From Mickey to Skywalker: Disney exposes a hundred years of magic

PHILADELPHIA.- From the first sketches of Mickey Mouse to the lightsaber Luke Skywalker: Disney It turns one hundred years old and celebrates it in style with an exhibition in Philadelphia (USA) designed for all the generations that have grown up with the magic of its stories.

He franklin institute In that city, the world premiere of this exhibition will be held since Saturday, the largest held by Disney outside its parks and the event that kicks off the company’s centenary celebrations, which will take place on October 16 of this year.

And it is that although Walt Disney himself once said that “it all started with a mouse”, the truth is that it began before Mickey Mouse, in October 1923, when the young and visionary creator signed his first contract to produce short films of animation, “Alice Comedies”.

This is told by the director of the Disney Archives, Becky Cline, for whom the most difficult thing in conceiving this exhibition has been not so much choosing what was on display, but deciding what had to be left out from among millions of files, drawings, scores, costumes and gadgets of all kinds.

“It was necessary to decide which pieces best tell the story” of Disney, Cline told EFE, who among the selection highlights two jewels that are exhibited at the beginning of the sample.

One, the illustrated props book created for “Sleeping Beauty” that appears at the beginning and end of the film, a golden piece with colored stones that has its interactive replica in the exhibition so that visitors can browse the illustrated story.

The other, the snow globe with St. Paul’s Cathedral in London from “Mary Poppins”, with special effects for the occasion.

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Both are in a room full of nostalgia, the first of the ten rooms that make up the exhibition, and which also houses, for example, the wooden puppet that inspired the creation of “Pinocchio” in 1940.

Some of the exhibits will delight the most devoted fans of sagas like that of “Star Wars”.

Because together with the BB-8 robot and a soldier of the empire you can see the lightsaber with which Luke Skywalker fought, or the golden dice that Han Solo used to get his emblematic ship, the “Millennium Falcon”, in a game against Lando Calrissian.

All the followers of Disney and factories under their responsibility as pixar and Marvel find their place in this sample, which also stops at the music.

In a large room, scenes are projected that are accompanied by many of Disney’s best-known songs and melodies, from films such as “Lady and the Tramp”, “The Three Caballeros”, “Fantasy” or “The Little Mermaid” and are They exhibit the scores of numerous compositions.

And of course, the art of animation.

The exhibition covers all its stages, from the artisan beginnings of the Disney factory to the most current technology, and in addition to exposing the mechanisms of animation, it shows the miniatures or models that were made of each character, developing all its details before giving them life.

But not everything is cartoon in the history of Disney, many of its films are flesh and blood, as are the stage adaptations. Among them the Broadway musical “The Lion King”, with the main costume of Simba, its protagonist, exposed for the occasion.

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It is not the only piece of clothing that can be seen. There is also the red dress of Cruella de Vil for the film “Cruella” (2021), that of Captain Barbossa, played by Geoffrey Rush in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” or the compass that the ship always carried with him. protagonist of this film, the famous captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp.

Throughout the tour, the visitor discovers the Disney universe or recalls many images from his childhood or youth, or from the childhood and youth of his children or grandchildren. And there are objects for all tastes and memories for all generations.

Christoph Scholz, director of Semmel, the company in charge of mounting this exhibition, recounted his first memory of Disney as a child and lived in East Germany, before reunification: The comic books that his relatives in West Germany they kept him hidden when they visited.

And Becky Cline, who grew up in southern California, next to Disneyland and the company’s studios, also keeps in her memory the first movie she saw in the theater when she was four years old: “Mary Poppins.”

Because there is a lot of magic and also a lot of nostalgia in this exhibition that after Philadelphia will go through Chicago and Kansas City and from which another unit has been made that will open in Munich (Germany) in the spring, to continue later in London.

That only for now. Because The company’s idea, Cline said, is for Disney and its century of stories to tour the world with its exhibit over the next five years.

Patricia de Arce / EFE

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