Saturday, October 26, 2019

Get Enchanted By ArtScience Museum's Disney: Magic of Animation Exhibition

Be ready to be enchanted (or bewitched) at the DISNEY: MAGIC OF ANIMATION exhibition, which opens at ArtScience Museum today, 26 October 2019. With displays consisting of over 500 over pieces of original drawings, concept art and paintings from the vault of Walt Disney Animation Research Library, this specially curated exhibition is something that a Disney fan should not miss!

Visitors are taken on a journey on Disney's 90+ years of animation, from a recreation of both retro and modern versions of an animator's work desk, to the various processes related to the iconic movies, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to The Lion King (1994), to recent hits, like Frozen (2013), Big Hero 6 (2014) and Moana (2016),

Upon entering the first gallery, Red Dot Diva felt like she had stepped into animation history. The area was about the brilliance and skill of 2D animation, and includes a tribute to Steamboat Willie (1928), the black and white short film that featured Mickey Mouse's very first appearance.

Fans can get step into a recreation of the famous steamboat and get their selfies, while the Steamboat Willie is screened beside it. Even though the art of animation has progressed in leaps and bounds by now, the old film is still as charming as ever.

During the 1930's and 1940's, the Walt Disney Studio's animators got bolder, and wanted to bring these 2D characters to life even more. There was an amazing display on how the artists pored over the anatomy of real life deer in order to create more accurate storyboarding and drawings for Bambi (1942).

You can also take a look at a multiplane camera here as well. The camera was an ingenious invention connected mostly with the Walt Disney Studios, and used during the early era of animation, to give the illusion of movement and depth. As a mini study on your own, Red Dot Diva suggests that you watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs again and see how the multiplane camera worked in the scene where the Evil Queen drinks her potion.

Talking about the Evil Queen, Red Dot Diva did not miss the chance to exchange some words with her!

As the popularity of the Disney's animation movies continue to grow, the artists wanted to experiment in more varied artistic styles and stories. Throughout the 1950's to 1980's or so, movies like Alice in Wonderland (1951), Lady and the Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Jungle Book (1967) took audiences to different visual worlds.

In this section lies a very cool display of 2 classic car models used to simulate the driving and car crash scenes in One Hundred and One Dalmations (1961). On a wall across from it, is a panel of storyboards for the memorable Cruella de Vil car chase scene.

There is also a snippet on how the animation of Maleficent's transformation into a dragon was done. Red Dot Diva found it absolutely mesmerising.

Remember your favourite Disney movies during the 1980's to early 2000's? Come on, Red Dot Diva knows her geek pals can name them right off the bat - Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), Mulan (1998), and more. It was the time when technological advances in computer graphics helped the studio progress further, and it was now possible to create rich and complex worlds beyond the simpler 2D animation processes.

This is Red Dot Diva's favourite section of the entire exhibit, as the concept art displayed here were especially gorgeous. One key example is this beautiful original sketch of Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989) by award-winning, master animator Glen Keane.

Red Dot Diva also fell in love with the life-sized animation of the iconic ballroom dance scene from Beauty and the Beast. So Romance, Much Sighs.

She also gazed at the sketches and original paintings of the rich and layered worlds created for The Lion King, including this intense Simba vs Scar fight scene.

At the Mulan "sound studio", Red Dot Diva tried her best to become a foley artist, but failed miserably. It was not easy trying to match the sounds to the movie segment while laughing so hard!

Bigger, brighter, bolder. As younger audiences grow up surrounded by computer techology, the Disney studio has taken to encapsulating contemporary messages about sustainability, diversity, empathy and what family means, in their animation movies released after the 2000's.

In recent times, movie audiences have been transported into the manic world of gaming in Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and its sequel Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018), .....

... taken on a wild superhero ride in the alternate world of San Fransokyo in Big Hero 6 (2014), letting it all go in the snowy Frozen (2016), and heeded the call of the ocean together with Moana (2016).

And then, they saved the best for last.

The exhibition's organisers was able to secure an approval to showcase a few original art from the yet to be released Frozen 2. The sequel to the international hit movie Frozen, will open at local theares next month on 27 November. These pieces were made available only for the Red Dot Island version of the exhibition, so this is a rare chance for fans  to get a peek of how the upcoming movie looks like!

Not only that, you will be able to take a selfie with Elsa and Anna too.

It is a pity that some other well-loved Disney movies were not included in the show. The most glaring omissions were Aladdin, Lilo & Stitch, The Hunchback from Notre Dame and The Princess and the Frog. Red Dot Diva was personally hoping that there was something about The Artistocats, but I guess the showrunners decided to focus on the more famous Lady and The Tramp.

Still, the exhibition serves its purpose in showing audiences how much collaboration, and the astounding level of creativity it takes to bring the Disney style animation to our screens. That is truly the real magic of Disney's art of animation.


Event: Disney: Magic of Animation - The Exhibition
Venue: Artscience Museum, Level 3
Dates: 26 October 2019 to 29 March 2020
Tickets: Click on the link here to buy

A walk around the Disney: Magic of Animation exhibition takes about an hour. Maybe, an hour more if you are a hardcore Disney fan, and want to take in the details of the original drawings and concept art on display.

There are also guided tours for those who have bought tickets to the Disney: Magic of Animation exhibition. They are held intermittently throughout Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in November and December. For more details on these guided tours, you can check with the ticketing counter at ArtScience Museum.

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