Featured Attractions

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


In 1984, Walt Disney's son-in-law Ron Miller created Touchstone Pictures as a way for the company to release films that weren't necessarily the type of family fare that the company had been famous for. Walt Disney had wished that his audience would accept more mature content from him after watching To Kill A Mockingbird, which would have never been accepted by the public as a Disney film. Now the company had a division that could release such films free from any preconceptions.

However, the line between "Disney" and "Touchstone" was often a bit blurred. For example, Who Framed Roger Rabbit began production as a Walt Disney Pictures film. (Early trailers even labeled it as such.) However, Jessica Rabbit's curves and some of the cartoon violence were deemed too much, so the film was switched to a Touchstone Pictures release. Of course, the film would become an instant classic, beloved by families. DISNEYLAND would even deem the film to be family enough to build an attraction in Mickey's Toontown.

Three years later, another film would cause a similar issue. Dick Tracy would also find itself initially billed as a Disney release, only to get changed to Touchstone Pictures. Despite this, DISNEYLAND would feature the movie prominently in its 1990 entertainment package, building a temporary Dick Tracy "mini-land" in Fantasyland. The company even announced that the park would receive a Dick Tracy attraction. The lukewarm reception of the film was the reason for the attraction not getting built, not the Touchstone name being attached to it.

In 1993, the company would still grapple with the question of what label to apply to a film. Tim Burton had signed a deal to make a stop motion film based on the holidays of Halloween and Christmas. It seemed like a sure thing for the Disney label, but the company balked yet again. The Nightmare before Christmas would get the Touchstone label attached to it. It would be almost ten years before this underrated gem would get its due, leading both DISNEYLAND and Tokyo Disneyland to permit the film's characters to take over their Haunted Mansions, bringing the world of Halloween to guests every year.