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Treasures of the Walt Disney Archive

March 06, 2014
The Man Behind the Mouse
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archive

Disney is rarely ever out of the spotlight with new animated films unveiled yearly and most of us still fondly recalling our childhood favourites. But it wasn’t until recently that we were made to look at the man behind the cartoons, not only with the Hollywood release of ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ (recounting the relationship between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins) but also with the fascinating exhibition currently on view at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

First impressions might suggest that this exhibition caters mainly to children, but with the exception of a couple of hands-on activity areas it’s actually rather adult-friendly, focusing largely on painting a human portrait of the ambitious cartoonist and his wild imagination. The museum, together with the official Disney fan club, has put together more than 300 artifacts from 90 years of Disney, which are displayed alongside fascinating nuggets of history. For example, there’s a telegram from Walt to his brother, written at the moment he conceptualised Mickey Mouse during a train ride to New York, and you’ll find Sleeping Beauty film reels that spent almost nine years in production, as the film was the first animated feature produced in widescreen 70MM format. Go on, embrace your inner silly kid!

Until May 4, 2014.

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