A Huge Disney Exhibition Featuring 500+ Artworks Is Coming To Melbourne’s ACMI

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A Huge Disney Exhibition Featuring 500+ Artworks Is Coming To Melbourne’s ACMI

‘Disney: The Magic of Animation’ will feature more than 500 original artworks.

Disney has wowed and enamored audiences for close to a century. (Featured image: qin linlin)

From the depths of the ocean with Ariel to following Simba’s journey to Mulan’s epic warrior tale, both little kids and big kids have given way to fantasy and delved into imagined worlds to follow the adventures and stories of their favourite characters. We’ve experienced the highs, the lows and we’ve sung along right through till the end.

But what you see on screen is thanks to the magic that goes on behind the scenes and on the drawing board. That magic, though, will soon be filling the halls of ACMI when it hosts ‘Disney: The Magic of Animation’.

From Thursday 13 May to 17 October, ACMI will display original sketches and rare artworks from as far back as 1928. That’s Mickey Mouse’s first talkie as well as drawings from the classics Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King among the collection. Releases from this century like Moana and Frozen will also be on the walls to showcase just how far the Mouse House has come since Steamboat Willie. 

‘Disney: The Magic of Animation’ will be divided up into five sections that will explore the various eras of animation innovation. Starting with finding the perfect technique and the challenges of bringing two-dimensional drawings to life, the exhibition will continue with the first feature films of the 30s and 40s before moving onto the post-war period, the 1990s animation renaissance and the digital revolution of the past two decades.

The Melbourne exclusive exhibit, which has been specially selected by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library in Los Angeles, will also chart the development of some of our beloved stories from their inception to the techniques used to capture the essence of character and emotion like the room of light where they will discover just how animators use colours to convey feelings. You know the feels we’re talking about.


ACMI Director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick said that the venue is “thrilled to bring Disney: The Magic of Animation to Australia as ACMI’s 2021 Melbourne Winter Masterpiece” which will be the first since reopening after their $40 million transformation.

”Disney’s pioneering work has brought the art of animation to audiences across the globe for nearly a century. This exhibition invites us behind the scenes, celebrating the artists and their incredible craft as they create the magical worlds and iconic characters that we know and love.”

‘Disney: The Magic of Animation’ will be on display at the Australia Centre for the Moving Image at Fed Square from Thursday 13 May to Sunday 17 October.

For more information and to book your tickets, see the ACMI website here.

Tickets for the general public go on sale at 9am on Thursday 1 April.

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