Walt Disney Television
Buena Vista Television

Written and Compiled by Jason Jones, Matt Williams, Matt Anscher, Nicholas Aczel and John Coffey

Walt Disney Productions/Pictures

Disney's TV output from 1954 until 1981 (the anthology series, Zorro, Mickey Mouse Club) had no in-credit notice for Walt Disney Productions at all. The name Disney obviously required no indication, unlike other
studios. Syndication of Disney product was done by SFM. The original Mickey Mouse Club, The Mouse Factory, and the 1970s revival of MMC were the only programs made available through syndication; in the days before the Disney Channel, the lesser movies and the short cartoons were seen only on the anthology series, while the animated films and first-tier live-action films were, of course, re-issued to theatres). When the anthology series moved to CBS, however, this changed.

Logo: This is not really a logo, but an in-credit notice, much like Tandem Production was. It was in the same font as the credits. In 1983 the wording changed to "Walt Disney Pictures" from "Walt Disney Productions."

SFX: None, this was an in-credit notice.

Music: Outro of show

Availability: Fairly rare. Seen on 1981-1983 anthology series episodes (when the show was titled "Walt Disney") and on the Disney Channel Valentine's Day compilation of cartoon material entitled "From Disney With Love." Since these are no longer on TDC, one must look for the commercially released (but long out of print) videotapes of the anthology series (the episodes being "The Hunter and the Rock Star" and "The Ranger of Brownstone"). It may or may not have been used on the few short-lived series the studio produced for CBS in 1982 and 1983 (Herbie the Love Bug, Gun Shy, Small and Frye, Zorro and Son); I have no idea, as these shows are never seen anymore. The site www.billcotter.com has information on all TV produced by Disney and its subsidiary labels.

Scare Factor: It depends on the music being used. The dark background combined with the end music (a disco version of "When You Wish Upon a Star," arranged by Frank Gari) on the 1981-1983 anthology episodes used to get to me.

Buena Vista Television
1st Logo

Nicknames: "Abstract Castle", "Rainbow Castle, Blue BG"

Logo: On a shady indigo blue BG, we see the familiar Disney stylized, segmented castle, but shaded (from top to bottom) red, orange, and yellow. The white circular line is already there, as is the "WALT DISNEY" corporate words below but with "Television." A spark flies around the circular line from right to left as the words fades to "Distributed By Buena Vista Television."

Network TV: On shows produced by Buena Vista, there is only the "Buena Vista Television" text and no "Distributed by" header.

Variant: One had a deep, dark magenta gradient and no music. It is still used for the overseas "Distributed by Buena Vista International" logo. The Golden Girls on Prime Network in Canada had it.

SFX: The "spark" flying, the text fades.

Cheesy Factor: Simple 80s computer animation.

Music: Sounds of some "pings".

Availability: Rare, may appear on older prints of Disney shows; recently found on "Ducktales" on Canada’s Family Network. But most shows on Toon Disney replace it with the Walt Disney Television or current Buena Vista logo, sometimes with the original music preserved.

Scare Factor: Median, the "pinging" noise might startle some.

2nd Logo

Nickname: "Black BG, Rainbow Castle"

Logo: On a black BG, we see the castle as in the 1st logo with the 3-D words "Walt Disney Television" below it. A spark flies around the circular line, but this time from left to right, and the words below fade to "Distributed By Buena Vista Television."

Network TV: See 1st logo

SFX: See 1st logo

Cheesy Factor: The words are in 3D, but the castle is STILL in 2D.

Music: TBA

Availability: Again, usually only seen on older prints.

Scare Factor: TBA

3rd Logo

Nickname: "90's Comets"

Logo: We start at the angle of a purple Earth globe on a space background and gradually zoom away. Three comets streak from the left, casting a light glow on the Earth before freezing in the center, and writing the words


as a box fades around the above part of the logo and the surrounding area fades to black.

SFX: Zooming from the earth, the comets "streaking," the light effects, the fades.

Music: A majestic tune culmating in a 7-note horn fanfare. There is also a long version of this logo that has some chimes before the horns come in.

Availability: No longer current, but still common as the new logo has not plastered anything yet.  Should still appear on reruns of Disney, ABC and Touchstone Television shows for the time being.

Scare Factor: None, you’ll only be annoyed about how many times you’ve seen it.

4th Logo

Nickname: "2000's Comets"

Logo: The same concept as before, except that the globe is now a bluish-green on a spiffier starfield. When the comets streak from the left and freeze, the screen turns white with the logo of the comets and globe in space in a box at the top, and the "BUENA VISTA TELEVISION" text appears at the bottom in gray.

SFX: Zooming from the earth, the comets "streaking," the light effects, the fades.

Music: A reorchestrated version of the fanfare in the 1995 logo.

Availability: Brand new.  Should appear on new episodes of Buena Vista produced shows such as "Live with Regis And Kelly," "The Tony Danza Show," and the syndicated version of "Millionaire."  It is widely expected that this logo will soon be tacked on network TV and syndicated reruns of Disney-owned shows from the libraries of Touchstone, ABC, Disney, and Buena Vista.

Scare Factor: None

Walt Disney Television

Nickname: "The Castle," "Blue Castle"

Logo: A shortened version of the Walt Disney Pictures logo, starting with the white ball of light flash, then extending out to form the familiar castle and the word "Walt Disney" but with the word "Television" below it instead. A white circular line is drawn over the castle.

Variation: In recent years the URL www.disney.com is seen below. There is no flash on this variant, the castle and "Walt Disney" start already formed.

SFX: The "flash" (if applicable), the drawing with the line.

Cheesy Factor: Simple 2-D 80s animations.

Music: From 1985-1988 had a light 6-note synth tune, the 5th note particularly rolled. Starting in 1988, a six-note orchestral fanfare based on "When You Wish Upon A Star" was heard.

Availability: Common, seen on lots of family shows on ABC, The Disney Channel, ABC Family, and Toon Disney.

Scare Factor: Low, varies depending on what you think of the music variant being used, but is one of the world’s most popular logos.