Industry Film
Genre Natural documentary films
Founded April 21, 2008 (2008-04-21)
Headquarters Paris, France
Key people
Jean-Francois Camilleri (EVP & GM)
Products Motion pictures
Parent The Walt Disney Studios
(The Walt Disney Company)
Website nature.disney.com

Disneynature is an independent film unit of Walt Disney Studios that produces nature documentary films. It was founded on April 21, 2008, and is headquartered in Paris, France. Disney veteran Jean-Francois Camilleri, formerly the senior vice president and general manager for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France, is the head of the new unit.

Disneynature's films are often budgeted between $5 million to $10 million, and are handled by Walt Disney Studios' distribution and marketing.[1] Many of its films are released on Earth Day.


Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort has, through the years, consistently aided worldwide conservation efforts. It has nursed endangered sea turtles back to health, aided African white rhino re-population efforts, and conducted a census on Cotton-top tamarins, a Colombian monkey species. Also, since 1995, the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund has doled out more than $11 million to 650 projects in 110 countries.[1]

Disney also has a background in making nature films; from 1948 through 1960, the company produced the True-Life Adventures series, which won several Academy Awards. However, until the mid-to-late 2000s, they had not created many other nature films.

The 2005 release of March of the Penguins, distributed through Warner Independent Pictures in the US, and by Disney in France, on an $8 million budget, but grossed almost 10 times its budget at the US box office and subsequently won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, proved a turning point. Disney CEO Bob Iger, considering Disney's past nature film efforts, felt that Penguins "should have been a Disney film worldwide".[1] The idea of starting the Disneynature studio was born of this consideration.


Disneynature was announced on April 21, 2008, a day before Earth Day, with a starting slate of seven films under Jean-Francois Camilleri. No decision was made on whether the studio would donate the films' proceeds to conservation causes. The first film released domestically under the new label was Earth, based on the award-winning BBC and Discovery Channel series Planet Earth. Earth opened on April 22, 2009 in the US.[1]

In 2012, a Disneynature cable TV channel was launched in France and is currently carried by France Telecom.[2]

Disneynature has recently expanded to China with the production of Born in China. The production was made possible due to an expansion of Disney's relationship with Shanghai Media Group starting in 2014.[3]


Film Year Narrator (US) Budget Worldwide gross Production studio
April 22, 2009
James Earl Jones[1]
BBC Natural History Unit
BBC Worldwide
Greenlight Media
Discovery Channel
The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos
December 2008[1]
Mariella Frostrup
Kudos Pictures
Natural Light Films
January 27, 2010
Pierce Brosnan
Participant Media
France 3 Cinema
France 2 Cinema
Wings of Life
March 16, 2011
Meryl Streep
Blacklight Films
African Cats
April 22, 2011
Samuel L. Jackson
April 20, 2012
Tim Allen[4]
Jane Goodall Institute
April 18, 2014
John C. Reilly[5]
Bearsar Productions
Monkey Kingdom[6]
April 17, 2015
Tina Fey
Crazy Ape Productions
Silverback Films
Growing Up Wild[7]
December 6, 2016
Daveed Diggs
Born in China
August 12, 2016 (China)
April 21, 2017 (United States)
John Krasinski
Shanghai Media Group


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Eller, Claudia; Dawn C. Chmielewski (April 22, 2008). "Disney gets back to nature". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  2. "TV Channel: Disney Nature TV". MAVISE. European Audiovisual Observatory. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  3. "Disney Expands Relationship With China's Shanghai Media Group". Variety. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  4. O'Sullivan, Michael (April 20, 2012). "Editorial Review: More than just a furry person". Washington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  5. Chen, Sandie Angulo (April 17, 2014). "'Bears' movie review: A real-life struggle to survive". Washington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  6. "Focus Sets Stephen Hawking Pic 'Theory Of Everything' For November; Disneynature Dates 'Monkey Kingdom' For 2015". Deadline Hollywood. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  7. "Disneynature's Growing Up Wild available to view starting December 6". The Disney Blog. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.

External links

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