical:produces non-Disney-branded shows.
Walt Disney Feature Animation
Pixar Animation Studios
Parks and Resorts
Main article: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Under Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the company also operates the ESPN Zone sports-themed restaurants. The company also owned through Anaheim Sports, Inc. the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim hockey club, which it recently agreed to sell to Broadcom executive Henry Samueli, and owned the Anaheim Angels baseball team, which was later sold to advertising magnate Arturo Moreno. Parks and Resorts also includes the two design studios, Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Creative Entertainment.
Its Media Networks unit is centered around the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) television network, which it acquired through a merger with Capital Cities/ABC in 1996.
Disney also owns a group of cable networks including: The Disney Channel, ABC Family, Toon Disney, the ESPN group, and SOAPnet. Disney also holds substantial interest in Lifetime (50%), A&E (37.5%), and E! (40%).
Through ABC, Disney also owns 10 local television stations, 26 local radio stations, and ESPN Radio, Radio Disney, and the ABC Radio, which carries such radio personalities as Sean Hannity and Paul Harvey and distributes news bulletins by ABC News. Buena Vista Television, which also is a part of the Media Networks unit, produces such syndicated television programs as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Ebert & Roeper.
Disney also operates its Hyperion publishing company and Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) through Media Networks. Hyperion has recently published books by comedian-author Steve Martin and bestselling author Mitch Albom. WDIG includes the Go.com web portal, based on the old Infoseek search engine which it purchased in 1998, and leading websites such as Disney.com, ESPN.com, and ABCNews.com.
Disney Publishing Worldwide
Jim Henson's Muppets
Disney DVD & Video
Walt Disney Records
Walt Disney1923: The Disney Bros. Cartoon Studio, founded in October 16th by brothers Walt and Roy Disney and animator Ub Iwerks, produces the Alice in Cartoonland series.
1925: At Walt Disney's insistence, the company is renamed Walt Disney Studios.
1927: The Alice series ends; Disney picks up the contract to animate Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
1928: Walt loses the Oswald series contract; first Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie released
1929: First Silly Symphony: The Skeleton Dance. On December 16, the original partnership formed in 1923 is replaced by Walt Disney Productions, Ltd. Three other companies, Walt Disney Enterprises, Disney Film Recording Company, and Liled Realty and Investment Company, are also formed.
1930: First appearance of Pluto
1932: First three-strip Technicolor short released: Flowers and Trees; first appearance of Goofy
1934: First appearance of Donald Duck
1937: Studio produces its first feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
1938: On September 29th, Walt Disney Enterprises, Disney Film Recording Company, and Liled Realty and Investment Company are merged into Walt Disney Productions.
1940: Studio moves to the Burbank, California buildings where it is located to this day
1941: A bitter animators' strike occurs; as the USA enters World War II, the studio begins making morale-boosting propaganda films for the government
1944: The company is short on cash; a theatrical re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs generates much-needed revenue and begins a reissue pattern for the animated feature films.
1945: The studio hires its first-ever live actor for a film, James Baskett, to star as Uncle Remus in Song of the South
1949: The studio begins production on its first all-live action feature, Treasure Island; the popular True-Life Adventures series begins
1952: Walt Disney forms WED Enterprises on December 16 to design his theme park.
1953: Walt Disney forms Retlaw Enterprises on April 6 to control the rights to his name. It will later own and operate several attractions inside Disneyland, including the Monorail and the Disneyland Railroad.
1954: The studio founds Buena Vista Distribution to distribute its feature films; beginning of the Disneyland TV program
1955: Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California. Walt Disney Productions owns 34.5 percent of Disneyland, Inc. It increases its stake in 1957 to 65.5 percent, then purchases the remaining shares from ABC in 1960.
1961: The studio licenses the film rights to Winnie-the-Pooh, whose characters continue to be highly profitable to this day; international distribution arm Buena Vista International is established.
1964: The company starts buying land near Orlando, Florida for Walt Disney World (then known as Disney World or The Florida Project)
1965: The regular production of short subjects ceases, as theatres no longer have any demand for them. Walt Disney Productions acquires WED Enterprises.
1966: Official plans are announced for Disney's Mineral King Ski Resort, later canceled. Walt Disney dies. His brother Roy takes over.
1967: Construction begins on Walt Disney World; the underlying governmental structure (see Reedy Creek Improvement District) is signed into law.
1971: The Walt Disney World Resort opens in Orlando, Florida; Roy Oliver Disney dies; Donn Tatum becomes chairman and Card Walker becomes president.
1977: Roy Edward Disney, son of Roy and nephew of Walt, resigns from the company citing a decline in overall product quality and issues with management.
1978: The studio licenses several minor titles to MCA Discovision for laserdisc release; only TV compilations of cartoons ever see the light of day through this deal.
1979: Don Bluth and a number of his allies leave the animation division; the studio releases its first PG-rated film, The Black Hole
1980: Tom Wilhite becomes head of the film division with the intent of modernizing studio product; a home video division is created
1981: Plans for a cable network are announced.
1982: EPCOT Center opens at Walt Disney World; Walt Disney's son-in-law Ron W. Miller succeeds Card Walker as CEO
1983: As the anthology series is canceled, The Disney Channel begins operation on US cable systems; Tom Wilhite resigns his post; Tokyo Disneyland opens in Japan
1984: Touchstone Pictures is created; after the studio narrowly escapes a buyout attempt by Saul Steinberg, Roy Edward Disney and his business partner, Stanley Gold, remove Ron W. Miller as CEO and president, replacing him with Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. The Walt Disney Black Diamond Classics video series is created.
1985: The studio begins making cartoons for television beginning with Adventures of the Gummi Bears and The Wuzzles ; The home video release of Pinocchio is a best-seller.
1986: The studio's first R-rated release comes from Touchstone Pictures; the anthology series is revived; the company's name is changed on February 6 from Walt Disney Productions to The Walt Disney Company.
1987: The company and the French government sign an agreement for the creation of the first Disney Resort in Europe: the Euro Disney project starts.
1989: Disney offers a deal to buy Jim Henson's Muppets and have the famed puppeteer work with Disney resources; the Disney-MGM Studios open at Walt Disney World; The Little Mermaid sparks an animation renaissance.
1990: Jim Henson's death sours the deal to buy his holdings; the anthology series canceled for second time.
1991: Beauty and the Beast is the first animated film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
1992: The controversial Euro Disney Resort opens outside Paris, France.
1993: Disney acquires independent film distributor Miramax Films; Winnie the Pooh merchandise outsells Mickey Mouse merchandise for the first time; the policy of periodic theatrical re-issues ends with this year's re-issue of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but is augmented for video.
1994: Frank Wells is killed in a helicopter crash. Jeffrey Katzenberg resigns to co-found his own studio, DreamWorks SKG. Plans for Disney's America, a historical theme park in Haymarket, Virginia, are abruptly dropped. No explanation is given, and Disney announces a search for an alternate location. Euro Disneyland is renamed Disneyland Paris. The Classics video line is unofficially cancelled and replaced with the Masterpiece Collection. The Lion King, the highest-grossing traditionally animated film in history, is released.
1995: In October, the company hires Hollywood super agent, Michael Ovitz, to be president.
1996: The company takes on the Disney Enterprises name for non-Walt Disney branded ventures and acquires the Capital Cities/ABC group, renaming it ABC, Inc. In December, Michael Ovitz, president of the company, leaves "by mutual consent." To celebrate the pairing, ABC's first Super Soap Weekend is held at Walt Disney World.
1997: The anthology series is revived again; the home video division releases its first DVDs.
1998: Disney's Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World.
2000: Robert Iger becomes president and COO. Disney begins their Gold Classic Collection DVD line, replacing their Masterpiece Collection series.
2001: Disney-owned TV channels are pulled from Time Warner Cable briefly during a dispute over carriage fees; Disney's California Adventure and Tokyo DisneySea open to the public; Disney begins releasing Walt Disney Treasures DVD box sets for the collector's market. Disney buys Fox Family for $3 billion in July, giving Disney programming and cable network reaching 81 million homes.
2002: Walt Disney Studios open near Disneyland Paris (renamed Disneyland Park). The entire area is now called Disneyland Resort Paris. Disney finishes negotions to acquire Saban Entertainment, owner of children's entertainment juggernaut Power Rangers. Subsidary Miramax acquires the USA rights to the Pokémon movies starting with the fourth movie.
2003: Roy E. Disney resigns as the chairman of Feature Animation and from the board of directors, citing similar reasons to those that drove him off 26 years earlier; fellow director Stanley Gold resigns with him; they establish "Save Disney" to apply public pressure to oust Michael Eisner. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl becomes the first film released under the Disney label with a PG-13 rating.
2004: Comcast makes an unsuccessful hostile bid for the company. CEO Michael Eisner is replaced by George J. Mitchell as chairman of the board after a 43% vote of no confidence. Disney turns down distributing Fahrenheit 9/11 which ends up making $100 million. On February 17, Disney buys the Muppets (excluding the Sesame Street characters).
2005: Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold end their campaign against Michael Eisner on July 8 and Roy rejoins the company as a consultant with the title of Director Emeritus. Disneyland celebrates its 50th anniversary on July 17. Hong Kong Disneyland officially opens on September 12. Robert A. Iger replaces Michael Eisner as CEO on October 1. Also on October 1, Miramax co-founders Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein leave the company to form their own studio.
2006: In an all-share deal approved on January 23, Disney purchases Pixar for $7.4bn from Steve Jobs, who is also the Chief Executive of Apple Computer. In the process, Jobs becomes the single largest shareholder in Disney.
Current board of directors
John S. Chen
George J. Mitchell (Chairman)
Leo J. O'Donovan
John E. Pepper, Jr.
Orin C. Smith
Gary L. Wilson
Roy E. Disney(Director Emeritus)
Steve Jobs(by summer 2006)
Current division heads
Walt Disney International - Andy Bird
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts - Jay Rasulo
Walt Disney Imagineering - Don Goodman
Walt Disney Creative Entertainment - Anne Hamburger
Walt Disney Studios - Dick Cook
Pixar Animation Studios - Ed Catmull
Walt Disney Feature Animation - Ed Catmull
Buena Vista Music Group - Bob Cavallo
Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group - Nina Jacobson
Walt Disney Theatrical - Thomas Schumacher
Consumer Products - Andrew P. Mooney
Disney-ABC Television Group - Anne Sweeney
ESPN - George W. Bodenheimer
Disney Chairmen of the Board
1945-1960: Walt Disney
1964-1971: Roy O. Disney
1971-1980: Donn Tatum
1980-1983: E. Cardon Walker
1983-1984: Raymond Watson
1984-2004: Michael Eisner
2004-present: George J. Mitchell
1968-1971: Roy O. Disney
1971-1976: Donn Tatum
1976-1983: E. Cardon Walker
1983-1984: Ron W. Miller
1984-2005: Michael Eisner
2005-present: Robert Iger
1940-1945: Walt Disney
1945-1968: Roy O. Disney
1968-1971: Donn Tatum
1971-1977: E. Cardon Walker
1980-1984: Ron W. Miller
1984-1994: Frank Wells
1994-1995: Michael Eisner
1995-1997: Michael Ovitz
2000-Present: Robert Iger
1968-1977: E. Cardon Walker
1977-1983: Ron W. Miller
1984-1994: Frank Wells
2000-2005: Robert Iger
The Disney Version: the life, times, art, and commerce of Walt Disney, Richard Schickel, 1968
Walt Disney: An American Original, Bob Thomas, 1976, revised 1994
Storming the Magic Kingdom: Wall Street, the raiders, and the battle for Disney, John Taylor, 1987
Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the creation of an entertainment empire, Bob Thomas, 1998
The Keys to the Kingdom: how Michael Eisner lost his grip, Kim Masters, 2000
DisneyWar, James B. Stewart, 2005
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
James A. "Jay" Rasulo, chairman
Matthew A. Ouimet, president Disneyland | Disney's California Adventure
Walt Disney World Resort:
Allen R. "Al" Weiss, acting president Magic Kingdom | Epcot | Disney-MGM Studios | Disney's Animal Kingdom
Tokyo Disney Resort:
Toshio Kagami, president Tokyo Disneyland | Tokyo DisneySea
Disneyland Resort Paris:
Karl Holz, president Disneyland | Walt Disney Studios
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort:
Bill Ernest, executive vice president Hong Kong Disneyland
Disney Cruise Line:
Tom McAlpin, president Disney Wonder | Disney Magic | Castaway Cay
Shanghai Disneyland Resort
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia:
Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966), was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, and animator. One of the most well-known motion picture producers in the world, Disney was the co-founder with his brother Roy O. Disney of Walt Disney Productions. The corporation, now known as The Walt Disney Company, makes revenues of about US $30 billion annually.
Walt Disney is particularly noted for being a successful storyteller, a hands-on film producer, and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in amusement park design. He and his staff created a number of the world's most popular animated properties, including the one many consider Disney's alter ego, Mickey Mouse.