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This spring a new exhibit featuring Disney’s “Nine Old Men” will be coming to the Walt Disney Family Museum. “Nine old men” was Disney’s nickname for his group of animators. These artists revolutionized the animation and storytelling process and created the legacy that made Walt Disney Studios what it is today.

Walt Disney Family Museum

What’s happening:

  • The Walt Disney Family Museum will present “Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men: Masters of Animation” exhibit showcasing the talents of the animators that helped to create Walt Disney Studios. Playfully dubbed the “Nine Old Men” by Walt, the famed nine were:
    • Les Clark
    • Marc Davis
    • Ollie Johnston
    • Milt Kahl
    • Ward Kimball
    • Eric Larson
    • John Lounsbery
    • Wolfgang Reitherman
    • Frank Thomas
  • Academy Award nominated producer Don Hahn, curated the unique exhibition celebrating the distinctive talents and contributions of The Walt Disney Studios’ most celebrated artists.

What to expect:

  • The Masters of Animation collection will showcase artwork and family mementoes from each of the Nine Old Men. Guests can view sketch books, caricatures, snapshots, and original art from the classic films
    • Pinocchio
    • Bambi
    • Peter Pan
    • Lady and the Tramp
    • Sleeping Beauty
  • Also on display will be personal art, paintings, sculptures, flip-books, and hundreds of original animation drawings. Additionally, documentary interviews with animators, rarely seen pencil tests, and final color scenes showcasing their genius will be part of the exhibit.

Thoughts on the exhibit:

  • Kirsten Komoroske on Don Hahn—“He has comprehensive and personal knowledge of the work of Walt’s core animators and has created an immersive experience for our visitors.” Komoroske is the executive director of The Walt Disney Family Museum.
  • Don Hahn on his research— “This exhibition presented a rare chance to work with the families of the Nine Old Men, who opened their homes and collections to us. This gives us a chance to show a spectacular collection of personal artifacts and ephemera—items never seen by the public—that help tell each animator’s individual story and reveal how they collectively elevated character animation to an art form.”
  • Walt Disney Family Museum on the entire collection—“The Nine Old Men had an enduring influence on The Walt Disney Studios’ culture and animation techniques. Their work and mentorship helped nurture a new generation of animators and filmmakers, including Don Hahn and Andreas Deja, and others such as Brad Bird, Tim Burton, Brenda Chapman, Ron Clements, Glen Keane, John Lasseter, John Musker, and Floyd Norman.

When and where to experience:

  • The exhibit will be on display in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall from May 17, 2018—January 7, 2019
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum is located in San Fransisco
  • Currently The World of Glen Keane is being showcased at the Museum. The exhibit opened on March 8th and will run through September 3rd.

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