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Walt Disney Television

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Logo descriptions by Jason Jones, Matt Williams, Matt Anscher, Nicholas Aczel, and John Coffey

Logo captures by Eric S., wisp2007, sega3dmm, V of Doom, Logoboy95, CrazyBrandondorf, snelfu, and others

Editions by Mr. Logo Lord, Shadeed A. Kelly and V of Doom

Video captures courtesy of TaleSpinTV1990, CrazyBrandondorf, Tlogos, youngleader610 (Mr.Logo) and PluMGMK


Background

Disney's TV output from 1954 until 1981 (the anthology series, ZorroMickey Mouse Club) had no in-credit text for "Walt Disney Productions" at all, only a copyright stamp at the end of the closing credits; also, it didn't have its own television arm until 1983 as "Walt Disney Pictures Television". The name Disney obviously required no indication, unlike other studios. Syndication of Disney's library was done by SFM Entertainment. The original Mickey Mouse ClubThe Mouse Factory, and the 1970s revival of MMC were the only programs made available through syndication; in the days before the Disney Channel, the lesser movies and the short cartoons were seen only on the anthology series, while the animated films and first-tier live-action films were, of course, re-issued to theaters. When the anthology series moved to CBS however, this changed. In 2003, the Walt Disney Television Group (now the "Disney-ABC Television Group") in the U.S. was shut down and reincorporated to Walt Disney Television Animation (currently part of Disney Channel since 2005). Today, WDT is still active as in-name-only by producing programs internationally.

1st Logo
(March 23, 1975, September 26, 1981-February 18, 1985)

Logo: It's only an in-credit text saying "WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS".

Later Variants:

  • In 1983, the word "PRODUCTIONS" was changed to "PICTURES".
  • Another later variant had the text superimposed on a black-red gradient background, with the text "WALT DiSNEY" in the corporate font and the words "PICTURES" and "TELEVISION DIVISION" below.
  • Another variant is an in-credit notice with "WALT DiSNEY" in its corporate font with "PICTURES" and "TELEVISION" above and below each other with a line in between them. This is seen on Disneyland's 30th Anniversary Celebration.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show.

Availability: Fairly rare. Seen on 1981-1983 anthology series episodes (when the show was titled "Walt Disney") and on the Disney Channel Valentine's Day compilation of cartoon material entitled From Disney 'With Love. Since these are no longer being reran, one must look for the commercially released (but long out of print) videotapes of the series (the released episodes being 'The Hunter and the Rock Star" and "The Ranger of Brownstone"). It may or may not have been used on the few short-lived series the studio produced for CBS in 1982 and 1983 (Herbie the Love BugGun ShySmall and FryeZorro and Son), but these shows are never seen anymore. The Billcotter website has information on all TV produced by Disney and its subsidiary labels. The "Walt Disney Pictures Television Division" placeholder logo was only seen on the 1984 CBS special Donald Duck's 50th Birthday. The text most likely first appeared on the Wonderful World of Disney episode "Welcome to the World".

Scare Factor: None, depending on the music being used.

2nd Logo
(1985-2003)

Nicknames: "The Castle", "Blue Castle", "Magic Kingdom", "Disney", "Disney Castle"

Logo: A shortened version of the 1985 Walt Disney Pictures logo, starting with the white ball of light, then extending out to form the word "WALT DiSNEY" but with the word "TELEVISION" below it instead. A white circular line is drawn over the castle.

Variants:

  • From 1985-1988, a shortened variant of the movie logo of the era was used.
  • In 1998, the URL "www.disney.com" is seen below. There is no flash on this variant, the castle and the "WALTDISNEY" name was already formed.
  • There is also another variant without the web page byline and cuts out the flash too. This was also used with the Buena Vista International Television logo.
  • On the 1988 TV movie Totally Minnie, the (chyroned in) words "DISTRIBUTED BY" is seen above the castle.

FX/SFX: The "flash", the drawing with the line.

Cheesy Factor: Simple 2-D 80s animations. For the later years, it's enhanced.

Music/Sounds:

  • 1985-1988: A light 6-note synth tune, the 5th note particularly rolled.
  • 1988-2003: A six-note orchestral fanfare based on "When You Wish Upon A Star" was heard. This piece of music was previously used as a bumper for The Magical World of Disney.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • In some Disney shows, it had a bell played rapidly a la the piano.
  • Sometimes, the 1985 Buena Vista Television jingle is heard.
  • Starting in 1994, the music was warped.
  • On Disney's The Mighty Ducks, it used the 1995 Buena Vista Television theme.
  • Most of the time, the closing theme from any series is played over the logo.
  • When Herbie Goes Bananas aired on The Disney Sunday Movie, the logo plays at the beginning of the film to plaster the Buena Vista logo, with the film's BV music left intact.
  • When Mary Poppins aired on CBC in 1988, the logo plays at the end of the film with a different fanfare using "When You Wish Upon A Star" as its basis. Said composition was commonly used as a bumper for The Disney Sunday Movie.

Availability: The original version with the 6-note synth tune is very rare and has not been heard in years; while the 1988 version is very common, and is seen on lots of family programs on ABC, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Disney XD, and other Disney-produced shows on any network. Today, it's not used anymore; it survives on PB&J OtterDisney's House of MouseFillmore!The Weekenders and early episodes of Kim Possible and Lilo & Stitch The Series, when any Disney network decides to run it. Currently, it is seen on Gargoyles on Disney XD. This logo plastered over the 1997 Buena Vista Television logo on all reruns of 101 Dalmatians: The Series in the U.S., even though when it originally aired in syndication, this logo was used (the BVTV logo was used when the show was on ABC). Oddly enough, when the logo was aired in the original syndicated episodes, the end theme would play over it, slightly in-sync with the animation, however in all reruns, the logo plays after the closing theme has ended. It's mostly seen outside the US. It surprisingly appears on the Goof Troop episode "Meanwhile, Back at the Ramp" on the Goof Troop: Volume 1 DVD set.

Scare Factor: Low, varies depending on what you think of the music variant being used, but is one of the most popular logos.

3rd Logo
(1985-2006)

Nicknames: "Abstract Castle", "Multicolored Kingdom", "Disney Castle II", "Rainbow Disney Castle"

Logo: On a shady indigo blue background, we see the familiar Disney stylized, segmented castle (as seen in the 1985 Walt Disney Pictures logo),but shaded (from top to bottom) redorange, and yellow. The white circular line is already there, as is the "WALT DiSNEY" corporate words below but with "Television". A spark flies around the circular line from right to left (in the same vein as said movie logo) as the words fades to the Buena Vista Television text.

Trivia: One Winnie the Pooh tape strangely had full animation, although it was supposed to use the still version. It might have been a mistake in production.

Variants:

  • There is a variant with no animation and no text fading when the "WALT DiSNEY Television" text stays on screen. Most Winnie the Pooh videos had this still logo.
  • The Walt Disney Television text would cross-fade to the text reading as "Distributed by Buena Vista Television or "Distributed by Buena Vista International, Inc.".
  • Some showings of this logo have it fade out before the Buena Vista Television text fades-in.

FX/SFX: The "spark" flying, the text fades. In other cases, it's completely still.

Cheesy Factor: Same as the 1985 Walt Disney Pictures logo.

Music/Sounds: Sounds of some "pings", bells sounding like one rapidly moving his or her hand on the keys of a piano, the closing theme of the show, or none.

Availability: Rare. Appeared at the end of Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego'? and Bill Nye the Science Guy, and before every Disney movie shown on TV outside the US. Most shows on Toon Disney (now "Disney XD") would replace it with the Walt Disney Television or then-current Buena Vista logo, sometimes with the original music preserved. However, this logo was found on the DuckTales and Darkwing Duck DVDs. The non-animated version of this logo was found on Winnie the Pooh videos. Surprisingly, the version that fades to the Buena Vista International text appears at the end of the DVD print of the season 2 Home Improvement episode "I'm Scheming of a White Christmas".

Scare Factor: Low, depending on the variant.

4th Logo
(1987-1988)

Nicknames: "Sixty Years of Mickey with You", "Happy Birthday, Mickey!"

Logo: On a yellow background, we see Mickey, in a tuxedo, stand on a blue filmstrip with Steamboat Willie in it, over a pink circle with the words "'SIXTY 'YEARS WITH YOU" in it. A green banner is behind him reading "MICKEY". Underneath is the blue text "WALT DiSNEY Television", with "WALT DiSNEY" in the corporate "Disney" font. Mickey later winks and then blinks his eyes twice.

Variants

  • There is a longer version where it zooms out from the filmstrip and Mickey jumps in wearing a top hat. He throws away the hat and goes into his position as "WALT DiSNEY Television" fades in underneath.
  • An even longer version appeared at the end of the 1988 Disney video Mickey's Magical World. We first see a closeup of the filmstrip with Mickey in the center of it, morphing into various incarnations of himself, from his original design to the contemporary one, while the right and left of the strip shows the text "1928" morphing itself from one year to the next until it reaches "1988". It then zooms out and plays out similar to the version described above, minus the "WALT DiSNEY Television" byline.

FX/SFX: TBA.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 2nd logo or the closing theme of the show. Mickey's Magical World uses a instrumental synth orchestral fanfare based on the Mickey Mouse Club theme.

Availability: Rare. Was seen on the 1987 program The Golden Anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when it aired on The Magical World of Disney. The full version (with music) was seen on a 1988 broadcast on Dumbo. The logo also (appropriately) appeared on Mickey's 60th Birthday.

Scare Factor: None.

5th Logo
(1990-1995)

Nicknames: "Abstract Castle II", "Multicolored Kingdom II", "Disney Castle III", "Rainbow Disney Castle II"

Logo: On a black background, we see the castle as in the 1st logo with the 3-D words "Walt Disney Television" (now with "Walt Disney" in the same Times New Roman Bold font as the rest of the words) below it. A spark draws the circular line, but this time from left to right. As the line draws itself, the flags appear one by one on top of the castle. The words below fade to the Buena Vista Television text.

Variants: See the 3rd logo.

FX/SFX: See 2nd logo.

Cheesy Factor: The words are in 3D, but the castle is STILL in 2D.

Music/Sounds: Bell music, but in other cases, it's silent or the finishing of the end title theme from any show plays over the logo.

Availability: Extinct. Seen on such shows like TaleSpin among others.

Scare Factor: Same as 1st logo.

6th Logo
(1991-1992)

Nickname: "Goofy Filmstrip"

Logo: Against a white background, we see Goofy appear upside down from the top-left corner with a quizzical look on his face. As his expression changes from a confused one to an excited one, the logo zooms out to reveal it's on a white filmstrip, superimposed on a shaded blue gradient background decorated with black drawings of the typical castle. The text "WALT DiSNEY Television" (with Walt Disney on its corporate font) can be seen below the white filmstrip, then after few seconds it changes to the Buena Vista Television text.

FX/SFX: Goofy moving, all good Disney animation.

Music/Sounds: None or the ending theme of the show.

Availability: Extinct. It was originally seen on the 1991-1992 season of Disney Afternoon.

Scare Factor: None.

7th Logo
(December 17, 2008)

Nicknames: "The CGI Castle", "CGI Magic Kingdom", "Disney Castle IV", "CGI Disney Castle", "Cinderella Castle", "Ultra Majestic Castle", "The Happiest Place on Earth"

Logo: We see the completed current 2006 Walt Disney Pictures logo, with "STUDIOS" instead of "PICTURES".

FX/SFX: Same as the movie logo.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: Seen on Letters to Santa: A Muppets Christmas on NBC. Not sure if other shows or TV specials would have this logo in the near future, though.

Scare Factor: None.

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