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A Huge Exhibition Dedicated to Disney Animation Is Coming to Melbourne's Newly Revamped ACMI

'Disney: The Magic of Animation' will feature more than 500 original artworks covering the Mouse House's animated delights across the past century.
By Sarah Ward
March 30, 2021
By Sarah Ward
March 30, 2021

Perhaps you've always been a fan of Mickey Mouse. Maybe you can remember how it felt when you first watched Bambi. Or, you might be able to sing all of Genie's lyrics in Aladdin. You could've fallen head over heels for Raya and the Last Dragon more recently, too. Whichever category fits — and we're guessing that at least one does — Disney's animated movies have likely played a significant part in your life. We all have those childhood memories. We've all grown up with a lingering fondness for the Mouse House. Based on its just-announced big 2021 exhibition, clearly the team at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne knows the feeling.

From Thursday, May 13 to Sunday, October 17 this year, the newly revamped ACMI will open its doors, halls and walls to Disney: The Magic of Animation, which'll showcase Disney's animated prowess over the past century. There's much to display, with the exhibition ranging back as far as 1928, when Mickey Mouse appeared in his first talkie, Steamboat Willie. From there, you can expect everything from Fantasia to Frozen to get some attention.

Disney Enterprises

Expect to look at art, too — and plenty of it. When it makes its Australian-exclusive stop in Melbourne, Disney: The Magic of Animation will feature more than 500 original artworks relating to Disney's animated catalogue. Paintings, sketches and concept art will all be on display, with the entire lineup specially selected by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library.

Yes, you'll be getting a glimpse at just how the movie magic comes to life, including through glimpses at how some of Disney's famous stories were developed, and at the animation techniques that brought them to the big screen. And, although further details haven't yet been revealed, it's probably safe to expect that watching Disney's flicks will also be part of the program.

Disney Enterprises

Announcing the exhibition, ACMI Director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick said that the venue is "thrilled to bring Disney: The Magic of Animation to Australia as ACMI's 2021 Melbourne Winter Masterpiece — the first since reopening after our $40 million transformation. Disney's pioneering work has brought the art of animation to audiences across the globe for nearly a century. This exhibition invites us behind the scenes, celebrating the artists and their incredible craft as they create the magical worlds and iconic characters that we know and love."

Previously, ACMI's annual Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series has toured international exhibitions such as David Bowie Is... and Hollywood Costume to our shores. In Disney: The Magic of Animation's case, it's designed to appeal to Disney fans of all ages — including Mouse House aficionados both young and young at heart.

Disney: The Magic of Animation will display at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne from Thursday, May 13–Sunday, October 17. For more information or to buy tickets, head to the ACMI website.

Published on March 30, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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