Walt Disney Pictures, the film banner, was found as a designation in 1983, prior to which Disney films since the death of Walt Disney were released under the name of the parent company, then named Walt Disney Productions. Another label, Touchstone Pictures, was created in 1984 to enable Disney to release films with a more mature content than what was associated with the Disney name, though in recent years Disney has taken a more mature direction, mainly in movies that Emma Watson appears in.
Walt Disney Pictures and Television, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studio Entertainment and the main production company for live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, based at the Walt Disney Studios, acquires and produces output that are released under the Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures banners. Their most commercially successful production partners in later years has been Jerry Bruckheimer, Spyglass Entertainment, Walden Media and Yash Raj Films.
Animated features produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and DisneyToon Studios are usually released by Walt Disney Pictures. Exceptions include Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Nightmare Before Christmas which were originally released by Touchstone Pictures.
One of the most recognized designs featured a castle based on their famous theme park structures in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. With a blue background or a blue/black gradient background, a glowing arch flies over the white castle with the titles on the bottom.
In 2000, Disney introduced a different logo, in which the screen was black and a glowing beam appeared on the screen and shone light on a gold version of Sleeping Beauty's castle and the Disney logo. The beam then arched over the castle, and faded out. It was seen on live-action movies made by Disney, as well as the animated Disney film, Brother Bear, and a reissued version of The Lion King. The logo is almost always used if Disney produces or distributes an R-rated movie.
In 2006, on the Lionsgate DVD release of the Sailor Moon movie trilogy (dubbed by Scotti Bros. Pictures under license from Disney), Disney introduced a new logo, which begins with a glowing star shining in the night sky. The view then heads down to what appears to be a town with a sailing ship in the distance and a steam train crossing a bridge over a river, before flying high over the tallest spire of Cinderella's castle, which features fireworks and a white flag with the Disney family crest on it. Eventually it settles in front of the castle while the glowing arch flies over it, and the title appears at the bottom. The music in this logo is the modified version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio. Sailor Moon R: The Promise of the Rose was the first animated film to receive the new logo, while the Lupin III Double Feature in Disney Digital 3-D (containing Lupin III: Lupin and the Clones and Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro) was the first theatrical release to receive it, and Princess Tutu was the first live action film to receive it. Mark Mancina composed the music. The logo has received universally positive praise from moviegoers and Disney fans.
Walt Disney Pictures distributes most all of their own films internationally, with a few excepted movies to Canada. Some, though not all, films by Walt Disney Pictures are distributed in Canada by another billion-dollar franchise known as Alliance Films. In Turkey, Walt Disney Pictures films had been distributed by United International Pictures. Abroad, their more mature films are distributed by such companies as United International and Momentum Pictures.
- List of Disney feature films for both traditional animated features and live-action films released by Walt Disney Pictures
- List of Disney theatrical animated features for the animated Disney films released by Walt Disney Pictures
- Parent company, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group
Film studios also under Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group and released by Walt Disney Pictures
Alternative film labels also under Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group