Mickey Mousing Around In Singapore

As Disney closes out its most successful year in moviemaking — they’d made a record US$7.67 billion by the end of July, and this month will see the crowning release of the highly anticipated Frozen 2 — it pops up in the Lion City with “Disney: Magic of Animation”. The exhibition gathers some of the studio’s original sketches, paintings and miscellaneous artworks from a catalog that spans over 90 years. The collection has been flown in from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library (ARL), in Burbank, California, which preserves material and footage from films that go as far back as the 1920s.

“This is the first time an exhibition like this is being shown in Southeast Asia — it showcases the diversity of stories and the continual artistic growth at Disney,” says Mary Walsh, managing director of the Walt Disney ARL. Of the 65 million art pieces kept by the library, over 500 have been taken out for the exhibition. “It was a fun and somewhat overwhelming challenge — a collaborative process,” says Mary.

“Disney: Magic of Animation” is on until March 29, 2020. Tickets start at S$18 (Php675). For more information, visit marinabaysands.com/museum


Mary Walsh Shares Fun Facts Related To The Selection:

On born-digital art… “We hit upon the idea of displaying some of the born-digital art (or material that originates in a digital format), from our more recent films, in light boxes. The method would allow for the art to be seen in an environment that’s similar to the one in which it was created.”

On the work of effects artists… “They spend a lot of time researching how natural elements look, move and feel. For Fantasia (1940), they set up large pots of bubbling mud at the studio, in order to better replicate lava. That same level of research went into the creation of realistic water for Moana (2016).”

And on character production… “Ursula, the sea witch in The Little Mermaid (1989), was initially envisioned as more fish-like. The exhibition showcases several of these early concept drawings, which reveal the process of working out how a character appears on screen — something that happens for every film. I challenge visitors to find other early character designs in the exhibitions — there are many!”

Written by

Charmaine Baylon

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