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 47 films, beginning with DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), and its most recent being Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014).
Disney MovieToons' first feature production was in 1990 with DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp with animation from Walt Disney Animation France. At the same time, 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 âfamily movie specialâ for the Friday night before the seriesâ 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.
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).
In a January 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.
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 Little Mermaid 3"'s released was put on hold. 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. 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.
The following is a list of films produced by DisneyToon Studios.