The Walt Disney Family Museum has announced its newest special exhibition, ‘Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation,’ on view from September 27, 2012 to April 28, 2013 in the Museum’s Theater Gallery. Curated by WDFM Registrar and Curatorial Assistant Anel Muller, the exhibition explores the evolution of stop motion animation in the United States — especially in special effects, television, and film — while examining some of the key milestones and innovators including Willis O’ Brien (King Kong), Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Art Clokey (‘Gumby’), Ray Harryhausen (It Came From Beneath the Sea), Henry Selick (Coraline and James and the Giant Peach), Phil Tippett (Star Wars and Jurassic Park) and more.
‘Between Frames’ tells the story of a 100-year-old art form that has been used in special effects, television and film and launched Walt Disney’s career in animation. The exhibition includes behind-the-scenes photographs from films such as The Lost World (1925) and Jason and the Argonauts (1963), replicas of the original armatures from King Kong (1933) and Mighty Joe Young (1949), along with a Digital Input Device (DID) created just for Jurassic Park (1993). Puppets from the ‘Robot Chicken’ (2005) opening sequence and a puppet mold from Gumby, as well as original armatures from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Coraline (2009) and original storyboards from James and the Giant Peach (1996) will also be on view.
Visitors will be invited to manipulate and touch armatures at a special interactive station. A film loop of great moments in stop motion animation will also be running in the gallery.
The origins of stop motion animation are rooted in special effects. Discovered accidentally, stop motion was the key for filmmakers to open the door to fantastical realities. Stop motion animation enabled films like The Lost World (1925), King Kong (1933), It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955) and the original Star Wars (1977) trilogy to transport the audience into worlds where anything was possible and the unexpected was certain.
Before The Nightmare Before Christmas, stop motion animated features were a huge gamble for movie studios. Hansel and Gretel: An Opera Fantasy, released in 1949 and distributed by RKO, was the first American stop motion feature film, and had only modest success at the box office. After Hansel and Gretel, the lackluster success of stop motion features continued in the United States for many years. The success of The Nightmare Before Christmas sparked a renaissance in stop motion features with productions, in the last 20 years, such as James and the Giant Peach (1996) and Coraline as well as the creation of stop motion studios like Laika and Cinderbiter.
Shorts were and still are the laboratories for most stop motion animators to test out new tools and techniques to improve the art form. Not only has this format launched the careers of many filmmakers like Tim Burton but it is has been the only format of stop motion animation to be awarded an Academy Award® for Closed Mondays (1974).
Commercials and television series have both made use of stop motion animation. Commercials from cigarettes to band-aids and even memorable characters like the California Raisins (1986) were all brought to life with stop motion. Stop motion animated television series in the United States are limited in comparison to Europe and Asia; it remains a great platform for the art form with characters like Gumby, which appeared in over 234 episodes over four decades beginning in the 1950s. While more recently, ‘Robot Chicken’ (2005) has revived interest in stop motion animated series while sparking the imaginations of a new television generation.
‘Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation’ was organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum.
In conjunction with ;Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation,’ the Museum is hosting a suite of special programs, screenings, and events:
Puppet Masters: Stop Motion Animation in Visual Effects Filmmaking Panel – Saturday, October 20 at 3 pm – General: $12 adult, $9 youth | Members: $10 adult; $7 youth
Visual effects legend Ray Harryhausen inspired a generation of visual effects artists with his pioneering work in stop motion animation. Four of Harryhausen’s “kids,”—Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett, Tom St. Amand, and Jon Berg—all masters of this technique, will gather to discuss stop motion animation and its use in creating characters and creatures for movies. Join moderator Hal Hickel in a discussion of their work with stop motion, its history as a visual effects technique, and the transition into computer-generated animation.
Muren, Tippett, St. Amand, and Berg have created visual effects using stop motion in some of the most famous films of the last three decades. The holographic chess pieces in the original Star Wars, the Hoth snow battle in The Empire Strikes Back, the dragon Vermithrax in Dragonslayer, the mine car chase in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the flying rocket man in Rocketeer, and the deadly ED 209 robot in Robocop are just a few examples of their amazing craft.
Animate Your Night: Where it’s AT-AT™ – Friday, September 28, 7–10pm | Museum-wide – Members: $5 | General: $10
Join us as we celebrate the opening of ‘Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation,’ which reveals the magic behind movie creatures such as King Kong, the Jurassic Park Velociraptors, and the revered Star Wars AT-AT! Experience the galleries in a whole new light and illuminate your imagination with music, performance, film screenings, and hands-on art activities. Complimentary bites, a cash bar featuring a thematic signature cocktail, and much, much more.
Animate Your Night: Halloweentown! – Friday, October 26, 7–10pm | Museum-wide – Members: $5 | General: $10
Experience the galleries in a whole new light and illuminate your imagination with music, performance, film screenings, and hands-on art activities. Complimentary bites, a cash bar featuring a thematic signature cocktail, and much, much more.
Hallowscreen – Monday, October 29 and Wednesday, October 31 – 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm | Theater | Free with Museum admission
Celebrate Halloween with our special selection of haunted cartoon shorts such as The Skeleton Dance, The Mad Doctor, Pluto’s Judgment Day and more.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at the Presidio in San Francisco, California.
The Walt Disney Family Museum presents ‘Animate Your Night’ — a new Museum-wide monthly after-hours party. Experience the galleries in a whole new light and illuminate your imagination with music, performance, film screenings, and hands-on art activities. Each evening has a unique theme relating to the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. With complimentary bites, a cash bar featuring a thematic signature cocktail, and much, much more.
On Friday, July 27 from 7 to 10pm, ‘Animate Your Night: Ready, Steady, GO!’ celebrates the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Join us for an evening of animation, innovation, and imagination.
- Immerse yourself in an animated environment using green screen technology
- Dance amongst Walt’s celebrated awards while DJ Syl the Thryl spins British beats all night long
- Munch on pub grub and treat yourself to our signature cocktail — The Olympian
- Enjoy Disney Olympic classics on the big screen
- Look closer at an Olympic Torch — join us for a short gallery talk about the Museum’s 1960 Olympic
- Torch from the Squaw Valley Olympic Games
Tickets for Animate Your Night: $10 general; $5 Museum members.
Upcoming Animate Your Night Events
Friday, August 24, 7–10pm – Hippos, Demons, and Mice…oh Kley!
Celebrate the dark side of Disney with Heinrich Kley, Walt’s favorite European illustrator.
Friday, September 28, 7–10pm – Best in Show!
Join us as we unleash Disney dog films such as Lady and the Tramp, The Shaggy Dog and Greyfriars Bobby and come dance to the live band Big Dog Trouble.
Friday, October 26, 7–10pm – Halloweentown!
Don your best Disney-themed costume and join us for Halloweentown in celebration of the exhibition Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop-Motion Animation. We’ll be screening Nightmare Before Christmas in our theater!
Friday, November 30, 7–10pm – Snow White Opening Celebration
Come celebrate the opening weeks of the Museum’s major exhibition ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic.’ We’ll be serving Poison Appletinis!
Friday, December 21, 7–10pm – Snow White Old Hollywood Red Carpet Premiere
Animate Your Night in old Hollywood style with a special 1930s 75th anniversary premiere party for Snow White. Join us for a soiree of glitz and glamour.
Media sponsor for Animate Your Night: 7×7 magazine.
The Walt Disney Family Museum has announced that it will be honoring the 75th anniversary of Walt Disney’s first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with a special exhibition beginning later this year.
On view from November 15, 2012 to April 14, 2013, the exhibition celebrates Walt Disney’s vision and the artistry of his dedicated staff, illustrating how they shaped and defined an entirely new American art form through their creation of this groundbreaking film. Guided by the vision of a master storyteller, 32 animators, 1032 assistants, 107 inbetweeners, 10 layout artists, 25 background artists, 65 special effects animators and 158 inkers and painters and countless production staff came together to create the masterpiece. The exhibition is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum, and guest curated by Lella Smith, Creative Director of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library.
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic’ features more than 200 works of art including conceptual drawings, early character studies, detailed story sketches, and animation drawings. Also featured are delicate thumbnail layout watercolors, meticulously rendered pencil layouts, rare watercolor backgrounds, colorful cels, and vintage posters all illustrating how Walt Disney advanced the creation of an entirely new art form.
The exhibition is organized by sequence through the progression of the movie, featuring some never-before-seen works of art with behind-the-scenes stories about the film’s production. The exhibition also features artwork from deleted scenes from the film, some of which were only partially animated. One is the Bed Building Scene, in which the dwarfs build and carve a lovely bed for Snow White. Filled with numerous gags, these sequences were great fun, but Walt felt that they took the focus away from Snow White’s story. Other, less-developed scenes included a fantasy scene of Snow White dancing in the stars, and the lodge meeting in which the dwarfs decide to make a bed for Snow White.
Gabriella Calicchio, the Museum’s Chief Executive Officer comments, “I am extremely pleased to present Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic as the museum’s first major special exhibition. As the film turns 75, the exhibition showcases Disney’s ongoing significance and relevance on contemporary culture. I am truly inspired by Walt’s life and work, not only for the breadth of his creativity and for his accomplishments, but for his fundamental belief in the power of the imagination, his unwavering tenacity, and the visionary genius he became by following that belief. Disney’s legacy is limitless and I hope the exhibition will ignite creativity and imagination in all of us.”
Walt Disney’s daughter Diane Disney Miller shares, “My Dad was completely and intimately engaged in this film from start to finish. It was the first of its kind to have the depth of character, careful attention to story, original music that helped tell that story, and superb artistry. It was, and is still, a masterpiece and I look forward to sharing it with our community and beyond. I hope visitors come away being inspired just as my Dad hoped to instill creativity, innovation, and imagination in the artists he worked with.”
The Walt Disney Studios began work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1934 and it was released at Hollywood’s Carthay Circle Theater on December 21, 1937. While being the first full-length, animated feature film was a milestone, much of its cinematic importance to the evolution of animation derives from the skill with which the Disney artists imbued their characters with an inner life filled with emotion and thought. As Walt himself described, “Of all the characters in the fairy tales, I loved Snow White the best, and when I planned my first full-length cartoon, she inevitably was the heroine.”
After its premiere in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs opened in 1938 at Radio City Music Hall and continued to play across the United States and in Europe throughout 1938 and 1939. The film was wildly popular, becoming the top-grossing film of all time, up to that date. Appealing to audiences of all ages, a wide variety of Snow White merchandise appeared in stores, ranging from toys and books to watches and puzzles. The film’s songs were published on sheet music and RCA Victor albums featuring the film’s memorable songs marked Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as the first film to release a multi-record musical soundtrack.
Walt Disney’s groundbreaking masterpiece drew worldwide acclaim, winning the Grand Biennale Art Trophy from the Venice Film Festival and special awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Motion Picture Academy. The film also received an honorary custom-made Oscar® which consisted of one standard Oscar® statuette alongside seven miniature statuettes (representing each of the dwarfs), which was presented to Walt by Shirley Temple in 1939—this by far was the most distinctive award in Academy history.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs continues to garner accolades and awards. In 1989, it was among the first 25 featured films to be preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, and in 2008, it was named the Greatest Animated Film of All Time. The film also marked a pivotal milestone in animation. Calling upon the experience they gained from creating the early Disney animated shorts and the award-winning Silly Symphonies, Walt Disney and his artists defined the artistic foundation that would shape all their other animated feature films to follow.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Walt Disney Family Foundation Press will publish a fully illustrated 256-page catalogue written by Disney historian J.B. Kaufman. The catalogue features more than 200 pieces of art, many reproduced from original concept sketches, background paintings, and production cels, as well as alternate character concepts, deleted scenes, and step-by-step process shots.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at the Presidio in San Francisco and is open Wednesdays through Monday, from 10 am – 6 pm. The museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission to the museum is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and $12 for children ages 16-17. The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs exhibition is a separate admission fee of $10, or $25 per adult when purchased in combination of museum admission. Combo tickets also available at a discount for seniors, students and children.
The Walt Disney Family Museum opened its doors in the Presidio of San Francisco almost a year ago on October 1, and to commemorate its first anniversary, the Museum has announced the launch of a YouTube Video Contest.
From September 27 to November 15, 2010, participants are invited to submit a short promotional video about the one-of-a-kind Museum that explores the fascinating life of Walt Disney, which includes ten interactive galleries that feature early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a 14 foot model of Disneyland and much more. Videos should have a running time between :30 seconds and 2 minutes in length, and the 3 top videos will be showcased on the Museum’s blog and YouTube channel.
The Walt Disney Family Museum has produced a short instructional video to outline the contest rules and regulations, which can be viewed at http://wdfmuseum.squarespace.com/contest.
The Grand Prize package includes a 3 hour editorial session in the WDFM Learning Center Media Studio, a Kodak PlaySport camera, a personal, behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, dinner for two at La Terrasse Restaurant in the Presidio of San Francisco, as well as a Dual Membership, and a goodie bag from the Museum Store—which includes an autographed copy of the Museum’s book.
The second prize winner will receive an individual one-year membership to the Museum, goodie bag from the store, and an autographed copy of “The Man, the Magic and the Memories”, while the third prize winner will walk away with free admission to the Museum, a $50 gift certificate to the Museum Store, and a copy of the book.
On November 29, the three winning videos will be announced on The WDFM’s blog, (http://wdfmuseum.squarespace.com/contest), as well as Facebook and Twitter, with a posting of the first prize winner’s video on our blog.
The fascinating and inspiring story of Walt Disney, whose artistry, imagination and vision helped define 20th-century America, has been brought to life at The Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio of San Francisco. The Museum illuminates Walt Disney’s tremendous successes, disappointments, and unyielding optimism as he worked tirelessly to advance the art of animation, produce classic motion pictures and develop the first great American theme park.
The Walt Disney Family Museum, L.L.C. is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Family Foundation, a non-profit foundation. Open Wednesday – Monday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on the on the Main Post of the Presidio.
September 25, 2010 is the sixth annual Museum Day sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine. Over 1300 participating museums nationwide will offer the opportunity for guests to enter for free on September 25 (or September 26 if closed on the 25th). Among those museums participating are The Walt Disney Family Museum located at the Presidio in San Francisco and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum in Los Angeles which currently houses an Alice in Wonderland exhibit.
For more information on the nationwide event and to download your free admission media (required), visit the event’s website.
Walt Disney Family Museum Featuring ‘Peter Pan’ Exhibition Through June; Kathryn Beaumont to Appear May 22
Peter Pan, a story which captivated the imagination of Walt Disney as early as 1935, will be showcased in a special exhibition at The Walt Disney Family Museum now through June 27, 2010. The feature-length animated film, released in 1953, will also be celebrated as the Museum’s film of the month in May.
Highlights of the exhibition include 16 original concept drawings by renowned Disney artist Mary Blair, which were loaned to the Museum by the Walt Disney Animation Studios Research Library. Also on display are 1930s character sketches, storyboard outlines, original concept art, model sheets, and vintage posters from the collection of the Walt Disney Family Foundation. This stunning collection of works, combined with special artifacts and Mary Blair’s concept art, reveals the evolution and results of the 1953 film. This project was also the last in which all members of Disney’s illustrious ‘Nine Old Men’ worked together as directing animators.
A first edition copy of the play by J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, is displayed alongside a “final treatment” of the Disney film dated from March 1946, and they are opened to the same moment in the story, when Wendy learns that Peter can fly.
Also participating in the Museum’s salute to Peter Pan will be actress Kathryn Beaumont, who voiced the role of Wendy, eldest of the Darling children. She’ll appear at The Walt Disney Family Museum to share her memories as a voice-over artist on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm. Tickets are available online at www.waltdisney.org.
Linda Lingle today announced that Hawai‘i will be the location for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth installment of the highly successful Walt Disney Pictures’ action adventure film series from Jerry Bruckheimer Films. The Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger met with Governor Lingle on Friday to share the news that the islands of Kauai and Oahu will be sites for the production of the feature film, which will begin shooting this summer and is slated to be released in summer 2011. The production is expected to generate an estimated $85 million in direct and indirect spending in Hawaii, providing a needed economic boost for the state’s economy as well as creating hundreds of jobs for local residents.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” will star Johnny Depp, returning to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow. The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and directed by Rob Marshall. The writers are Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and the executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Barry Waldman, Elliott, Rossio and John DeLuca.
“Disney’s long-term commitment to Hawaii – from ABC’s ‘LOST’ to the new Disney resort on Oahu scheduled to open in 2011, and now the upcoming filming of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ – is a testament to the company’s confidence in our state as a great place to do business,“ said Governor Lingle.
“The Walt Disney Company has a great relationship with Hawaii that we’re looking forward to building upon with the filming of the latest adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew,” said Iger. “I thank Governor Lingle and her team for their tremendous support of the projects Disney has underway in this great state.”
“We’ve always sought out the most extraordinary and exotic locations for the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films,” said producer Jerry Bruckheimer, “and previously shot briefly on both Maui and Moloka‘i for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.’ Hawai‘i provides an amazing range of both land and seascapes, and we’re delighted to return for ‘On Stranger Tides.’”
The state’s Creative Industries Division and the Hawai‘i Film Office, which are housed in the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, began working with Disney last year and organized a series of meetings and conference calls to help secure the business.
Georja Skinner, the State’s Creative Industries Division administrator who oversees operations of the Hawaii Film Office, worked collaboratively with the Governor’s office, Department of Taxation and Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert, along with Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, the Kauai Film Office, the City and County’s Honolulu Film Office, The Resort Group, Ko Olina Resort and Disney Vacation Club to help secure “Pirates of the Caribbean” for Hawaii.
“Hawaii competes on a global basis for productions and to have Disney choose Hawaii over other states and countries is a huge win for us,” said Skinner. “Creative industries are by nature collaborative and what I think made a difference for us is the combination of our tax incentive as well as local film, travel and destination industry support.”
In the spring of 2009, The Walt Disney Family Museum approached veteran filmmaker Don Hahn with a proposal to create a film that would celebrate the holidays through the eyes of Walt Disney. Under the direction of Diane Disney Miller, her husband Ron, and executive director Richard Benefield, the genesis of this idea became Christmas with Walt Disney, an enchanting fifty-one minute film filled with the joy and merriment of the holidays.
Mr. Hahn, whose credits include The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, was tapped to produce this film that will now become an annual event for The Walt Disney Family Museum to stage and entertain their guests each year during the holidays.
Christmas with Walt Disney is full of surprises including scenes from the television specials and vintage commercials from early Disney sponsors such as Kodak and Coca Cola. The studio Dixieland band, Firehouse Five plus Two makes a spirited appearance, as do clips from dozens of Disney’s films including Swiss Family Robinson, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia and a clip from The Happiest Millionaire featuring Fred McMurray and Greer Garson singing “It Won’t be Long ‘til Christmas”— a very rare clip since this song was cut out of the picture.
“During our first screening of some selected clips to Ron and Diane, we showed clips of Walt skiing and ice skating with Lillian intercut with clips of Mickey and Goofy on ice,” said executive producer Craig Murray. “The quick cuts from Walt to Goofy did the trick and showed how much this man’s life became his art.”
The film will be shown several times a day (except Tuesdays and December 25 and January 1) from November 27 – January 4. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit the museum’s website.
It makes its official debut this Thursday, October 1, but D23 members were offered an exclusive preview this past weekend to visit the new Walt Disney Family Museum located in San Francisco’s The Presidio. Reports of the free tickets selling out fast were all too common and it’s not any fault of the Museum. A steady stream of D23 Members crowded the ten galleries focusing on visually and audibly telling the story of Walt Disney’s life.
From the moment you step into the beautiful but non-descript building, you get a taste for what you’re in for. Nine trophy cases line the walls filled with literally hundreds of different awards and recognitions received by Disney along with a few bonus items thrown in. Also on display in the lobby area is some of the original furniture from the Disney apartment above the Disneyland Fire Department as well as the multi-plane camera just inside the gift shop area (the multi-plane camera is so large that it actually extends to its proper exhibit on the second floor).
Inside the first Gallery, you are introduced to Walt’s family, even pre-Walt. There are literally hundreds of photos that help depict the life of the childhood of Walt and his siblings. You also get your first taste of the technology heavily employed within the museum: LCD monitors (a few of *many*) play a short, stylized video along with actual records of Walt recalling his youth — everything from growing up on a farm to forging a document so that he’d be accepted by the American Red Cross to join an Ambulance unit in France during the war after being rejected by the Armed Forces for his age (he was 16 at the time).
Our series peeking into the galleries at the new Walt Disney Family Museum comes to a close with Gallery 10: Remembering Walt Disney.
Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966. Reactions from around the world, in newspaper articles, editorial comment, and letters and telegrams present an appreciation of the joy, hope, and inspiration Walt provided to millions of people around the world.
All images © Disney Enterprises, courtesy of the Walt Disney Family Museum