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Touchstone Pictures was a film distribution label of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Previously, it operated as an active film production banner of The Walt Disney Studios, owned by The Walt Disney Company. Established on February 15, 1984 by then-Disney CEO Ron W. Miller as Touchstone Films. Its releases are typically more mature and adult orientated than those under the Disney label, although the features Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Nightmare Before Christmas, which used to be released under the Touchstone banner, are now considered as "Disney" movies (the former featured Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and many other Disney characters, though it also featured characters from other studios while the latter was featured in the Kingdom Hearts series: a Disney/Square Enix video game crossover and the latter was released under Walt Disney Pictures upon its theatrical re-release in 2007). Another Touchstone film Reign of Fire may also be considered as a "Disney" movie.

Touchstone Pictures merely serves as a Disney-related brand, not a distinct business operation, and did not exist as a separate company.

Their most commercially successful production partners over the years include Jerry Bruckheimer, Caravan Pictures, Summit Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Icon Productions, Imagine Entertainment, Mandeville Films, Focus Features, Spyglass Entertainment, and DreamWorks Pictures.


The origins of Touchstone Pictures can be traced to the 1979 release of The Black Hole, a science fiction film that sparked controversy due to the fact that it was the first Disney film to receive a PG rating (although Disney had already distributed its first PG rated film, Take Down, without the Disney name visible). Over the next few years, Disney experimented with more PG-rated fare, such as the 1981 film, Condorman, 1982's Tron, and 1983's Trenchcoat. The latter film attracted major criticism for including adult themes that were considered inappropriate for a Disney film. The controversy over Trenchcoat is generally considered the catalyst that sparked the creation of Touchstone Pictures.

The name Touchstone was chosen out of 1,200 possible names as it supposedly meant "a test of quality", and references a physical object used to sharpen objects. The runner-up name was Silver Wind. One title suggested for the new company was Hyperion Pictures, named after the location of the studio in the 1930s before the move to Burbank. Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg both pitched the name Hollywood Pictures, which would be used for another subsidiary. Contrary to popular belief, the logo is not a thunderbolt over a blue ball (though some productions infer that it is with the sound of a lightning bolt). The ball itself is actually the "stone" while the gold streak across is the tracing left behind from the stone's use. This is made all the more obvious in later years when the logo was altered and the blue ball became a more reflective black stone.

Touchstone's first release was Splash, a huge hit for the studio. The film included brief nudity on the part of star Daryl Hannah and adult language. Ironically, some critics complained that the creation of Touchstone in order to distribute more adult content was itself inappropriate for Disney. The unit become a top source of income for Disney during the 1980s. Touchstone/Disney's first R-rated film, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, came in January 1986 and was another smash. Ruthless People followed in April of 1986 and was also huge. One example of a recent release is Signs (2002). The studio's sister company, ABC Studios currently produces the smash hits: Alias, Desperate Housewives, and Lost, as well as Scrubs.

On February 9, 2009, DreamWorks Pictures entered a long-term deal with Walt Disney Pictures by which the next films made by DreamWorks would be released through the Touchstone banner from 2011 to 2016. However, in September 2015, it was announced that the contract with Disney would expire in 2016, as DreamWorks signs a contract with Universal Pictures. The last film from the DreamWorks-Disney contract would be The Light Between Oceans.

By the end of the DreamWorks deal, Disney had distributed fourteen of DreamWorks' original 30-picture agreement, with thirteen through Touchstone. The deal ended in August 2016, with The Light Between Oceans being the last film released under the agreement. Universal Pictures then replaced Disney as DreamWorks' distributor. Disney will retain the distribution rights for these DreamWorks films in perpetuity as compensation for the studio's outstanding loan.

As of 2017, following the release of The Light Between Oceans, the label was shuttered and permanently defunct. Since then, several other Disney divisions have produced or are developing television series and films based on previous Touchstone properties, such as Turner & Hooch, High Fidelity, Three Men and a Baby, Sister Act, and Real Steel — for Disney+ and Hulu while Touchstone's libraries are currently owned by Walt Disney Pictures.


List of notable Touchstone features[]






External link[]

WikipediaListLink Touchstone Pictures on Wikipedia

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Touchstone Pictures logo
1984: SplashCountry

1985: Baby: Secret of the Lost LegendMy Science Project
1986: Down and Out in Beverly HillsOff BeatRuthless PeopleTough GuysThe Color of Money
1987: Outrageous FortuneGood Morning, VietnamTin MenThree Men and a BabyAdventures in BabysittingStakeoutErnest Goes to CampCan't Buy Me LoveHello Again
1988: Shoot to KillD.O.A.Big BusinessWho Framed Roger RabbitCocktailThe RescueHeartbreak HotelThe Good MotherErnest Saves ChristmasBeaches
1989: Three FugitivesNew York StoriesDisorganized CrimeDead Poets SocietyTurner & HoochAn Innocent ManGross AnatomyBlaze

1990: StellaWhere the Heart IsPretty WomanThree Men and a Little LadyErnest Goes to JailSpaced InvadersFire BirdsDick TracyBetsy's WeddingMr. DestinyGreen Card

1991: Scenes from a MallOscarWhat About Bob?The RocketeerThe DoctorTrue IdentityDeceivedParadiseErnest Scared StupidBilly BathgateFather of the Bride
1992: Noises OffSister Act3 NinjasThe Gun in Betty Lou's HandbagCrossing the BridgeCaptain Ron
1993: AliveThe Cemetery ClubIndian SummerLife with MikeyWhat's Love Got to Do with ItAnother StakeoutMy Boyfriend's BackThe ProgramThe Nightmare Before ChristmasSister Act 2: Back in the Habit
1994: Cabin BoyMy Father the HeroThe RefThe InkwellWhen a Man Loves a WomanRenaissance ManI Love TroubleIt's PatA Simple Twist of FateEd Wood
1995: Bad CompanyThe Jerky Boys: The MovieJefferson in ParisMad LoveFeast of JulyFather of the Bride Part IISlam Dunk Ernest
1996: Mr. WrongUp Close & PersonalTwo MuchLast DanceBoysPhenomenonKazaamRansomThe War at HomeThe Preacher's Wife
1997: MetroThe 6th ManRomy and Michele's High School ReunionCon AirNothing to LoseA Thousand AcresPlaying GodKundun
1998: The Wonderful Ice Cream SuitKrippendorf's TribeHe Got GameThe Horse WhispererSix Days, Seven NightsArmageddonThe PatriotMafia!Holy ManRushmoreBelovedThe WaterboyEnemy of the StateA Civil Action
1999: The Other Sister10 Things I Hate About YouInstinctSummer of SamThe 13th WarriorMumfordThe InsiderDeuce Bigalow: Male GigoloCradle Will RockBicentennial ManPlay It to the Bone

2000: Mission to MarsHigh FidelityKeeping the FaithShanghai NoonGone in 60 SecondsCoyote UglyThe CrewUnbreakableO Brother, Where Art Thou?

2001: Double TakePearl HarborCrazy/BeautifulBubble Boy New Port SouthCorky RomanoHigh Heels and Low LifesOut ColdThe Royal Tenenbaums
2002: The Count of Monte CristoSorority BoysBig TroubleFrank McKlusky, C.I.Ultimate X: The MovieBad CompanyReign of FireSignsThe Hot Chick
2003: 25th HourShanghai KnightsBringing Down the HouseUnder the Tuscan Sun
2004: HidalgoKing ArthurThe VillageThe Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
2005: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
2006: Stick ItStep UpThe PrestigeApocalypto
2007: Wild HogsDan in Real Life
2008: Step Up 2: The StreetsMiracle at St. Anna
2009: Confessions of a ShopaholicSurrogatesThe Proposal

2010: When in RomeThe Last SongStep Up 3DYou AgainThe Tempest

2011: Gnomeo & JulietI Am Number FourThe HelpFright NightReal SteelWar Horse
2012: People Like UsLincoln
2013: The Fifth EstateDelivery Man
2014: The Wind RisesNeed for SpeedThe Hundred-Foot Journey
2015: Strange MagicBridge of Spies
2016: The Light Between Oceans

Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990)

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