Disney Television Animation

Disney Television Animation (DTVA[3]) is an American animation studio that creates, develops and produces animated television series, films, specials and other projects. It is a division of Walt Disney Television's Disney Channels Worldwide, ultimately owned by The Walt Disney Company.

Disney Television Animation
Walt Disney Pictures Television Animation Group (1984-1987)
Walt Disney Television Animation (1987-2011)
IndustryAnimation Television
FoundedDecember 5, 1984; 35 years ago (1984-12-05)
FounderGary Krisel
Headquarters811 Sonora Avenue,[1] Glendale, California, United States
Number of locations
Key people
Meredith Roberts (senior vice president/general manager)[2]
OwnerThe Walt Disney Company
ParentDisney 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 and originally 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.[4]


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.[5]

The Walt Disney Television Animation department was started in November 1984 with Gary Krisel as president[6] and Michael Webster as senior vice president.[7]

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,[5] 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.[8]

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.[5] 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.[9] Disney Television Animation hired a director of specials, Sharon Morrill, in 1993.[10]

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.[11] Morrill was in charge of the first Aladdin DTV film launching Disney Video Premiere/Direct to Video unit.[12]

Three overseas Disney studios were set up to produce the company's animated television series.[13] Disney Animation Australia was started in 1988.[14] In 1989, the Brizzi brothers sold Brizzi Films to Disney Television Animation and was renamed Walt Disney Animation France.[15] Also that year, Disney Animation Japan was started.[16] Walt Disney Animation Canada was opened in January 1996 to tap Canada's animator pool and produce direct-to-video.[17] As direct-to-video increased in importance, the overseas studios moved to making feature films.[13]

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.[18] 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).[19] 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.[20] 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.[10]

In the second quarter of 2000, due to weak financial performance, Disney Animation Canada was closed.[17] David Stainton took charge of the company as executive vice president in January 2000 then as president in February 2002 under Thomas Schumacher.[21]

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.[22] In this reorganization, the Disney MovieToons/Disney Video Premieres unit was transferred from Television Animation to Feature Animation.[23][24] While Stainton took over as President of Disney Feature Animation from Schumacher, while Blumberg returned to DTA as president.[24]

In July 2019, Disney TV Animation signed 17 creators and animators to overall deals. This follows a trend in kids programming started by Netflix.[25]


Disney Television Animation is headed by Eric Coleman,[26][27] Senior Vice President, Original Series, he reports to Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide.[citation needed]

Prior presidents of Television Animation were Meredith Roberts and Barry Blumberg. Blumberg announced his resignation in November 2005.[28]

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.



Television series

# Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
1 The Wuzzles Carson Van Osten 1985
2 Adventures of the Gummi Bears Michael Eisner
Art Vitello
Jymn Magon
3 DuckTales Jymn Magon 1987–1990
4 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.
5 Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Tad Stones
Alan Zaslove
6 TaleSpin Jymn Magon
Mark Zaslove
7 Darkwing Duck Tad Stones 1991–1992
8 Goof Troop Mike Peraza 1992–1993
9 The Little Mermaid Walt Disney Television Animation 1992–1994
10 Raw Toonage 1992
11 Bonkers 1993–1994
12 Marsupilami 1993
13 Aladdin 1994–1995
14 Gargoyles Greg Weisman 1994–1997
15 Timon & Pumbaa Walt Disney Television Animation 1995–1999
16 The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show Bill Kopp 1995
17 Quack Pack Rob Humphrey
Jim Peterson
18 The Mighty Ducks Marty Isenberg
Robert N. Skir
David Wise
Gordon Kent
19 Doug Jim Jinkins
David Campbell
Joe Aaron
1996–1999 Seasons 5 to 7 only, after being acquired from Nickelodeon and renamed Brand Spanking New! Doug in seasons 5-6 and Disney's Doug in season 7; co-production with Jumbo Pictures
20 Jungle Cubs Mark S. Bernthal 1996–1998
21 Nightmare Ned Terry Shakespeare
Sue Shakespeare
David Molina
22 101 Dalmatians Jim Jinkins
David Campbell
1997–1998 Co-production with Jumbo Pictures.
23 Recess Paul Germain
Joe Ansolabehere
1997–2003 Co-production with Paul & Joe Productions.
24 Pepper Ann Sue Rose 1997–2000
25 PB&J Otter Jim Jinkins 1998–2000 Co-production with Jumbo Pictures.
26 Hercules Michael Price 1998–1999
27 Mickey Mouse Works Walt Disney Television Animation 1999–2000
28 The Weekenders Doug Langdale 2000–2004
29 Clerks: The Animated Series David Mandel
Scott Mosier
Kevin Smith
2000 Uncredited; co-production with Miramax Television, View Askew Productions, Woltz International Pictures, and Touchstone Television[29][30]
30 Teacher's Pet Gary Baseman
Bill Steinkellner
Cheri Steinkellner
2000–2002 Winner of 4 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Special Class Animated Program of 2001 and 2002
31 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Walt Disney Television Animation 2000–2001 Co-production with Pixar Animation Studios.
32 House of Mouse Rob Gannaway
Tony Craig
33 Lloyd in Space Paul Germain
Joe Ansolabehere
2001–2004 Co-production with Paul & Joe Productions.
34 The Legend of Tarzan Walt Disney Television Animation 2001–2003
35 Teamo Supremo Phil Walsh 2002–2004
36 Kim Possible Bob Schooley
Mark McCorkle
37 Fillmore! Scott M. Gimple 2002–2004
38 Lilo & Stitch: The Series Chris Sanders
Dean DeBlois
39 Dave the Barbarian Doug Langdale 2004–2005
40 Brandy & Mr. Whiskers Russell Marcus 2004–2006
41 American Dragon: Jake Long Jeff Goode 2005–2007
42 The Buzz on Maggie Dave Polsky 2005–2006
43 The Emperor's New School Mark Dindal 2006–2008
44 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Bobs Gannaway 2006–2016
45 The Replacements Dan Santat 2006–2009
46 Shorty McShorts' Shorts Barry Blumberg
John Solomon
47 My Friends Tigger & Pooh Bobs Gannaway 2007–2010
48 Phineas and Ferb Dan Povenmire
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
49 Special Agent Oso Ford Riley 2009–2012
50 Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil Sandro Corsaro 2010–2012 Co-production with Chris Savino Productions.[31]
51 Fish Hooks Noah Z. Jones
Alex Hirsch
William Reiss
2010–2014 [32]
52 Take Two with Phineas and Ferb Dan Povenmire
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
53 Jake and the Never Land Pirates Bobs Gannaway 2011–2016
54 Motorcity Chris Prynoski
David Bickel
2012–2013 Co-production with Titmouse, Inc.[33][34]
55 Tron: Uprising Edward Kitsis
Adam Horowitz
Co-production with Sean Bailey Productions.
56 Gravity Falls Alex Hirsch 2012–2016 [35][33]
57 Sofia the First Craig Gerber 2012–2018
58 Mickey Mouse Paul Rudish 2013–2019 [36]
59 Wander Over Yonder Craig McCracken 2013–2016 [37]
60 The 7D Tom Ruegger 2014–2016
61 Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Jared Bush
Sam Levine
2014–2017 [38][39]
62 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Daron Nefcy 2015–2019 [40]
63 Two More Eggs The Brothers Chaps 2015–2017 Co-production with Citywide Hoop Champs, Inc.[41]
64 Pickle and Peanut Noah Z. Jones 2015–2018 [42]
65 Descendants: Wicked World Disney Television Animation 2015–2017 Co-production with Bad Angels Productions and 5678 Productions.
66 The Lion Guard Ford Riley 2015–2019 [43]
67 Elena of Avalor Craig Gerber 2016–2020 [44]
68 Future-Worm! Ryan Quincy 2016–2018 [45][46]
69 Milo Murphy's Law Dan Povenmire
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
70 Mickey and the Roadster Racers/Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures Disney Television Animation 2017–present [47]
71 Tangled: The Series/Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Shane Prigmore
Chris Sonnenburg
2017–2020 [48]
72 Billy Dilley's Super-Duper Subterranean Summer Aaron Springer 2017
73 DuckTales Matt Youngberg
Francisco Angones
74 Big Hero 6: The Series Mark McCorkle
Bob Schooley
Nick Filippi
75 Big City Greens The Houghton Brothers 2018–present Originally planned as a Disney XD original series before it was switched to Disney Channel
76 Fancy Nancy Jamie Mitchell
Krista Tucker
77 Amphibia Matt Braly 2019–present
78 The Owl House Dana Terrace 2020–present[49]
79 The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse Paul Rudish 2020[50]
80 The Ghost and Molly McGee Bill Motz
Bob Roth
2021[51] [52][53]
81 Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Laurence Fishburne[54]
Helen Sugland[54]
2021[51] Co-production with Cinema Gypsy Productions and Marvel Animation & Family Entertainment[55]
82 Monsters at Work Bobs Gannaway 2021[56]
83 The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Bruce W. Smith
Doreen Spicer
2021 Revival of The Proud Family
84 Mickey Mouse Funhouse Phil Weinstein
Thomas Hart
85 Hamster & Gretel[57] Dan Povenmire

Television specials

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.

Feature films

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. This unit's operations were transferred to Walt Disney Feature Animation in 2003. See that article for that unit's films.

Television films

Title Release date Network Notes
Fluppy Dogs November 27, 1986 ABC Pilot film.
DuckTales: The Treasure of the Golden Suns September 18, 1987 Syndication
DuckTales: Catch as Cash Can November 2–5, 1987
DuckTales: Time is Money November 24, 1988
Super DuckTales March 26, 1989
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers to the Rescue September 29, 1989
TaleSpin: Plunder & Lightning September 7, 1990
Darkwing Duck: Darkly Dawns the Duck September 6, 1991
Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time November 28, 2003 Disney Channel
Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama April 8, 2005
The Proud Family Movie August 19, 2005 Co-production with Hyperion Animation.
Leroy & Stitch June 23, 2006
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension August 5, 2011
Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess November 18, 2012
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar November 22, 2015
Elena and the Secret of Avalor November 20, 2016
Tangled: Before Ever After March 10, 2017 Disney Channel
Star vs. The Forces of Evil: Battle for Mewni July 15, 2017 Disney XD

Direct-to-video films

Title Release date Notes
The Return of Jafar May 20, 1994 Co-production with Disney Video Premiere.
Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken January 31, 1995
Aladdin and the King of Thieves August 13, 1996 Co-production with Disney Video Premiere.
Mighty Ducks the Movie: The First Face-Off April 8, 1997
Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin August 5, 1997 Co-production with Disney Video Premiere.
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
Hercules: Zero to Hero August 17, 1999
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas November 9, 1999 Co-production with Disney Video Premiere.
Seasons of Giving
An Extremely Goofy Movie February 29, 2000
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins August 8, 2000 Co-production with Pixar Animation Studios.
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea September 19, 2000 Co-production with Disney Video Premiere.
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure February 27, 2001
Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse November 6, 2001
Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street Co-production with Paul & Joe Productions.
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True February 26, 2002 Co-production with Disney Video Premiere.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II March 19, 2002
Tarzan & Jane July 23, 2002
Mickey's House of Villains September 3, 2002
A Very Merry Pooh Year November 12, 2002 Co-production with Disney Video Premiere.
101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure January 21, 2003
Atlantis: Milo's Return May 20, 2003
Stitch! The Movie August 26, 2003 [58]
Recess: All Growed Down December 9, 2003 Co-production with Paul & Joe Productions.
Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade

Theatrical 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
Disney MovieToons
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
$35.3 million 53%
3 Doug's 1st Movie March 26, 1999 Walt Disney Pictures
Jumbo Pictures
Plus One Animation $5 million $19.4 million 20%
4 The Tigger Movie[59] February 11, 2000 Walt Disney Pictures
Disney MovieToons
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 Animation
Sunwoo Digital International
$23 million $44.5 million 61% 43
6 Return to Never Land February 15, 2002 Walt Disney Pictures
Disney MovieToons
Walt Disney Animation Australia
Walt Disney Animation Canada
Walt Disney Animation Japan
Cornerstone Animation
$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
August 28, 2020 [60]

Short films

  • The Bug Hunt (1996)[61]
  • Dragon Friend (1997)[62]
  • Little Angelita (1999)[63]
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

See also



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External links