Friday, August 21, 2015

Of Posters and Logos...


What will follow isn't news or anything particularly relevant, but it's something that interests me. So here it goes...

I want to talk about theatrical posters for recent Disney films, both animated and live-action...

Years ago, posters and Blu-ray covers for Disney films used to have a heading that would say "Walt Disney Pictures Presents". I always liked that. To the point, formal, and looks nice on the poster or box art.

Here are some posters from the last decade...



And some home media examples from the era...



Even direct-to-video films used this heading!


Now, a few years later, Disney's DVD and Blu-ray releases began using "Walt Disney" or "Disney" for a heading. No apostrophe and an "s". Of course, the "Walt Disney" heading would be used for the Walt-era films...


These two Blu-rays were released in fall 2008 and fall 2009 respectively. Theatrical posters from the era still used the proper "Walt Disney Pictures Presents" (or sometimes just "Walt Disney Pictures") heading...




Post-Ratatouille Pixar film posters would simply say "Disney · Pixar" on them. No more "Walt Disney Pictures presents a Pixar Animation Studios film". So many people are confused on the whole Pixar thing. I always get asked "But isn't Pixar the same thing as Disney anyway?" I think having the "Disney presents a Pixar film" helps a little bit, gets rid of the confusion at least.

Soon enough, the theatrical posters dropped "Walt" and "Pictures" altogether...



As you can see with the Prince of Persia poster, they try to shoehorn other things into the heading. It's kind of an eye-sore if you ask me. They also did this with the posters for other Bruckheimer productions like The Lone Ranger, and the Alice in Wonderland posters do this too with "A Film By Tim Burton". No "Disney presents a Tim Burton Film"... The composition is kind of ugly and flimsy, to be honest.

Anyways, from this year forward, posters for all Disney releases - animated and live-action - have the "Disney" heading. No "Walt", no "Pictures", no "Presents", no apostrophe and "s", nothing.


Then in late 2011, Disney films no longer opened with "Walt Disney Pictures". The 2006 castle logo now just said "Disney", and the in-film credits would say "Disney presents". No more Walt, or pictures. To me, you can't remove Walt's name from the film company's logos. While the corporation is still rightfully named The Walt Disney Company, why remove his name from the film logo?

With "presents", the posters gave you a sense that all the movies came from different production houses. Of course fans like myself already know that, but the general public assumes it all comes from one place when it doesn't. Remember when some people assumed Planes was a Pixar film? Then when people told them "It's not Pixar", they would say "Disney made it." But then that made some people think that Walt Disney Animation Studios made it, not DisneyToon studios. Having that little "presents" there implies that Disney is presenting the film, but a specific studio made it.

At least, for me, that's why "presents" should be on the posters and marketing materials...

Speaking of which, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp's poster was completely honest. That was 25 years ago...


So was the original VHS release cover from 1991...


Brad Bird's Tomorrowland somewhat bucked this trend earlier this year. All the posters for the film just had the "Disney" heading. The stylized opening logo says "Disney", but...

The in-film credits say "Walt Disney Pictures Presents" and "An A113 Production". I was very happy to see that in the opening of the film. It was a nice little cherry on top of what was the rare modern Disney live-action film that didn't happen to be a remake.

Two posters for two 2016 Disney releases also kind of buck the "Just 'Disney' on the poster" trend...


Now this, I like. It's a good compromise. If they still can't use "Walt Disney Pictures" or "Walt Disney Pictures Presents", this is a fine substitute. The Finest Hours poster in particular reminds me of the mid-2000s, when the less family-friendly Disney fare would carry the Disney name but it wouldn't be in the familiar Disney font.

The poster for The Finest Hours debuted earlier this year, the Alice one debuted at the beginning of D23. I assumed future Disney posters would follow suit, and have "Disney Presents". I was wrong, because on the second day of D23, this came out...


Also, Zootopia may not have a teaser poster yet (why that is so, I have no idea), but I bet it's just going to say "Disney" and not "Disney Presents". In the teaser, when they show the film's logo, the Disney logo is right on top of it. No "presents"...

So why the "Disney Presents" heading for The Finest Hours and Alice Through the Looking Glass, but not live-action Jungle Book? Will certain future films have the "Disney Presents" headings on their theatrical posters? Or will all of them eventually have that heading?

For those who care about this kind of thing, do you think the posters should restore "Walt" and "Pictures"? Do you think "Disney Presents" is fine enough? Are you not too big on them just using the "Disney" logo and nothing else? Sound off below!

6 comments:

  1. I would like to see "Walt" again. I grew up watching the "Walt Disney" logo below the castle in the blue background before the movies. Bring it back!!!!

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  2. Because the executives are greedy misers!

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  3. For the posters and promotional material, I think "Disney Presents" is perfectly fine and, I agree, it does somewhat clear up the confusion about all the different studios. I hope they continue to employ this in future promotional materials. For the opening logo during the films themselves, however, I really do wish they would go back to "Walt Disney Pictures", it made it feel a lot more complete.

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  4. Removing "Walt" from "Disney" makes Disney's films look less fun, strips away nearly 90 years of magic, and destroys the symbolism of what made Disney - Walt. I'm talking about both the logo AND the posters. My favourite variation of the phrase is "Walt Disney Pictures Presents" because it is the most complete version so it brings out the full effect and it also resonates with my early childhood, when I'd hear it during trailers for other Disney movies on VHS and in the cinema.

    Also, since 2013, 20th Century Fox, and other Fox companies that use the same logo style, have been removing "A News Corporation Company" completely, rather than just changing it to "A 21st Century Fox Company". I can see that they didn't want to cause any confusion with the names sounding similar, but removing the byline rather than updating it is just rather lazy if you ask me.

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  5. I want walt disney pictures Presents back

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  6. To tell you the truth, I was satisfied with just plain old Walt Disney Productions.

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