Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales

Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales. By Tara Judah.

Having just closed the doors on their most popular exhibition to date – Tim Burton: The Exhibition – ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in Melbourne are swiftly opening the doors on another: Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales.

Open to the public from now until April 26, 2011, Dreams Come True aims to bring the art and artistry of pioneering animation into the gallery space, providing visitors with a mere glimpse into the greater (60 million works) archival collection at the Walt Disney Animation Research Library in Burbank, California.

Easily ACMI’s most logical layout to date, the exhibition space follows the same trajectory as the stories it holds: transformation. From origin to screen, the gallery design reflects the spatial layering of every animated frame that condenses such painstaking temporal effort into a quick succession of visual images.

Beginning with a short intro to Walt Disney’s life the exhibition goes back to the early days of animation and shows how Walt’s starting point was deeply rooted in mythology. Drawing on Aesop’s Fables, traditional Folk Tales, Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes and Silly Symphonies; it turns out Walt’s inspiration came largely from the some 300 + illustrated storybooks he returned from Europe with as a child. Four of these storybooks are featured in the exhibition including an original of The Little Mermaid.

From here the exhibition covers some of Disney’s fairest maidens and their tales of transformation; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog and finally Tangled (due out in Australian cinemas January 7, 2011.)

From sketch to drawing to painted cel (or these days CGI), and finally to completed animation; Dreams Come True shows how a story physically comes to life on screen. With deleted sequences, and a little explanation on Live Action Reference, the Multiplane Camera and Effects Animation, the exhibition offers a cohesive portrait of how uncompromised standards and a little imagination can produce some of the most extraordinary onscreen images. A must-see for any Disney fan.

Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales runs from November 18, 2010 until April 26, 2011. You can buy tickets here.

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