Thursday, January 16, 2014

Scott And Carol Present: D23 Treasures of the Disney Archives Exhibit at Chicago's Musuem of Science & Industry

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and Walgreens are presenting Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives until the first week of May, 2014. The opening coincided with the 90 anniversary of the Walt Disney Company celebrated on October 16, 2013. The D23 is in reference to the beginning of the Disney Studio in Hollywood in 1923. And lest you forget, Walt Disney was born in Chicago, IL.

Behind these walls lies an eclectic collection of Disney memorabilia with pieces recognizable to all generations. From toys to contracts, jewelry to original scripts, there is something for every Disney connoisseur to enjoy. There are over 300 classic artifacts throughout the exhibit.

One of the many reproduction photos included in the display, this is a still from the filming of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color where Walt is talking about his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, more commonly known as EPCOT. It wasn't supposed to be a park, but rather a living city.

This stock certificate from Laugh-O-Gram Films Inc. was issued in 1922 to Walt's parents Elias and Flora Disney, Roy and Walt's parents.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length animated feature and it premiered on December 21, 1937. This dress was worn by Virginia Davis and Marge Champion as a live action reference models so the animators could more accurately portray how the dress would move in real life. This attention to detail, along with great storytelling and wonderful songs, led to Shirley Temple presenting Walt with one full-size Oscar and seven little ones which are on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

A full-size recreation of an animator's desk, with a monitor showing how the work was done, to Disney's exacting standards. A great part of Walt Disney's genius was his ability to motivate his employees to constantly improve their skills, and consequently his product. He managed to do this without driving away the best talent, and they kept returning to do it again, day after day. This display features authentic furniture and models used by animators.

A model of the multi-plane camera, patented by Walt Disney on May 1, 1940 is on display. This added realistic depth to animated scenes and the ability to reuse non-moving elements of the background/foreground saved countless hours of labor. it was first used in a Silly Symphony film called The Old Mill, released on November 5, 1937. This animation revolution did not go unrecognized, receiving an Academy Award on March 10, 1938.

This partial recreation of Walt's formal office from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA features many of his original items. You can see how he was enthralled by some of the models used by his animators. If you see the movie "Saving Mr. Banks," you will recognize many of his personal pieces, which were used in the film.

This display showcases many original props used in Walt Disney's classics Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

The official portraits of Mickey Mouse were painted by John Hench. He painted the pictures for Mickey's 25th, 50th, 60th, and 70th, and 75th birthdays. He also created the giant squid that attacked the Nautilus in the film. The consummate Disney legend, he worked for 65 years to create magic for Disney guests at parks all over the word.

The actual model of the Nautilus, used in the filming of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This film adaptation of Jules Verne's classic story was released in 1954 and won two Academy Awards. Lucky visitors to Disneyland from 1955 to 1966 could actually walk through some of the original set pieces. This was Disney's fifth live action film, and the first to feature stars.

This is the dress worn by Julie Andrews during the filming of Mary Poppins, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. She is holding the famous umbrella, which allowed her to fly, and the parrot even talked. This is just some of the movie props and costumes on display.

Robert and Richard Sherman worked with Walt Disney to plus movies and park attractions with music. At IAAPA in 2009, Richard said, "No one knew better than Walt how to tell a story through a song. He suggested that the Small World soundtrack be done in a round." The Sherman Brothers wrote more movie soundtrack score than any other team, and Walt Disney utilized them extensively. With Grammies and Academy Awards, they have their own Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame along with a Window on Mainstreet. And they wrote Walt's favorite song, "Feed the Birds," from Mary Poppins.

Guests can even take part in an animation lesson, and learn the steps required to produce their own drawing of Mickey Mouse. Sketch boards, paper, and pencils are provided, and this a memory you create for yourself.

The costume was worn by  Billy Campbell in the 1991 movie, The Rocketeer. Released on June 21, originally the helmet was going to be a NASA version but Director Joe Johnson threatened to quit the project so Michael Eisner relented. Little known trivia, the attack on the NAZI Zeppelin was filmed near Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Of course no visit to Disney is complete without a stroll through the souvenir shop, and this display has two. here is the larger one all dressed up for Christmas. Pins, toys, books, and nearly anything else you can imagine, the better to remember your journey through Walt Disney Company's first 90 years. If your going to be in the Chicago area, this is a must see for any Disney fan. Our thanks to Beth from MSI, and Jim, for his helpful hints on when to best view the exhibit. We appreciated all of your help.