From the first animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the recent Frozen, many Disney films have become cinema classics. With a selection of 350 art pieces specially collected together a new exhibition in Paris pays tribute to the art of the Walt Disney Animation Studios.
The exhibition shows how much the energy behind these masterpieces has been new and visionary in its time from Snow White to recent animated films including Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, and the upcoming Moana (to be released on 30 November).
Walt Disney used the cinema screen much like a painter’s canvas, bringing drawings to life. In 1935, he wrote: “I definitively feel that we cannot do the fantastic things, based on the real, unless we first know the real”.
This desire to bring authenticity to animation led animators to use the world around them as inspiration, especially nature.
There were study sessions for the teams of animators, using live models or animals brought into the studio. The artists watched their movements and their walks, transposing these observations into each film in a unique way.
The vitality provided by studying of life in movement coupled with the influence of successive art movements over the decades, is at the heart of The Art of Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Disney studio films have naturally echoed most of the important artistic movements with influences from surrealism, cubism and even abstract art.
The Disney animation studios have benefited from some of the most amazing talent in the industry over a period of time that stretches back almost 100 years.
Visitors will see the development process used for the art of animation in the 1920s-1940s, the terrific modern direction of the 1950s, the change of the guard the 1980s, and the latest productions from 2000 to today.
The exhibition shows drawings never seen before, including studies of a fawn for Bambi and a walking dog for 101 Dalmatians. There are also animation drawings for famous Disney heroes such as Snow White, Maleficent and Tarzan. We can admire the care taken to reproduce movement when animating an expressive and appealing character.
Original historic artwork is displayed from the very first Mickey Mouse cartoons including Plane Crazy (1928) and Steamboat Willie (1928), as well as pieces from numerous Studios’ well known animated films:
– Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
– Pinocchio (1940)
– Fantasia (1940)
– Dumbo (1941)
– Bambi (1942)
– Saludos Amigos (1942)
– Alice in Wonderland (1951)
– Lady and the Tramp (1955)
– Sleeping Beauty (1959)
– 101 Dalmatians (1961)
– The Jungle Book (1967)
– The Little Mermaid (1989)
– Beauty and the Beast (1991)
– The Lion King (1994)
– Pocahontas (1995)
– Mulan (1998)
– Tarzan (1999)
– Tangled (2010)
– Wreck-it Ralph (2012)
– Frozen (2013)
– Big Hero 6 (2014)
– Zootopia (2015)
– Moana (2016)
Art Ludique Museum, 34, quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
Till March 5, 2017
All images: © Disney