Sleeping Beauty’s castle, tiered like a wedding cake, illuminated with the long, parabolic arc of a fairy streaking across the sky. That has been the logo for Walt Disney Pictures since 1985, and although it’s not nearly as old as some other studio logos, it is universally beloved by children and adults alike all over the world.
What you might not know is that the logo has gone through an astonishing number of changes over the past 30 years, as this megacut compiled by YouTuber Ethan Jones shows. It cycles through all the custom Walt Disney Pictures logos from 1985 to 2015. In fact, Disney seems to openly encourage filmmakers to tool around with it.
It wasn’t always this way. The Walt Disney Pictures logo remained static for a decade from its first iteration in 1985’s The Black Cauldron. But Pixar’s 1995 classic Toy Story changed all the rules in animation. That went for the Walt Disney logo, too, which Pixar animated for the first time in CGI. Gone was the flattened, two-dimensional look of the Disney castle, and in its place was a lavish 3-D spectacle filled with tiny, whimsical details like banners fluttering on every turret and a wide sweep of shadows as the iconic bow of fairy light shot across the sky.
After Toy Story, every major Walt Disney Picture got its own custom logo, tweaked to match the feel of the movie that followed. And that has continued, even after Disney introduced a fancy, hyper-realistic CGI version in 2006. Since then, Sleeping Beauty’s castle has been imagined as everything from an electronic city of light for 2010’s Tron: Legacy to a Frankenstein’s Bavarian castle for 2012’s Frankenweenie to the cliffside castle for 2014’s Maleficent.
Which I think just serves as proof of how good the Walt Disney Pictures logo really is: You can totally change its most signature element, the castle, and it’s still iconic.