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DisneyToon Studios is an American animation studio owned by The Walt Disney Company, responsible for producing direct-to-video and occasional theatrical films for Walt Disney Studios.

The studio had originally been formed at the former location of Walt Disney Television Animation Australia or Walt Disney Animation Australia, one of several Disney television animation satellite studios responsible for programs such as Goof Troop, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Bonkers, Quack Pack, Darkwing Duck, Timon & Pumbaa, and Aladdin. DisneyToon Studios later became the main producer of the many Disney sequels and direct-to-video films (along with the theatrically released Return to Never Land, The Jungle Book 2 and Piglet's Big Movie).

The Australia studio was closed in October 2006; the pre- and post-production facilities at the main Disney lot in Burbank, California, USA remain in operation. DisneyToon Studios is today a division of Walt Disney Animation Studios and continues to develop both theatrical and direct-to-video features based upon Disney Consumer Products franchises and television programs, as well as spin-offs and original properties.

History

Walt Disney Animation Australia had worked on Disney television series since its opening in 1988. Originally subcontracting to Asian studios such as TMS Entertainment, Cuckoo's Nest Studios, and Wang Film Productions, Walt Disney Television Animation began setting up its own foreign satellite studios by the end of the 1980s. In addition to Walt Disney Animation Australia, the company set up Walt Disney Animation Japan and Walt Disney Animation France (formerly the Brizzi Brothers Studios) to work on Disney television programs. As with most American television animation, the main Television Animation department in California handled pre-production (writing, storyboarding, and layout), while the satellite studios handled the animation production.

The television studios' first feature production was 1990's DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, based upon the syndicated Disney TV show DuckTales. In 1994, the France studio was absorbed into Walt Disney Feature Animation as work began on a second Disney feature based on a TV show, A Goofy Movie (derived from Goof Troop). At the same time, Disney began producing direct-to-video sequels of its Feature Animation productions, the first of which was the Aladdin sequel The Return of Jafar. More DTV 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).

In 2003, the Australia studio became the main production hub of a new division known as DisneyToon Studios, exclusively dedicated to producing DTV sequels and spin-offs of Feature Animation productions. With the closings of the Disney studios in France, Florida and Japan by 2004, as well as the conversion of the main Feature Animation studio in California to all-computer animation production, DisneyToon Australia became the only in-house Disney animation studio still actively producing works using traditional animation. Some of the DisneyToon productions, including Return to Never Land (2002) and The Jungle Book 2 (2003), received wide theatrical releases rather than being issued only on home video. The Australian studio also provided additional animation on Home on the Range (2004).

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. The closing was attributed to the rising costs of animation production in Australia. DisneyToon Studios continued to produce its animated films (both traditional and computer-generated) after the closure by outsourcing to third party companies. These include Rough Draft Studios, Wang Film Productions, Kennedy Cartoons, Toon City and Sunwoo, among others.

On June 22, 2007, management of DisneyToon Studios was turned over to the control of Ed Catmull and John Lasseter under the banner of the recently reorganized and renamed Feature Animation studio, now called Walt Disney Animation Studios. As chief creative officer, Lasseter called for the cancellation of all future films in production or development at DisneyToon Studios that weren't connected to a Disney Consumer Products franchise. As a result, planned or in-progress sequels to Dumbo, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons and The Aristocats were all cancelled, among other projects. A few days later, it was announced that DisneyToon would no longer produce future sequels to Disney animated films, but will instead focus on spin-offs and original films.

Following conflicts over the new direction for the division, as well as complications relating to the production of Tinker Bell (2008), the debut film of the Disney Fairies franchise, the previous president of DisneyToon, Sharon Morill, moved to a new position in the company.

Movies

Films created by DisneyToon Studios include the following:

Theatrical Films

Title Release date
DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp August 3, 1990
A Goofy Movie April 7, 1995
The Tigger Movie February 11, 2000
Return to Never Land February 15, 2002
The Jungle Book 2 February 14, 2003
Piglet's Big Movie March 21, 2003
Teacher's Pet: The Movie January 16, 2004
Pooh's Heffalump Movie February 11, 2005
Secret of the Wings (limited release) October 23, 2012
Planes August 9, 2013
The Pirate Fairy (limited release) April 1, 2014
Planes: Fire & Rescue July 18, 2014
Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (limited release) March 3, 2015
Untitled DisneyToon Film April 12, 2019

Direct-To-Video Films

Title Release date
The Return of Jafar May 20, 1994
Aladdin and the King of Thieves August 13, 1996
Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin August 5, 1997
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas November 11, 1997
Belle's Magical World February 17, 1998
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World August 25, 1998
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride October 27, 1998
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas November 9, 1999
Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving November 9, 1999
An Extremely Goofy Movie February 29, 2000
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea September 19, 2000
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure February 27, 2001
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True February 26, 2002
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II March 19, 2002
Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year November 12, 2002
101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure January 21, 2003
Atlantis: Milo's Return May 20, 2003
The Lion King 1½ February 10, 2004
Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo March 9, 2004
Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers August 17, 2004
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas November 9, 2004
Mulan II February 1, 2005
Tarzan II June 14, 2005
Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch August 30, 2005
Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie September 13, 2005
Kronk's New Groove December 13, 2005
Bambi II February 7, 2006
Brother Bear 2 August 29, 2006
The Fox and the Hound 2 December 12, 2006
Cinderella III: A Twist in Time February 6, 2007
Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams September 4, 2007
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning August 26, 2008
Tinker Bell October 28, 2008
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure October 27, 2009
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue September 21, 2010

Gallery

See also

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