Last night we went to the Walt Disney Animation Exhibition held at the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square. It was a lovely summer evening out and people were outside enjoying sunset and the various events such as the Australian Open (tennis) on nearby, the open restaurants and an outdoor swimming pool fun exhibit for kids to wade in.
Things are slowly feeling…normal despite feeling wary when being outside with others around you.
Andrew is a Disneyphile and has collected many of the Disney move DVDs over the years. When he was 8 years old, his parents took their family to Florida to see and experience all the theme parks and somehow the Disney bug stuck. I guess that happens to all children if they get to experience something like this at that age.
Meanwhile, I experienced Disneyworld back in 2008 as an adult for the first time and I think at one stage, I called it “The Compound“. The theme parks were so huge, entire suburbs, each with their transport, car parks, resorts that it felt like it was a struggle to escape to the outside world.
I was tired, frustrated, hot with the humidity and the constant 24/7 playing of “If You Wish Upon A Star” began to annoy me. I’m not a fan of humidity, long days and crowds so there came a point when I said to Andrew that I had to escape for a bit because I had experienced “extra sensory overload”. I had never seen anything like the theme parks they have in the USA here in Australia – everything is on a GRAND scale and it gets a bit too much for me that I have to retire to our cool dark room or sit beside a swimming pool to calm down a bit before I can face people, lights, noises, colour, gigantic platters of food, all again. Meanwhile, Andrew was like a kid in a candy shop.
Regardless, over a little time, I got used to it and went into the theme park experience with fervour however, what I preferred rather than the rides and the shops was the educational element at the studios. I loved learning about how animators created the ideas, designs, concept art and animations. Having a father who is an illustrator, I grew up with art and comic books around me. We were encouraged to draw, to read comic books and to watch cartoons growing up because to my parents, they were great ways to educate children.
The exhibition covered 100 years of Disney animation and with each section (there were about 500 artworks in total), they showed the various movies (not all of course) and their innovations, their concept art and how animation had changed from hand drawn to a blend to full CGI at the end. It also didn’t include the Pixar animation.
My favourite bit of the exhibition was learning how they rendered a 2D landscape into looking like having depth on camera. It was an amazing innovative achievement of its time, invented by William Garity at the studios and used for the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.
You can see more here as Walt Disney explains how it works.
At the end of the exhibition, there was a video of different animators from around the world talking about how they found work at Disney Studios and what animations they worked on. What struck me about these people were how much they LOVED their work and were passionate for what they do every day and coming into the ‘creative hub’ with others to work on something that gives so much joy to people around the world.
They mentioned that the environment is all about “plussing”. They explained it to be that everyone comes to work and offers creative ideas and inspirations that plusses – builds on – towards the ultimate outcome. I liked this concept because at its heart, it recognises all ideas, suggestions, recommendations and creates a safe space where all voices are heard.
Naturally, I created another little video about our jaunt into town again this weekend to see the last day of the Walt Disney animation exhibition. (We had booked tickets ages ago, once again, COVID and lockdowns meant that everything had been pushed back to 2022 from the last two years so we are now catching up).
We’ll be back into town to see Ant Middleton: Mind over Muscle tour in a couple of weeks.
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