The magic of Disney comes alive at ACMI

Read the video transcript

VIDEO: A new exhibition of all your favourite Disney characters is now showing at ACMI at Federation Square.

Since its 1923 inception by brothers Walt and Roy, Walt Disney Animation Studios in California has brought 59 films to life.

That silver screen dynasty began with the first full-length animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 and has culminated in the 2021 film Raya and the Last Dragon, the making of which can be seen at ACMI’s current exhibition Disney: The Magic of Animation.

From the start, the Disney brothers were on to a wonderful thing.

There was a key reason for their success: all the movies are about love or loss.

“There’s something about Disney films that touches you in your heart like nothing else can,” says Disney’s Art Exhibitions and Conservation Manager from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library Kristen McCormick, who was in Melbourne for the exhibition launch.

“The most recent film, Raya and the Last Dragon, was made entirely while our artists worked at home,” she points out. “It’s testament to how the studio is one unified group; it doesn’t matter whether our artists are sitting in the same building or not, we can hold together with that vision, those stories, and we can produce an amazing film.

“Pushing the boundaries, doing something that has never been done before, is very much a part of the whole history of Disney animation. And you can see it here.

“It’s so lovely to work with a museum that understands the artistry of film-making, which is very much a 21st century art form,” enthuses Kristen. “It’s not always valued for what it is, but this is a chance to really see that it’s not just the film you see on screen: there are so many talented artists behind these films. It’s modern day storytelling.”

Disney through the ages

Here are some of the much-loved releases from Walt Disney Animation Studios over the years, which are featured in the ACMI exhibition.

Release dates

  • Steamboat Willie (Mickey Mouse’s first talkie) 1928
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937
  • Pinocchio 1940
  • Fantasia 1940
  • Dumbo 1941
  • Bambi 1942
  • Alice in Wonderland 1951
  • Lady and the Tramp 1955
  • The Jungle Book 1967
  • The Little Mermaid 1989
  • The Lion King 1994
  • Pocahontas 1995
  • Frozen 2013
  • Moana 2016
  • Zootopia 2016
  • Raya and the Last Dragon 2021.

Book your tickets for Disney: The Magic of Animation, on until 17 October 2021, at ACMI.