Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry Opens Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit

Yesterday, Wednesday, October 16, 2013, The Walt Disney Company celebrated its 90th Anniversary, not in Anaheim, Burbank or Orlando but in Chicago, birth place of the man, Walt Disney.  D23: The Official Disney Fan Club presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, an exhibition encompassing nearly 300 artifacts from nine decades of Disney history in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI).  While a few of the signature assets have been shown previously, this is a new exhibit which was designed specifically for MSI and includes many rarely seen items.  For an idea of what to expect, Chrysty Summers visited a similar Disney Archives Exhibit at the Reagan Library in California, and submitted this detailed, photo-rich report.  Continue reading for more details of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Museum of Science and Industry that runs until May 4, 2014.

Disney Archives Exhibit @ Museum of Science and Industry

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry
© 2013 Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago – All rights reserved

From D23 and the Museum of Science and Industry

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, an exhibition which encompasses more than 300 artifacts from nine decades of Disney history, opens at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) on October 16, 2013 – the 90th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company.

Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry, Photo by Joe Ziolkowski
© 2013 Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago – All rights reserved

 

The exhibit showcases the creative accomplishments and innovations of one of Chicago’s native sons, Walt Disney, and the ongoing legacy of the company that bears his name.  From Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins to Captain Jack Sparrow, the exhibition features many artifacts from Disney’s rich history that have not been widely seen by the public—including drawings; props; costumes; artwork from classic Disney animated films, theme park attractions, TV shows and live-action films; plus items from contemporary Disney milestones.  This exhibit will run at MSI through May 4, 2014 and is presented by Walgreens.

“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.  “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.”

In addition to myriad fascinating artifacts that are sure to stir childhood memories and be familiar icons to many, the exhibition will feature hands-on, interactive stations that will bring Disney technological breakthroughs in animation and motion pictures to life.  Guests can explore the technology behind the 53 animated Disney feature films and even learn the steps to drawing some favorite Disney characters in the “Animation Academy.”

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry
© 2013 Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago – All rights reserved

 

“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 the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.  “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.”

Among the extraordinary items to be featured:

  • 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, CA, including original furnishings and many of his personal items.
Walt Disney Archives Exhibit @ Museum of Science and Industry

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry
© 2013 Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago – All rights reserved

 

  • 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.
  • 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.
Walt Disney Archives Exhibit @ Museum of Science and Industry

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry
© 2013 Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago – All rights reserved

 

  • 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.
Walt Disney Archives Exhibit @ Museum of Science and Industry

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry
© 2013 Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago – All rights reserved

 

This exhibit is not included in Museum Entry and will require an additional timed-entry ticket, which is $9 for adults and seniors and $7 for children 3-11. Tickets are on sale at msichicago.org.  MSI members can purchase exhibit tickets for $4.50 per guest.  D23 Gold and Silver Members will receive a special discount on exhibit entry.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.