Exhibition: Dreams Come True (Disney exhibition @ACMI)

11 Apr

As it heads into its final weeks, Brittany Paterno heads along to Dreams Come True to have a loook (and maybe investigate whether breaches the Trade Practices Act with its lofty title).

The world of make-believe has always delighted and absorbed me. Ever since I was a little boy. And I know exactly how my interest started. It began when I was a child, one of five in our family. Every evening after supper my grandmother would take down from the shelf the well-worn volumes of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Andersen. We would gather around her, the two youngest children on her knees, and listen to the stories that we knew so well we could repeat them word for word. It was the best time of the day for me, and the stories and the characters in them seemed quite as real as my schoolmates and our games.”

-Walt Disney

ACMI (The Australian Centre of the Moving Image) is currently the home to the Australian exclusive Dreams Come True exhibition, which is now in its last month. It is a unique opportunity to discover the magic and art behind the scenes of Disney’s classic fairytale films.

The display showcases records and accomplishments from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library beginning with the early short works Silly Symphonies (1929-39: The Pied Piper, Three Little Pigs & The Ugly Duckling). It reveals how Walt Disney was inspired by and adapted many traditional tales from European storytellers such as Brothers Grimm into his timeless iconic family orientated stories.

Kids activity space wall

Guests can see how Disney translated them into his moral fables by clearly defining good values and having a distinct different between good and evil. He removed the frightening elements and substituted them for a one-upon-a-time quality whilst still keeping the important message.

The exhibition artwork includes original concept art, sketches, animated drawings, storyboards, maquettes, final frame cells, background paintings and movie clips for each of the films. It also shows the hard works of the artists such as Mary Blair, Kay Nielsen, Eyvind Earle and Glen Keane, along with how over Disney’s 80 years of movie making the techniques and equipment has improved (with the invention of the Multiplane Camera and Computer Animated Production System (CAPS)). Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Princes and the Frog (2009) and Tangled (2010) are the much-loved magical myths that make up the sections of the Dreams Come True exhibition. Visitors can explore how each film is developed and how each of the well known Princesses and characters were developed.

Overall the exhibition is a brief timeline on how Walt Disney created some of his most memorable fairytale animations that made Dreams Come True. It is a great demonstration for all ages; basically anyone who is interested in finding out more about their favourite classic films and looking at the creative process behind each of them.

I personally would have loved to see more from my favourite Disney films like Aladdin, The Lion King, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland but obviously with the Dreams Come True fairytale theme this was not possible. The exhibition did however make me want to go and see some of the newer pictures like The Princess and the Frog and Tangled. It also allowed me to reminisce on my childhood and get a greater understanding on how the Disney princesses (which every girl wishes she was) came to be.

Being distinctly colour blocked, the exhibition was very easy to follow though I would have liked to see more work displayed in the opened floor space. This layout was clearly designed in such a way so that children could look at the walls without touching everything and without having to be lifted up to see what was in cabinets. Another thing which I found particularly interesting on the day I went was the crowd, which were mostly mature age people half of which were male. This may just be because I went on a weekday, but it just goes to show that you’re never too old to let your Dreams Come True.

The exhibition is open daily from 10am-6pm until Tuesday 26th April 2011. ACMI also provides education programs and notes along with audio guides to accompany the experience.

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2 Responses to “Exhibition: Dreams Come True (Disney exhibition @ACMI)”

  1. me April 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    what’s the trade practices act issue about?

  2. The Hairy Pony April 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    “Dreams come true” surely that’s promising a bit much innit? Just hilarious legal-based humour. The crowds love it.

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