A new special exhibition takes a deeper look at the legendary Walt Disney animators, a must for all Disney and animation fans.

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May 2, 2018

Celebrate the Nine Old Men at the Walt Disney Family Museum in 2018

On view at The Walt Disney Family Museum starting May 17, 2018 is Walt Disney's Nine Old Men: Masters of Animation. This new special exhibition, created by the museum, is a must-see for any Disney fan and animation enthusiast. It runs through Jan. 7, 2019.

Exhibition Information 

The Walt Disney Animation Studios' original animators, the Nine Old Men—Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman and Frank Thomas—fueled a new art form of character animation during their tenure, and together helped to influence and nurture the next generation of animators. While each had a unique personality and background, they combined to contribute to a seminal artistic movement. Favorite iconic characters such as Mickey Mouse, Bambi and Thumper, Cruella de Vil, Peter Pan, Shere Khan, Brer Rabbitt, Monstro, the Wicked Stepmother, the Cheshire Cat and countless others owe their existence and creative legacy to these legends.

This exhibition allows visitors to step into the lives of each animator to learn how their contributions developed character animation as an art form, through a presentation of personal and eclectic objects on display. These include sketch books, animation work, personal ephemera and photographs. Original art from classic films such as Pinocchio (1940), Bambi (1942), Peter  Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Sleeping Beauty (1959) are included.

Nine Old Men is guest-curated by producer Don Hahn (Beauty and the BeastThe Lion KingMaleficent).

In conjunction with the exhibition, a series of 3D-printed sculptures created by prominent artists, dubbed the "New Masters" and inspired by the work of the Nine Old Men, will be featured. Keeping with the spirit of creatively adapting emerging technology in their character development and storytelling, these artists have used Google's innovative Tilt Brush to craft a story through virtual reality and presented through 3D-printed renderings. With Tilt Brush, the space around the artist becomes the canvas, as wand-like controllers turn traces of light into 3D drawings. As a result, artists are no longer restricted to paper. Sculptures from animators Glen Keane and Andreas Deja, among others to be announced, will be unveiled and rotated on display throughout the duration of Nine Old Men. Visitors should keep an eye out for the main museum building lobby's display of miniature versions of these artist's sculptures.

Ticket Information

The Walt Disney Family Museum is located in the historic Presidio, with a breathtaking backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge. The museum presents the fascinating story of Walt Disney, from his early years to his work in transforming the film industry while creating an American legacy, through a vast collection of historic materials, artifacts, interactive displays and more.

Nine Old Men is on view in the museum's Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall from May 17, 2018 to January 7, 2019. Tickets for this special exhibition can be purchased on-site or online at waltdisney.org. Guests visiting Nine Old Men through September 3 and purchasing general museum admission should also visit Make Believe: The World of Glen Keane, offering an self-curated and intimate look at the iconic character work of the Academy Award-winning animator.

Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to book in advance to receive discounted admission. For more information, and to inquire about guided tours, please visit the museum's Group Sales.

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