The Walt Disney Company had humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s. Walt Disney was the visionary behind the studio and started the company with his brother Roy Disney back in 1923. But it wasn't until 1928 that the character of Mickey Mouse was born with the premiere of "Steamboat Willie" and became an instant worldwide sensation.
Over the next two decades, Walt created a number of animated classics and helped the art form take hold in the hearts of a world wide audience. In the fifties was when The Walt Disney Company began to resemble its current self. As his films continued to succeed at the box office, Disney began looking for other opportunities and found it with amusement parks. The first Disney amusement park, Disneyland, opened on July 17, 1955.
Walt continued to acheive a number of box office successes throughout the sixties until his untimely death on December 15, 1966. But The Walt Disney Company kept growing and over the next few decades managed to dominate in film, television, amusement parks and even in publishing, retail and music. Today it remains one of the top five entertainment companies in the world.
Company Assets and Entertainment Brands:
The Walt Disney Company has developed a number of internal brands over the years, but has also acquired a bevy of top notch third party entertainment brands that have helped expand their global reach. Here is a list of just some of the major film and television assets that make up The Walt Disney Company:
- Film Production: Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Films and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
- Television and Television Production: ABC, ESPN, The Disney Channel, SOAPnet, ABC Family, Touchstone Television, ABC Studios among others.
Since the tumoltuous departure of Michael Eisner, The Walt Disney Company has attracted a number of significant entertainment industry leaders, such as:
Robert Iger: President and Chief Executive Officer
- Anne Sweeney: Co-Chair Disney Media Networks and President Disney-ABC Television Group
- Steve MacPherson: President of Entertainment, ABC Networks