who owns Disney

What was one of your favorite forms of entertainment as a kid? Watching cartoons right! Well, at least for most people it is. As kids, everyone loved watching cartoons every day. They were so good that the kids wanted to watch them all day long. One of the most prominent companies that come into everyone’s mind when you think about cartoons is Disney. Disney is one of the oldest companies in the entertainment industry. What started as a cartoon studio has now emerged as one of the biggest names in the world entertainment industry. There is probably no one that hasn’t watched a Disney cartoon. It is the biggest name in the American animation industry. 

All of you have seen the funny shows of Mickey mouse and his friends. People have seen these animated shows transition from black and white to color. Over the years the company has ventured into many different things. One of the most popular Disney movies of all time the Lion King was recently made into a live-action film. Not only that but Disney has been turning most of its early work into live-action movies. Apart from them, Disney has also produced a number of other films. It also has theme parks where children could meet their favorite Disney characters and go on rides. Everyone knows that the founders of the company were Walt Disney and his brother but not many people know who own the company today. This article will tell you who owns it.

However, let’s know a bit more about how it all started.

History of Disney

It has been almost a hundred years since the company started. Before starting his own company Walt Disney worked as an animator and created a short film Alice’s Wonderland for his firm Laugh-O-Gram studio. In this movie, a child actor was seen interacting with animated characters. This picture was the reason for the bankruptcy of his firm. After that Walt Disney moved to Hollywood. Margaret J. Winkler who owns M J. Winkler productions contacted Walt Disney and his brother. He wanted to distribute a series of Alice Comedies. Winkler offered to purchase each reel for $1500. This is when the two brothers started their company, back then it was known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. After Alice Disney released more animation films.  Soon after the company’s name was changed to the Walt Disney Studio. Disney created Oswald but didn’t make enough money as it was owned by Universal Studios. 

This was a very crucial time for the company as they had to put out something that can make them money. It is during this time Walt Disney came up with the idea of Mickey mouse. In the beginning, he named it Mortimer mouse but his wife didn’t like how it sounded so she advised him to change it to Mickey mouse. Little did he know that the character will go down in history as one of the most iconic animated characters. Mickey mouse was an instant hit and it started to bring in money. Disney kept producing shows with Mickey and other characters. During this time Walt Disney owned 60 percent of the shares and his brother owned 40 percent. Disney signed a contract with Technicolor in 1932 to create cartoons in color which changed cartoons forever.

Disney is known for pushing boundaries. It made this clear when it created its first feature-length animated film. It took three years for the company to complete the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Snow White became the highest-grossing film of that time. Due to this Disney started producing many different types of shows. After world war II the company released Cinderella which was a hit. This assured them that they can still make movies. After that, they never looked back. Disney produced a number of shows that became classics. It started producing live-action movies, opening theme parks, and also creating its own distribution company. There is no need to emphasize how big Disney is today.

Now let’s get to the ownership part. As Disney grew, many institutions bought its shares. So let’s take a look at the institutions that own most shares of Disney.

Vanguard Inc

This is a company that people will often find when they try to look at the top shareholders of some of the biggest companies in the world. Vanguard is an ETF and mutual investment company. It has nearly $6.2 trillion in assets globally. One of the largest exchange-traded funds of the company is VOO. Vanguard owns 137.8 million shares of Disney which is about 7.6% of the total shares. Disney makes up 0.8% of VOO’s total holdings.

BlackRock Inc

This is another company that you will be familiar with if you have read the “who owns” articles on Zeen. Even this company holds shares of many of the top companies in the world. It owns the majority of shares in companies like Apple, Facebook, and Netflix. Similar to Vanguard Group, BlackRock Inc is also a mutual fund and ETF management company. It has almost $6.47 trillion in assets globally. BlackRock Inc owns 114.6 million shares which are nearly 6.3% of the total shares of the company. BlackRock’s IVV are the largest ETFs of the company and Disney makes up 0.8%of it. 

State Street Corp

State Street Corp is another firm that owns major shares in Disney. Just like the other two institutional shareholders, it is also a mutual fund and ETF management company. It owns 75 million shares which are about 4% of the company. 

Now that you have known the institutional shareholders let’s look at the individuals who own most shares.

Robert A. Iger

He served as the company’s CEO for fifteen years and eight years as a chairman. Iger was the key in expanding Disney as he made the acquisitions of Marvel, Pixar, 21st-century fox, and others. He owns 1.15 million shares of Disney which is 0.06% of the company’s total shares.

Christine M. McCarthy

Christine M. McCarthy is currently the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Executive Vice President. She is responsible for the company’s worldwide finances. She owns 141000 shares of the company which 0.01% of the total shares.

Alan N. Braverman

Alan N. Braverman is also Senior Executive Vice President and Secretary of the company. He owns 98,000 shares of the company which is also nearly 0.01% of the total shares of the company.


Disney is currently one of the biggest production houses in the world. It is not only producing Hollywood movies but is also venturing into other film industries like Bollywood. Click here if you want to know who owns Netflix.

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