D23 announced its “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” will open at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) on Oct. 16. The special exhibition, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, offers more than 300 artifacts covering nine decades of Disney history.
By opening on Wednesday, “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” also marks the 90th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company. D23's “Treasures” will run at MSI through May 4, 2014, with the exhibit requiring a timed-ticked entry and separate admission fee.
“Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” highlights just some of the accomplishments and innovations of Walt Disney, who was born in Chicago in 1901, and the company he created. While featuring such familiar characters as Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins, the exhibit will also offer materials not widely seen by the public. On display are drawings, props and costumes; materials from Disney films and TV, theme park attractions and company history; and artifacts from both Walt’s lifetime and more contemporary achievements.
'Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives 'showcases the creativity and innovation that has defined Disney for 90 years,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company in a press statement. “We’re proud of this heritage, and we are very pleased to share this rare glimpse into our rich history with Chicago’s world-renowned Museum of Science and Industry.
“Treasures” is designed to offer hands-on explorations of Disney innovation and history. The exhibition includes interactive stations focusing on Disney’s technological contributions to animation and live-action movies. Museum guests may examine some of the technology used in the 53 Disney animated movie classics or learn to draw some Disney characters in the “Animation Academy.”
Beyond Walt Disney’s personal connection to Chicago, “Treasures” is a good fit for MSI, with its mission of inspiring creativity and innovation in such areas as science, technology and engineering and its focus on fun and interactive exhibits.
Through this exhibit we’re pleased to showcase Walt Disney as both a master storyteller and innovator whose creative legacy continues to inspire people of all ages,” said David Mosena, president and CEO of MSI, in a media statement. “Guests will be immersed in Walt Disney’s ‘can do’ spirit, optimistic outlook and never-ending curiosity that propelled him through his impressive career. This spirit continues to be the creative inspiration behind many of the incredible experiences created by Disney today.
While D23 has presented other versions of “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives,” including those featured at D23 Expo, the MSI exhibit features the following:
- Clips from several of Walt Disney’s earliest animated works, before there was a Mickey Mouse. The original script, typed by Walt Disney, for the 1928 cartoon short “Steamboat Willie,” which introduced movie theater audiences to Mickey Mouse for the very first time.
- A partial recreation of Walt Disney’s formal office from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif., including original furnishings and many of his personal items.
- Hand-drawn artwork, hand-sculpted models and props used in the production of some of Disney’s most iconic and renowned animated features, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Pinocchio,” “Fantasia,” “Dumbo” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
- A recreation of a working animator’s office from the Disney Studios featuring authentic animator’s furniture, and models.
- Animation models and artwork from contemporary Disney animation film hits, including “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King” and “Aladdin.”
- Props from classic Disney live-action films, including “Mary Poppins,” “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “The Rocketeer,” “The Princess Diaries,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Enchanted.”
- A special area of the exhibition that is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the release of “Mary Poppins,” with film clips, interviews with the movie’s creators and rare behind-the- scenes photos.
- A salute to Disneyland Park in California and Magic Kingdom Park in Florida, showcasing artwork, Audio-Animatronics characters, and memorabilia from such popular attractions as “it’s a small world,” “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln,” The Hall of Presidents,” as well as early plans and correspondence for Walt Disney’s vision of EPCOT.
Timed-entry tickets for the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” are priced at $9 for adults and seniors and $7 for children 3-11. Tickets are on sale at MSI's website, and may be purchased as part of the Explorer 1, 2 or 3 packages. Discounts are available both MSI members, who can purchase exhibit tickets for $4.50 per guest, and for D23 Gold and Silver Members.
Update, Oct. 17: This article has been edited to add photos to the slideshow.