On the weekend I headed down to ACMI to check out the ‘Dreams Come True’ exhibition. The exhibition showed the processes behind Disney’s most loved animations. Films featured were Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Princess and the Frog and Tangled.
Walt Disney’s story is quite remarkable, he began producing short animations such as Laugh O Grams, Alice Comedies and Silly Symphonies. Due to the success of these animations and the creation of Micky Mouse, Disney decided he wanted to create the world’s first animated feature.
Disney’s studio was going under so he was taking a massive risk as he didn’t know whether audiences would be interested in watching a feature length animation. Critics thought Disney’s plans to make the film were ridiculous and called it ‘Disney’s Folly’. The studio ran out of money and had to provide a rough cut of the film to the banks so they would loan him the money to finish the feature.
This film was Snow White. As we all know it was a huge success and allowed the studio to create other features including Cinderella. This film about a maid who meets Prince Charming cemented Walt Disney’s place in cinematic history.
The amount of work that went into animating the films in those times is overwhelming! Each slide was painted manually to result in one frame of animation. Different slides were layered on top of one another and an overhead camera filmed the slides moving which makes the audience feel they are moving through the landscape.
For many of his films Disney took (often disturbing) stories by the Grimm Brothers and transformed them into much more optimistic stories that adults and children could relate to. Good always prevailed over evil, but sometimes not without sacrifices.
The exhibition took me back to my childhood, especially Beauty and the Beast (my all time favourite) and made me want to watch them all again.
Pity there was nothing from Peter Pan, Aladdin or The Lion King. ACMI would not have been able to physically exhibit much more. Hats off to them, another exhibition displayed fantastically which contributed to the whole experience. At the exhibition there were people aged from 3 to 73 – evidence that Disney’s timeless work has touched many generations.
Check it out before it ends on the 26th of April.
Posted by Bridget