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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 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. 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.

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 remained 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. Following the acquisition of the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox on March 20, 2019, both the 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox) and Searchlight Pictures (formerly Fox Searchlight Pictures) labels currently release the majority of adult and mature content produced by Walt Disney Studios.


List of notable Touchstone features



  • Stella (1990) (PG-13)
  • Where the Heart Is (1990) (R)
  • Pretty Woman (1990) (R)
  • Three Men and a Little Lady (1990) (PG)
  • Ernest Goes to Jail (1990) (PG)
  • Spaced Invaders (1990) (PG)
  • Fire Birds (1990) (PG-13)
  • Dick Tracy (1990) (PG)
  • Betsy's Wedding (1990) (R)
  • Mr. Destiny (1990) (PG-13)
  • Green Card (1990) (PG-13)
  • Scenes from a Mall (1991) (R)
  • Oscar (1991) (PG)
  • What About Bob? (1991) (PG)
  • The Rocketeer (1991) (PG) (Released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner in the United States and worldwide Blu-ray release)
  • The Doctor (1991) (PG)
  • True Identity (1991) (R)
  • Paradise (1991) (PG-13)
  • Deceived (1991) (PG-13)
  • Ernest Scared Stupid (1991) (PG)
  • Billy Bathgate (1991) (R)
  • Father of the Bride (1991) (PG)
  • Noises Off (1992) (PG-13)
  • Sister Act (1992) (PG)
  • 3 Ninjas (1992) (PG)
  • The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992) (PG-13)
  • Crossing the Bridge (1992) (R)
  • Captain Ron (1992) (PG-13)
  • Alive (1993) (R)
  • The Cemetery Club (1993) (PG-13)
  • Indian Summer (1993) (PG-13)
  • Life with Mikey (1993) (PG)
  • What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
  • Another Stakeout (1993) (PG-13)
  • My Boyfriend's Back (1993) (PG-13)
  • The Program (1993) (R)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (PG) (Original 1993 release only; Disney handles the reissue releases after the 2006 3D re-release)
  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) (PG)
  • Cabin Boy (1994) (PG-13)
  • My Father the Hero (1994) (PG)
  • The Ref (1994) (R)
  • The Inkwell (1994) (R)
  • When a Man Loves a Woman (1994) (R)
  • Renaissance Man (1994) (PG-13)
  • I Love Trouble (1994) (PG)
  • It's Pat (1994) (PG-13)
  • A Simple Twist of Fate (1994) (PG-13)
  • Ed Wood (1994) (R)
  • Bad Company (1995) (R)
  • The Jerky Boys: The Movie (1995) (R)
  • Two Much (1995) (PG-13)
  • Jefferson in Paris (1995) (PG-13)
  • Mad Love (1995) (PG-13)
  • Feast of July (1995) (R)
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) (R) (Released under the Buena Vista International banner; 20th Century Fox owns North American rights)
  • Father of the Bride Part II (1995) (PG)
  • Slam Dunk Ernest (1995) (PG)
  • Mr. Wrong (1996) (PG-13)
  • Up Close & Personal (1996) (PG-13)
  • Little Indian, Big City (1994) (PG)
  • Last Dance (1996) (R)
  • Boys (1996) (PG-13)
  • Phenomenon (1996) (PG)
  • Kazaam (1996) (PG)
  • Ransom (1996) (R)
  • The War at Home (1996) (R)
  • The Preacher's Wife (1996) (PG)
  • Metro (1997) (R)
  • The 6th Man (1997) (PG-13)
  • Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) (R)
  • Con Air (1997) (R)
  • Face/Off (1997) (R) (Non-US distribution only; Paramount Pictures owns the North American rights)
  • Nothing to Lose (1997) (R)
  • Air Force One (1997) (R) (Released under the Buena Vista International banner; Columbia Pictures owns the North American rights)
  • A Thousand Acres (1997) (R)
  • Playing God (1997) (R)
  • Starship Troopers (1997) (R) (Non-US distribution only; TriStar Pictures owns the North American rights)
  • Kundun (1997) (PG-13)
  • Krippendorf's Tribe (1998) (PG-13)
  • He Got Game (1998) (R)
  • The Horse Whisperer (1998) (PG-13)
  • Six Days, Seven Nights (1998) (PG-13)
  • Armageddon (1998) (PG-13)
  • The Patriot (1998) (R)
  • Mafia! (1998) (PG-13)
  • Holy Man (1998) (PG)
  • Rushmore (1998) (R)
  • Beloved (1998) (R)
  • Gen13 (1998)
  • The Waterboy (1998) (PG-13)
  • Enemy of the State (1998) (R)
  • A Civil Action (1998) (PG-13) (North American rights only, Paramount Pictures owns the international rights)
  • Snake Eyes (1998) (R) (International prints only; Paramount Pictures owns the North American rights)
  • The Other Sister (1999) (PG-13)
  • 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) (PG-13)
  • Instinct (1999) (R)
  • Summer of Sam (1999) (R)
  • Runaway Bride (1999) (PG) (International distribution only; Paramount Pictures owns the distribution rights)
  • The 13th Warrior (1999) (R)
  • Mumford (1999)
  • Bringing Out the Dead (1999) (R) (Non-US prints only; Paramount Pictures owns the North American rights)
  • The Insider (1999) (R)
  • Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999) (R)
  • Cradle Will Rock (1999) (R)
  • Bicentennial Man (1999) (PG) (Columbia Pictures handles the international rights to this film)
  • Play It to the Bone (1999) (R)


  • Mission to Mars (2000) (PG)
  • High Fidelity (2000) (R)
  • Keeping the Faith (2000)
  • Shanghai Noon (2000) (PG-13)
  • Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) (PG-13)
  • Coyote Ugly (2000) (PG-13)
  • The Crew (2000) (PG-13)
  • Unbreakable (2000) (PG-13)
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) (PG-13) (Universal Pictures handles the international rights)
  • Pearl Harbor (2001) (PG-13)
  • The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
  • Bubble Boy (2001) (PG-13)
  • Reign of Fire (2002) (PG-13)
  • Signs (2002) (PG-13)
  • Insomnia (2002) (R) (Released under the Buena Vista International banner; Warner Bros. Pictures distributes this in North America)
  • 25th Hour (2002) (R)
  • Sweet Home Alabama (2002) (PG-13)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) (PG-13)
  • Sorority Boys (2002) (R)
  • The Hot Chick (2002) (PG-13)
  • Bruce Almighty (2003) (PG-13) (The film was released domestically by Universal, but Touchstone handled international distribution)
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) (PG-13)
  • Shanghai Knights (2003) (PG-13)
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) (R)
  • The Village (2004) (PG-13)
  • King Arthur (2004) (PG-13)
  • Ladder 49 (2004) (PG-13)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) (PG)
  • Dark Water (2005) (PG-13)
  • Flightplan (2005) (PG-13)
  • Shopgirl (2005) (R) (20th Century Fox owns the international rights. Today, Disney owns this movie completely.)
  • Casanova (2005) (R)
  • Stick It (2006) (PG-13)
  • The Prestige (2006) (PG-13) (Warner Bros. Pictures owns the international rights)
  • Step Up (2006) (PG-13)
  • Goal!: The Dream Begins (2006) (Released in two versions: PG - Cut and PG-13 Uncut)
  • Déjà Vu (2006) (PG-13)
  • Apocalypto (2006) (R)
  • Wild Hogs (2007) (PG-13)
  • Dan in Real Life (2007) (PG-13) (Focus Features owns the international rights)
  • Swing Vote (2008) (PG-13)
  • Step Up 2: The Streets (2008) (PG-13)
  • Miracle at St. Anna (2008) (R)
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) (PG)
  • Surrogates (2009) (PG-13)
  • The Proposal (2009) (PG-13)



External link

WikipediaListLink.PNG Touchstone Pictures on Wikipedia

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