Musings of a Museum Fanatic: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

5.28.2014

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


I was finally able to go visit the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry a couple of weekends ago!! Ever since it was announced that this exhibit was coming to Chicago I had been chomping on the bit to go see it. It's be such a hit that they actually extended it's stay until August 3. Seriously I'm going to say this now, this exhibit was great, if you're anywhere near Chicago or going to be here before the closing go see it! Kevin and I ended up spending almost two hours just in this exhibit.


Kevin and I both agree that our favorite part overall about this exhibit was the fact that it wasn't just an ode to the movies and stuff but actually took you behind the scenes of how the magic was created. A large part of the exhibit was dedicated to showing how Walt got his start in animation and how he developed some amazing techniques and tools that revolutionized animation.


Kevin's favorite was seeing how the developed the multiplane camera and the mini model of the camera. This breakthrough technology was used first in Snow White and then in films that followed. It is why there is depth to the images. The photo below was taken looking through the multiplane set up. It's not the best image since it was take through the glass but you can still see how each layer gives the entire image depth. 



The above photo is of some of the sculpted models that were used during the drawing of the characters. In the front and left are a couple of the characters from Fantasia. 



We also got to see some pieces from a couple of my favorite movies, Sleeping Beauty and Bedknobs & Broomsticks. All three of these pieces were actually used in the movies. The book from Sleeping Beauty was actually quite large, I was surprised.

I really enjoyed the fact that they didn't just have artifacts (crazy right?). There were a number of screens throughout the exhibit that showed all sorts of film. They had clips showing how they mixed the paint by hand (Kevin's favorite), clips from Disney's first shorts, clips of Disney talking about the wonders that will become Disney World. They were well spaced and with only sound going on some of them there was no overlap and the feeling that there is way too much going on.


At the end of the exhibit there is a little classroom set up and there was someone showing you how to draw characters. We got to see about half of Donald and then stayed to draw Goofy. I am not an artist whatsoever but I think we both did a really good job!


Overall this exhibit was a magical experience and we had tons of fun!

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