The studio's predecessor (and the modern-day The Walt Disney Company's as a whole) was originally founded as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, by filmmaker Walt Disney and his business partner and brother, Roy, in 1923.
The creation of Mickey Mouse and subsequent short films and merchandise generated revenue for the studio which was renamed as The Walt Disney Studio at the Hyperion Studio in 1926. In 1929, it was renamed once again to Walt Disney Productions. The studio's streak of success continued in the 1930s, culminating with the 1937 release of the first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which became a huge financial success.3 With the profits from Snow White, Walt relocated to a third studio in Burbank, California.4
The company divided motion picture productions within the studio as two units; one for animation and another for live-action. The latter division began producing live-action films in 1950 with the release of Treasure Island. By 1953, the company ended their agreements with such third-party distributors as RKO Radio Pictures and United Artists and formed their own distribution company; Buena Vista Distribution. In 1986, Walt Disney Productions was renamed The Walt Disney Company, while the live-action film studio was renamed Walt Disney Pictures in 1983 and the film animation studio initially Walt Disney Feature Animation, then eventually its current name Walt Disney Animation Studios.
^Schatz, Tom. "The Studio System and Conglomerate Hollywood". Blackwell Publishing. "Disney also exploited new technologies and delivery systems, creating synergies that were altogether unique among the studios, and that finally enabled the perpetual “mini-major” to ascend to major studio status."