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Since I was a kid, I’ve been a big fan of Disney cartoons and comic books. The same is true for Star Wars movies and the Marvel Entertainment universe.
Now that Disney owns all of those franchises – and more, it made me think.
How many companies does Disney own???
The short answer? A lot! The Disney entertainment company of today is a different beast than the Disney brothers’ cartoon studio of yesterday.
It seems easier to answer the question, What Companies Does Disney NOT Own?
Let’s break down this massive media empire in more detail below.
An Infographic of the Entire Disney Conglomerate
First, let’s start with this immense infographic by TitleMax to give us a sense of exactly how big Disney is:
As you can see, Disney is a mastodon in the entertainment industry!
The infographic shows that Disney owns many movie companies, production companies, television networks, music studios, theatre productions, and streaming services (including Disney Plus). It goes without saying that with ownership of all these companies, their intellectual property and brand portfolio are immense.
But you can also see what other companies Disney owns – from theme parks (fx Disney World in FL, USA, and Disneyland Paris), hotels, cruise lines, construction companies, consumer products, video games, and financial services to ownership parts in GoPro, Photobucket, and a lot more.
Disney also works with other major family entertainment brands such as American Idol (The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort) and LEGO (fx Lego The Incredibles).
As FilmDaft is about films, movies, and television, I’m going to break down the companies owned by Disney related to these cultural phenomena into some lists.
Studios Owned by Disney
Here’s an aggregated list of studios working with movie studios owned by Disney:
- Walt Disney Pictures (Live Action Movies)
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
- Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (including Buena Vista International and more)
- 20th Century Studios (including Fox Family and 80% share in New Regency Productions)
- Lucasfilm (including Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound, and more)
- Disney Digital Studio Services (Post-production)
- Disney Nature (Disney nature documentaries)
- Searchlight Pictures
We can break these down further into studios working with animation.
Animation Studios Owned by Disney
Here’s an aggregated list of animation studios owned by Disney:
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
- Pixar Animation Studios
- 20th Century Fox Animation (including Blue Sky Studios) – (Family Guy, American Horror Story, and more)
- Marvel Animation Studios
- Lucasfilm Animation
Besides these, Disney also owns several entertainment networks that produce all kinds of shows for television.
Entertainment Networks owned by Disney
Here’s an aggregated list of entertainment networks owned by Disney:
- Walt Disney Television Studios
- ABC Entertainment
- ABC NEWS
- 20th Television (formerly 20th Fox Television)
- Hulu Scripted Originals
- FX Networks
- Disney Channels Worldwide (Disney Channel, Disney XD, and more)
- National Geographic Global Networks (73% in the US).
- ESPN Inc. (80% stake)
- Various ESPN channels
- X Games
- A&E Networks (50% equity holding with Hearst Corporation)
- Various A+E channels (including A+E Films, A+E IndieFilms, and more)
- A+E Ventures (including Vice Media, Inc (36% stake), and more)
- Lifetime Entertainment Service (including Lifetime Movies)
- History Network (including “History,” formerly known as The History Channel)
Streaming Services owned by Disney
Disney seemed late to the streaming party with major players such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime being dominant.
However, they have begun to invest more and more into this area as an alternative to their massive portfolio within traditional film and flow-tv.
Here’s an aggregated list of streaming services owned by Disney:
- Disney Digital Network
- Hulu (Disney owns 67% with NBCUniversal as a silent partner)
Brands owned by Disney
And then there are all the brands associated with these huge catalogs of popular culture. I can’t even begin to fathom the insane value these alone are worth regarding merchandise and licensing.
Here’s an aggregated list of some of the brands owned by Disney (source: TitleMax):
- The Star Wars franchise (Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, X-wings, Tie Fighters, Ewoks – yup all of them – as live-action and animated movies.)
- The Muppets (Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and all the other lovely creatures brought to life by Jim Henson).
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe (minus the X-Men – but with Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Scarlet Which, you name it)
- Disney Fairytales (Frozen, Aladdin, The Lion King, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and much more)
- The Chronicles of Narnia Franchise (witches, children, lions, and wardrobes)
- The Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise (Johnny Depp on rum and steroids)
- Pixar (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Cars, and more)
- The Winnie the Pooh Franchise (Winnie the Pooh, Pigglet, Tigger, and a bit of philosophy).
- The Indiana Jones Franchise (Indiana Jones I-III – are there more?)
- American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, General Hospital, and more).
How Much is Disney Worth?
With all these companies and brands under their wing, how much is Disney worth?
According to the website Gobankingrates, Disney is worth approximately $149 billion!!
And according to ycharts.com, as of October 5, 2022, Disney has a market cap of $184,93 billion.
Who owns Disney?
So who is in charge of this gigantic cultural conglomerate? In other words, who are the major shareholders who own Disney?
Also, according to Investopedia, as of July 2020, Disney has five major shareholders. They are:
- Executive Chairman and former CEO Robert “Bob” Iger with 1,150,138 million shares
- Senior Executive Vice President and CFO Christine McCarthy with 141,301 shares
- Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary Alan Braverman, who holds 98,922 shares
- Director Aylwin B. Lewis, with 86,140 shares (2019)
- Robert W. Matschullat, who holds 71,360 shares (2019)
Other primary shareholders include Vanguard Group Inc., BlackRock Inc., and State Street Corp.
As of February 2020, the new CEO of the Walt Disney Company is Bob Chapek. CEO Bob Iger served as Executive Chairman until December 31st, 2021.
What does the Future hold?
Disney has been a major influence on the cultural landscape for as long as I can remember.
And the acquisitions of key assets such as Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox in recent years have only cemented their position.
What does this mean for the future cultural output of live-action movies, animated movies, and television? And what does it mean for all the brands and franchises we’ve come to love?
Will everything be packaged and sold as disneyfied, family-friendly, and watered-down versions of the gritty comic-book originals? Or is there still room to explore the darker sides of these beloved universes under the new umbrella?
I guess only time will tell. What do you think?
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns filmdaft.com and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.