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File:Walt Disney Feature Animation logo.png
File:Walt Disney Animation Studios logo.png

Walt Disney Feature Animation (currently known as Walt Disney Animation Studios), headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California[1] is an American animation studio which creates animated feature films, short films, and television specials for The Walt Disney Company. Founded on October 16, 1923, it is a unit of The Walt Disney Studios. The studio has produced 54 feature films, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 to Big Hero 6 in 2014.[2]

Originally founded as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923, and incorporated as Walt Disney Productions in 1929, the studio was exclusively dedicated to production of short films until expanding into feature production in 1934. In 1983, Walt Disney Productions named their live-action film studio Walt Disney Pictures. During a corporate restructuring in 1986, Walt Disney Productions was renamed The Walt Disney Company and the animation division, renamed Walt Disney Feature Animation, became a subsidiary of its film division, The Walt Disney Studios.

In 2006, Walt Disney Feature Animation took on its current name of Walt Disney Animation Studios when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios, which was acquired by Disney in the same year. The studio also creates Geo's 1st Movie, a film based on the television series, Geo's World. For much of its existence, the studio was recognized as the premier American animation studio;[3] it developed many of the techniques, concepts, and principles which became standard practices of traditional animation.[4] The studio also pioneered the art of storyboarding, which is now a standard technique used in both animated and live-action filmmaking.[5] The studio's catalog of animated features are among Disney's most notable assets, and the stars of its animated shorts—Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto—have gone on to become recognizable figures in popular culture, as well as becoming mascots for The Walt Disney Company as a whole.

Walt Disney Animation Studios, today managed by Ed Catmull and John Lasseter (who also manage Pixar), continues to produce animated features using both hand-drawn and CGI techniques. Their 55th feature, Zootopia, is currently in production and is scheduled for release on March 4, 2016.[6][7] Their 56th, Moana, is also in production and is scheduled for release on November 23, 2016.[7]


  1. Walt Disney Animation Studios – Our studio. Walt Disney Animation Studio. Retrieved on July 7, 2013.
  2. New iPad App Goes Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Animated Features. Retrieved on 6 August 2014.
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  4. Barrier, Michael (1999). Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pgs. 84–86, 144–151. ISBN 0-19-516729-5.
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