DisneyToon Studios logo

DisneyToon Studios, originally Disney MovieToons and was also Disney Video Premieres, is an American animation studio which creates direct-to-video and occasional theatrical animated feature films. The studio is a division of Walt Disney Animation Studios, with both being part of The Walt Disney Studios. The studio has produced 50 feature films, beginning with DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), and its latest being Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls (2020).


Disney MovieToons logo

Disney MovieToons logo as seen on DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp

Disney MovieToons' first feature production was in 1990 with DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp with animation from Walt Disney Animation France. Disney Television Animation hired a director of specials, Sharon Morrill, in 1993.

Disney began producing direct-to-video sequels of Walt Disney Feature Animation films: the first of which was the Aladdin (1992) sequel The Return of Jafar (1994). When Aladdin was selected as a possible candidate as an animated TV series (before the film's release), as with many animated series, the first three episodes were one multi-part story which Disney used as a potential 'family movie special' for the Friday night before the series' premiere. With work handed out to both the Australian and Japanese animation units, the opening story was instead green lit for a direct-to-video release. Thus with The Return of Jafar and its success, the direct-to-video unit started. Then a second sequel, Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), assign work to both the Australian and Japanese animation units.

Morrill was in charge of the above first Aladdin DTV film launching Disney Video Premiere. Morrill expanded the DTV market, making it more important for Disney, thus the overseas Disney studios were increasing assigned to these features. Morrill was promoted to vice president of Direct to Video by November 1997.

The unit released a short in 1997, Redux Riding Hood, under the WDTA name that was nominated for an 1998 Academy Award. More direct-to-video sequels followed, among them Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997), Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998), The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998), and Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002). 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.

DisneyToon Studios


DisneyToon Studios headquarters in Glendale, California

In 2003, Disney reorganization, Disney MovieToons/Disney Video Premieres unit was transferred from Walt Disney Television Animation to Walt Disney Feature Animation and renamed DisneyToon Studios (DTS) in June. Morrill continued to lead the division as executive vice president. With the split, both DisneyToons and Disney Television Animation were issuing direct to video features.

Disney closed Disney Animation Japan, one of the two remaining internal overseas studios DisneyToons worked with, in early June 2004 with Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2004) to be its final DTS work. By 2005, Morrill was promoted to president of DisneyToon. On July 25, 2005, Disney announced that it was closing DisneyToon Studios Australia in October 2006, after 17 years of existence, with its final feature being Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.

In the early 2000s, DisneyToon joined Disney Consumer Products (DCP) as their internal Disney conglomerate video partner in developing the new Disney franchises then only consisting of Disney Princess and Disney Fairies. While DCP eyed other potential franchises, DTS looked to the Seven Dwarfs for a male centric franchise to counterbalance the female centric Fairies by 2005.

John Lasseter joining Disney with the purchase of Pixar made it clear that he disliked DisneyToon's undercutting the value of the feature animated films with the sequel and prequel. Following complications relating to the production of Tinker Bell (2008), the debut film of DCP's Fairies franchise, lead to discussion over the focus of the division. Thus, Sharon Morill, president of the studio, moved to a new position in the company. On June 22, 2007, management of DisneyToon Studios was turned over to the control of Alan Bergman, president of Disney Studios, with input from Ed Catmull and Lasseter.

As chief creative officer, Lasseter called for the cancellation of all future films in production or development at DisneyToon Studios. As a result, planned or in-progress sequels to Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons and The Aristocats were all cancelled, among other projects. Tinker Bell's animation was scrapped and was restarted while two project DCP formed franchised projects were canceled, "Disney's Dwarfs" and the Disney Princess Enchanted Tales line after the first DVD. The release of The Little Mermaid 3 was put on hold. Disney Studios President Alan Bergman took oversee of day-to-day operation of DTS. Thus DTS was out of sequel and prequel production with it originally indicated that the division would support various Playhouse Disney franchises with direct to home videos.

Meredith Roberts transferred over from Disney TV Animation to head the division as senior vice president and general manager. At the April 2008 unveiling of Disney's animated feature line up, it was announced that DisneyToon Studios would no longer produce future sequels to Disney animated films, but will instead focus on spin-offs and original films. Also, the division was under the banner of renamed Feature Animation studio, now called Walt Disney Animation Studios, led by Catmull and Lasseter.

Feature films

# Title Release type Release date Franchise
1 DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Theatrical August 3, 1990 DuckTales
2 The Return of Jafar Direct-to-video May 20, 1994 Aladdin
3 A Goofy Movie Theatrical April 7, 1995 Goofy
4 Aladdin and the King of Thieves Direct-to-video August 13, 1996 Aladdin
5 Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin Direct-to-video August 5, 1997 Winnie the Pooh
6 Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Direct-to-video November 11, 1997 Beauty and the Beast
7 Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Direct-to-video February 17, 1998 Beauty and the Beast
8 Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World Direct-to-video August 25, 1998 Pocahontas
9 The Lion King II: Simba's Pride Direct-to-video October 27, 1998 The Lion King
10 Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Direct-to-video November 9, 1999 Mickey Mouse
11 Seasons of Giving Direct-to-video November 9, 1999 Winnie the Pooh
12 The Tigger Movie Theatrical February 11, 2000 Winnie the Pooh
13 An Extremely Goofy Movie Direct-to-video February 29, 2000 Goofy
14 The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea Direct-to-video September 19, 2000 The Little Mermaid
15 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Direct-to-video February 27, 2001 Lady and the Tramp
16 Return to Neverland Theatrical February 15, 2002 Peter Pan
17 Cinderella II: Dreams Come True Direct-to-video February 26, 2002 Cinderella
18 The Hunchback of Notre Dame II Direct-to-video March 19, 2002 The Hunchback of Notre Dame
19 A Very Merry Pooh Year Direct-to-video November 12, 2002 Winnie the Pooh
20 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure Direct-to-video January 21, 2003 101 Dalmatians
21 The Jungle Book 2 Theatrical February 14, 2003 The Jungle Book
22 Piglet's Big Movie Theatrical March 21, 2003 Winnie the Pooh
23 Atlantis: Milo's Return Direct-to-video May 20, 2003 Atlantis: The Lost Empire
24 The Lion King 1½ Direct-to-video February 10, 2004 The Lion King
25 Springtime with Roo Direct-to-video March 9, 2004 Winnie the Pooh
26 Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers Direct-to-video August 17, 2004 Mickey Mouse
27 Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas Direct-to-video November 9, 2004 Mickey Mouse
28 Mulan II Direct-to-video February 1, 2005 Mulan
29 Pooh's Heffalump Movie Theatrical February 11, 2005 Winnie the Pooh
30 Tarzan II Direct-to-video June 14, 2005 Tarzan
31 Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch Direct-to-video August 30, 2005 Lilo & Stitch
32 Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie Direct-to-video September 13, 2005 Winnie the Pooh
33 Kronk's New Groove Direct-to-video December 13, 2005 The Emperor's New Groove
34 Bambi II Direct-to-video February 7, 2006 Bambi
35 Brother Bear 2 Direct-to-video August 29, 2006 Brother Bear
36 The Fox and the Hound 2 Direct-to-video December 12, 2006 The Fox and the Hound
37 Cinderella III: A Twist in Time Direct-to-video February 6, 2007 Cinderella
38 Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams Direct-to-video September 4, 2007 Disney Pincess
39 The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning Direct-to-video August 26, 2008 The Little Mermaid
40 Tinker Bell Direct-to-video October 28, 2008 Disney Fairies
41 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Direct-to-video October 27, 2009 Disney Fairies
42 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue Direct-to-video September 21, 2010 Disney Fairies
43 Secret of Wings Theatrical (limited release) October 23, 2012 Disney Fairies
44 Planes Theatrical August 9, 2013 Cars
45 The Pirate Fairy Theatrical (limited release) April 1, 2014 Disney Fairies
46 Planes: Fire & Rescue Theatrical July 18, 2014 Cars
47 Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast Theatrical (limited release) March 3, 2015 Disney Fairies
48 TBA Theatrical April 12, 2019 The Rescuers
49 TBA Theatrical 2020 Dumbo
50 Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls Theatrical July 4, 2020 Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls

See also

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.