The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney (), is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California.
Disney was originally founded on October 16, 1923, by brothers Walt and Roy O. Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio; it also operated under the names The Walt Disney Studio and Walt Disney Productions before officially changing its name to The Walt Disney Company in 1986. The company established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production, television, and theme parks.
Since the 1980s, Disney has created and acquired corporate divisions in order to market more mature content than is typically associated with its flagship family-oriented brands. The company is known for its film studio division, The Walt Disney Studios, which includes Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and Blue Sky Studios. Disney's other main units and reporting segments are Disney Media Networks, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International. Through these segments, Disney owns and operates the ABC broadcast network; cable television networks such as Disney Channel, ESPN, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic; publishing, merchandising, music, and theater divisions; and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, a group of 14 theme parks around the world. Cartoon character Mickey Mouse, created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, is one of the world's most recognizable characters and serves as the company's official mascot.The company, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under DIS stock symbol, has been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1991. In August 2020, just under two-thirds of the stock was owned by large financial institutions.