The Continual Growth of Disney

Formation of Disney

  • Founded in 1923, by two brothers Walt and Roy Disney
  • Flourished in “silent” era and in modern “Blockbuster”
  • 1926 Walt Disney studio
  • Before Disney brothers cartoon studio
  • First product of Walt Disney short entitles Alice’s Wonderland

Growth of Disney

  • Real success (first) Oswald the rabbit, but after legal dispute character developed to Mortimer mouse
  • Then into Mickey mouse and the silly symphonies
  • Disney embraced sound and colour technologies with flowers and trees
  • First Mickey mouse club and a cartoon strip with William Randolph hearst’s newspaper empire

Disney and Poverty row

  • A massive shift in 1930 in terms of formation of the studio system
  • No position to vertically integrate, no part of the big five or the smaller three
  • Opposed under the term of a poverty row
  • Big five- 20th century, Paramount,
  • Smaller three- Universal, Columbia
  • Hollywood feature length film began to dominate so Walt disney knew that company would have to do
  • Work on his first feature film in 1934 and completed in 1937
  • Was realised by RKO and highest grossing film of all time (until 1939)

Disney studios

  • First feature- Snow white and the seven dwarfs
  • But more successful after was the God with the wind in Cinema
  • Successful features in Disney were; Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942)
  • However because of structure the studio system, studio could not complete with the majors
  • With war (WW2) came a focus on Propoganda and brief move away from feature films
  • Disney  made Donald Duck animation about Nazis
  • After WW2 Disney expanded to live action films, (Mary Poppins) were not animation
  • 1955- Disneyland opens
  • 1966- Walt Disney died
  • Huge Media conglomerates that beginning to form
  • Manufacture their own merchandise realise that subsidiaries could allow film company to grow
  • Allowed company to enter other markets without damaging family brand of Disney
  • Pulp F made by Disney but owned by Miramax so not have Disney brand on it

Convergence, Synergy and Success

  • Micheal Eisner and Jeffery Katenberg were hugely important for success of Disney as a conglomerate (2nd largest in the world)
  • Investiment in music, Radio, Internet, Theme parks, Retail outlets, Video games, Disney mobiles, Publishing, Theatre and Significantly TV made by Disney much less upon film production
  • Buena vista, touchstone, Miramax, Jim Henson productions and Pixar allowed the company to expand into media business and not just film producer
  • Pirates of the carribbean made to replace part of a theme park that wasn’t as successful

Pixar and Disney

  • Relationship between Disney and Pixar has redefined animation within modern industry
  • Pixar actually began in 1979 as a part of the Lucas film group owned by George Lucas
  • Became a corporation in 1986
  • Renderman bought a new technology to film
  • Produced 17 feature films with Disney
  • Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 for $7.6 billion
  • Toy Story budget of $30 million in 1995
  • Finding dory had a budget of $200 million

The Modern Disney empire

  • Disney’s film output dominated relationship with Pixar, Marvel and now Lucasfilm (purchased in for $4.06 billion on 2012)
  • Universal has been more successful in Box office and theme parks make four times more money than films merchandise likewise, sports and TV (more profitable)
  • Fordism- Production line
  • Mining scene in Snow white and cleaning up scene


Production– Distrubution–Exhibition—Syndication



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s