Here’s a gem for California-based or California-bound Walt Disney fans: an exhibition of 500 artifacts from nearly nine decades of the company’s history – over 50 per cent of which have never been seen by the public – including models, props, costumes, set pieces and artwork from throughout Disney history.
Organised by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives runs at the Califrornia-based Reagan Library into 2013.
This is the largest exhibition ever curated by the Walt Disney Archives and the largest temporary exhibit ever housed at the Reagan Library. Among the extraordinary Disney collectibles to be featured are:
- The original script, written by Walt Disney, for Mickey Mouse’s first cartoon, Steamboat Willie
- A faithful recreation of Walt’s formal office from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, including original furnishings and many of his personal items
- Hand-drawn artwork and hand-sculpted models used in the production of some of the most beloved Disney animated film classics ever created, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, and Sleeping Beauty
- Props from classic Disney live-action productions, including Mary Poppins, 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Shaggy Dog, Babes in Toyland, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and more
- Breathtaking props, costumes, and set pieces from recent Disney classics, including the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, TRON: Legacy, National Treasure and Captain America
- Intricately sculptured busts of all 44 US presidents created for Audio-Animatronics figures seen in the Hall of Presidents attraction at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort;
- A salute to Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, showcasing theme park artwork, Audio-Animatronics characters, memorabilia, and authentic attraction vehicles
The exhibition also pays tribute to the long personal friendship and professional collaboration between Walt Disney and US president Ronald Reagan, which began many years before President Reagan’s political career. On 17th July 1955, Ronald Reagan was one of the co-hosts of ABC-TV’s live coverage of the opening of Disneyland, and as Governor of California, he frequently visited Disney’s first theme park.
After leaving the Oval Office, one of his first public events was a return to Disneyland, where he officiated at the park’s January 1990 35th-anniversary celebration, proclaiming it “one of America’s national treasures.”
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the remarkable past, present, and future of Disney, taking its name from 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his world-famous company. D23 unlocks the magic of Disney with a host of exclusive benefits, including a quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three, a rich website at www.disney.com/D23, a weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; free gifts throughout the year; as well as exclusive events created especially for its members.
Located in Simi Valley, California the Reagan Library houses over 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and more than 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It now also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President.
– The Treasures of Walt Disney runs until April 2013. The Ronald Reagan Library & Museum is located in Simi Valley, California, about 60 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles and approximately two hours north of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. More info at www.disney.com/D23 and www.reaganfoundation.org