Disney Television Animation
Disney Television Animation (DTVA) is an American animation studio that creates, develops and produces animated television series, films, specials and other projects. It is a division of the Disney Channels Worldwide, ultimately owned by The Walt Disney Company.
Disney Television Animation's headquarters in Glendale.
|Walt Disney Pictures Television Animation Group (1984-1987)|
Walt Disney Television Animation (1987-2011)
|Founded||December 5, 1984|
|Headquarters||811 Sonora Avenue, Glendale, California, United States|
Number of locations
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company|
|Parent||Disney Channels Worldwide|
(Walt Disney Television)
Established in 1984 during the reorganization and subsequent re-incorporation of The Walt Disney Company following the arrival of then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, the entity was formerly known as the Walt Disney Pictures Television Animation Group before being shortened to Walt Disney Television Animation in 1987, and was shortened again in 2011 to Disney Television Animation.
The Walt Disney Company first ventured into the television industry as early as 1950, beginning with the one-hour Christmas special, One Hour in Wonderland. This was followed by the 1951 Christmas special, The Walt Disney Christmas Show, the long-running (1954–2008) anthology series, The Wonderful World of Disney (which was Disney's first regular series as a whole), the children's variety show The Mickey Mouse Club, and the 1957-1959 adventure series, Zorro. However, one element was missing from Disney's expansion into television: An original animated television series. Until the early 80's, the studio had never produced its own original animated shows in-house, because Walt Disney felt it was economically impossible. Nearly all pre-1985 TV animation was wrap-around segments made to bridge the gaps on existing theatrical material on The Wonderful World of Disney. Osamu Tezuka met Walt at the 1964 World's Fair, at which time Disney said he hoped to "make something just like" Tezuka's Astro Boy someday, but unfortunately nothing came of it.
With the hiring of a new CEO for Disney Production in 1984, Michael Eisner, lead him to push to expand Disney into new areas thus the establishment of a television animation division that year. The cartoon would be shop to all markets: networks, Disney Channel and syndication. Eisner held a meeting at his home in which he brought up the concept of doing a series on Gummi bear as his kids like the candy. Originally, the staff was told that they could not use the principal Disney cartoon characters in the new shows.
This was considered a risky move, because animated TV series were generally considered low-budget investments for most of the history of TV cartoons up through the 1980s. Many critics say that Disney's own animation studio had lost most of its luster during the period from Walt Disney's passing through the 1980s. However, the studio took a number of risks that paid off handsomely. The studio successfully gambled on the idea that a substantially larger investment into quality animation could be made back through both network television and over-the-air in syndication, as well as cable. The final result is a string of higher budgeted animated television productions which proved to be profitable ventures and raised the standard for the TV medium.
The first productions to make it to air from the studio arrived in 1985, with Eisner's concept fleshed out into Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, joined by an original concept The Wuzzles, both which are based upon funny animal-based conceptions. A third series in a similar vein, Fluppy Dogs, was produced as a single hour-long TV movie pilot that aired on ABC on Thanksgiving 1986 and was loosely based a series of children's books and line of toys about a race of anthropomorphic pastel-colored dimension-hopping alien (fluppy) dogs. Dismal viewership ensured the project never made it to series.
In 1987, Disney finally unveiled the newest series yet in its cycle, and the first in their successful long-time line of syndicated animated shows, DuckTales. Though forbidden from using the star characters, minor characters such as Scrooge McDuck and Huey, Dewey and Louie were allowed, and Disney did concede to allow for a brief appearance by Donald Duck to establish the series, allowing them to adapt the Duck universe adventure serials by Carl Barks into animation. The show was successful enough to spawn a feature film, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, and two spin-off series: Darkwing Duck and Quack Pack. 1990 release Treasure of the Lost Lamp was the first movie from TV Animation's Disney MovieToon unit. Disney Television Animation hired a director of specials, Sharon Morrill, in 1993.
The success of DuckTales also paved the way for a new wave of high-quality animated TV series, including Disney's own The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1988. Later, early that spring, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers debuted on March 4, 1989, and was paired with DuckTales in an hour-long syndicated show through the 1989-1990 television season. In the 1990-1991 season, Disney expanded the idea even further, to create The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour long syndicated block of half-hour cartoons, which premiered much later on September 10, 1990. DuckTales was one of the early flagship cartoons in the block.
On August 24, 1994 with Jeffrey Katzenberg's resignation, Richard Frank became head of newly formed Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications (WDTT), which included WDTA, from units of The Walt Disney Studios. Morrill was in charge of the first Aladdin DTV film launching Disney Video Premiere/Direct to Video unit.
Three overseas Disney studios were set up to produce the company's animated television series. Disney Animation Australia was started in 1988. In 1989, the Brizzi brothers sold Brizzi Films to Disney Television Animation and was renamed Walt Disney Animation France. Also that year, Disney Animation Japan was started. Walt Disney Animation Canada was opened in January 1996 to tap Canada's animator pool and produce direct-to-video. As direct-to-video increased in importance, the overseas studios moved to making feature films.
WDTT chair Frank left Disney in March 1995. With Krisel expecting to be promoted to head up WDTT but passed over, Krisel left WDTA at the end of his contract in January 1996. At the time the Walt Disney Company merged with Capital Cities/ABC, TV Animation was a unit of Walt Disney Television within the Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications group (WDTT). With the retirement of WDTT group president Dennis Hightower in April 1996 and ongoing post-merger reorganization, the unit (along with its Disney TV parent) was transferred to the Walt Disney Studios. By April 1998, Movietoons was folded in with Disney Video Premiere films and network TV specials of Disney TV Animation as Morrill was promoted to executive vice president over her existing unit of Disney Video Premiere films, network TV specials and Movietoons. At the same time, Barry Blumberg was elevated to executive vice president for network and syndicated animated TV series. Both reported to Disney Television president Charles Hirschhorn.
In the second quarter of 2000, due to weak financial performance, Disney Animation Canada was closed. David Stainton took charge of the company as executive vice president in January 2000 then as president in February 2002 under Thomas Schumacher.
In January 2003, Disney initiated a reorganization of its theatrical and animation units to improve resource usage and continued focus on new characters and franchise development. TV Animation was transferred to Disney Channels Worldwide. In this reorganization, the Disney MovieToons/Disney Video Premieres unit was transferred from Television Animation to Feature Animation. While Stainton took over as President of Disney Feature Animation from Schumacher, while Blumberg returned to DTA as president.
In July 2019, Disney TV Animation signed 17 creators and animators to overall deals. This follows a trend in kids programming started by Netflix.
Tom Ruzicka, now at Universal Animation Studios, was one of the original executives in charge of this fledgling group. Other animation executives that worked at Television Animation over the years were Barbara Ferro, Sharon Morrill, Bill Gross (former President of Jumbo Pictures, creators of Doug), Maia Mattise, Lenora Hume.
Disney television series
|Title||Creator(s) / Developer(s)||Original running||Notes|
|The Wuzzles||Carson Van Osten||1985|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears||Michael Eisner
|The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh||Walt Disney Television Animation||1988–1991||Winner of 2 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program of 1988 and 1989.|
|Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers||Tad Stones
|Darkwing Duck||Tad Stones||1991–1992|
|Goof Troop||Mike Peraza||1992–1993|
|The Little Mermaid||Walt Disney Television Animation||1992–1994|
|Gargoyles||Greg Weisman||1994–1997||As Buena Vista Television.|
|Timon & Pumbaa||Walt Disney Television Animation||1995–1999|
|The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show||Bill Kopp||1995|
|Quack Pack||Rob Humphrey
|The Mighty Ducks||Marty Isenberg
Robert N. Skir
|Disney's Doug||Jim Jinkins
|1996–1999||Acquired from Nickelodeon.|
Co-production with Jumbo Pictures.
|Jungle Cubs||Mark S. Bernthal||1996–1998|
|Nightmare Ned||Terry Shakespeare
|101 Dalmatians||Jim Jinkins
|1997–1998||Co-production with Jumbo Pictures.|
|1997–2003||Co-production with Paul & Joe Productions.|
|Pepper Ann||Sue Rose||1997–2000|
|PB&J Otter||Jim Jinkins||1998–2000||Co-production with Jumbo Pictures.|
|Mickey Mouse Works||Walt Disney Television Animation||1999–2000|
|The Weekenders||Doug Langdale||2000–04|
|Clerks: The Animated Series||David Mandel
|2000||uncredited; co-production with Miramax Television, View Askew Productions, Woltz International Pictures, and Touchstone Television|
|Teacher's Pet||Gary Baseman
|2000–02||Winner of 4 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Special Class Animated Program of 2001 and 2002|
|Buzz Lightyear of Star Command||Walt Disney Television Animation||2000–01||Co-production with Pixar Animation Studios.|
|House of Mouse||Rob Gannaway
|Lloyd in Space||Paul Germain
|2001–04||Co-production with Paul & Joe Productions.|
|The Legend of Tarzan||Walt Disney Television Animation||2001–03|
|Teamo Supremo||Phil Walsh||2002–04|
|Kim Possible||Bob Schooley
|Fillmore!||Scott M. Gimple||2002–2004|
|Lilo & Stitch: The Series||Chris Sanders
|Dave the Barbarian||Doug Langdale||2004–2005|
|Brandy & Mr. Whiskers||Russell Marcus||2004–2006|
|American Dragon: Jake Long||Jeff Goode||2005–2007|
|The Buzz on Maggie||Dave Polsky||2005–2006|
|The Emperor's New School||Mark Dindal||2006–2008|
|Mickey Mouse Clubhouse||Walt Disney (characters)
|The Replacements||Dan Santat||2006–2009|
|Shorty McShorts' Shorts||Barry Blumberg
|My Friends Tigger & Pooh||A. A. Milne (characters)
|Phineas and Ferb||Dan Povenmire
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
|Special Agent Oso||Ford Riley||2009–2012|
|Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil||Sandro Corsaro||2010–2012||Co-production with Chris Savino Productions.|
|Fish Hooks||Noah Z. Jones
|Take Two with Phineas and Ferb||Dan Povenmire
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
|Jake and the Never Land Pirates||Bobs Gannaway||2011–2016|
|Motorcity||Chris Prynoski||2012–2013||Co-production with Titmouse, Inc.|
|Tron: Uprising||Edward Kitsis
|Co-production with Sean Bailey Productions.|
|Gravity Falls||Alex Hirsch||2012–2016|
|Sofia the First||Craig Gerber||2012–2018|
|Mickey Mouse||Paul Rudish
Walt Disney (characters)
|Wander Over Yonder||Craig McCracken||2013–2016|
|The 7D||Tom Ruegger||2014–2016|
|Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Jared Bush
|Star vs. the Forces of Evil||Daron Nefcy||2015–19|
|Two More Eggs||The Brothers Chaps||2015–17||Co-production with Citywide Hoop Champs, Inc.|
|Pickle and Peanut||Noah Z. Jones||2015–2018|
|Descendants: Wicked World||Disney Television Animation||2015–2017||Co-production with Bad Angels Productions and 5678 Productions.|
|The Lion Guard||Ford Riley||2015–present|
|Elena of Avalor||Craig Gerber||2016–present|
|Milo Murphy's Law||Dan Povenmire
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
|Mickey and the Roadster Racers/Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures||Disney Television Animation||2017–present|
|Tangled: The Series/Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure||Shane Prigmore
|Billy Dilley's Super-Duper Subterranean Summer||Aaron Springer||2017|
|Big Hero 6: The Series||Mark McCorkle
|Big City Greens||The Houghton Brothers||2018–present||Originally set to premiere new epsiodes on Disney XD while Disney Channel would air reruns before it was swtiched around.|
|Fancy Nancy||Jamie Mitchell
|Co-production with Oasis Animation and Starfield Productions.|
|The Owl House||Dana Terrace||2020|
|Monsters at Work||Bobs Gannaway||2020|
|The Curse of Molly McGee||Bill Motz
|Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur||2020||Co-production with Cinema Gypsy Productions and Marvel Animation & Family Entertainment|
|Title||Original air date||Notes|
|Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too||December 14, 1991|
|Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh||October 25, 1996|
|A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving||November 22, 1998|
|Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You||February 13, 1999|
|The O.W.C.A. Files||November 9, 2015||Final Phineas and Ferb special.|
|Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special||December 9, 2016||First Mickey Mouse half-hour special.|
|The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!||October 8, 2017||Second Mickey Mouse half-hour special.|
From 1990 to January 2003, Disney Television Animation had a division, Disney MovieToons/Disney Video Premiere, that produced direct-to-video and theatrical feature films. See that article for that unit's films.
|#||Title||Release date||Co-production with||Animation services||Budget||Gross||RT||MC|
|1||DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp||August 3, 1990||Walt Disney Pictures
|Walt Disney Animation France||N/A||$18.1 million||88%||N/A|
|2||A Goofy Movie||April 7, 1995||Walt Disney Animation France
Walt Disney Animation Australia
|3||Doug's 1st Movie||March 26, 1999||Walt Disney Pictures
|Plus One Animation||$5 million||$19.4 million||20%|
|4||The Tigger Movie||February 11, 2000||Walt Disney Pictures
|Walt Disney Animation Japan||$15–30 million||$96.2 million||71%||53|
|5||Recess: School's Out||February 16, 2001||Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Television Animation Digital Production
Paul & Joe Productions
Sunwoo Digital International
|$23 million||$44.5 million||61%||43|
|6||Return to Never Land||February 15, 2002||Walt Disney Pictures
|Walt Disney Animation Australia
Walt Disney Animation Canada
Walt Disney Animation Japan
|$20 million||$109 million||46%||49|
|7||Teacher's Pet||January 16, 2004||Walt Disney Pictures||Toon City Animation||$10 million||$6.5 million||76%||74|
Disney+ original movies
|Title||Creator(s) / Developer(s)||Premiere||Notes|
|Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe||Dan Povenmire
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
|Series||Title||Director||Release Date||DVD Release||Notes|
|N/A||Petal to the Metal||David Block||August 7, 1992||N/A||Bonkers Episode
In theaters with 3 Ninjas
|Timon and Pumbaa||Stand by Me||Steve Moore||December 22, 1995||N/A||
Timon & Pumbaa Episode
|N/A||Redux Riding Hood ||Steve Moore||August 5, 1997||N/A|
|N/A||Three Little Pigs||Darrell Rooney||October 21, 1997||N/A|
Rides & attractions
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Beneath the tower of intra-organizational title credits for ABC's short-lived Clerks — Miramax Films, Miramax Television, Touchstone Television, View Askew Productions — resides the Walt Disney television animation studio.
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