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The Met’s First-Ever Walt Disney Exhibit Is Now Open

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

The Met’s First-Ever Walt Disney Exhibit Is Now Open

Sounds like a fairy tale, no?

The brand new exhibit — called Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts — “draw[s] new parallels between the magical creations of the Disney Studios and their artistic models, examining Walt Disney’s personal fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in Disney films and theme parks,” a press release states.

Instagram/ @metmuseum

The exhibit opened on December 10, 2021 and was planned in partnership with The Wallace Collection in London, where it will open in spring 2022.

Gallery view of Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (December 10, 2021–March 6, 2022). Photo by Paul Lachenauer, Courtesy of The Met. © Disney

It’s Disney fan’s true dream come true, boasting 40 pieces of 18th-century European decorative arts and design, 150 production artworks, and specialized film footage displays from your favorite classics — all coming from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Collection, and The Walt Disney Family Museum.

Gallery view of Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animationof French Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan
Museum of Art (December 10, 2021–March 6, 2022).Photo by Paul Lachenauer, Courtesy of The Met.
© Disney

Expect explorations of Gothic Revival architecture in Cinderella (1950), medieval influences on Sleeping Beauty (1959), and Rococo-inspired objects brought to life in Beauty and the Beast (1991)!

Gallery view of Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animationof French Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan
Museum of Art (December 10, 2021–March 6, 2022). Photo by Paul Lachenauer, Courtesy of The Met.
© Disney
Gallery view of Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animationof French Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan
Museum of Art (December 10, 2021–March 6, 2022). Photo by Paul Lachenauer, Courtesy of The Met.
© Disney

“Both Disney animated films and Rococo decorative works of art are infused with elements of playful storytelling, delight, and wonder,” said Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met.

Eighteenth-century craftspeople and 20th-century animators alike sought to ignite feelings of excitement, awe, and marvel in their respective audiences. Through exquisite objects and Disney artifacts, this exhibition will provide an unprecedented look at the impact of French art on Disney Studios productions from the 1930s to almost the present day.

Sounds like NYC is now home to its own slice of the most most magical place on Earth this winter!

And if you can’t make it in person, the Met is offering a virtual tour with Met curator Wolf Burchard to guide you though the exhibit.

The exhibit will only be on view through March 6, 2022. Pure magic awaits…

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