Chills. Goosies. Call it what you want, I got ‘em walking in this place.
Disney press trips don’t usually involve: high security, no cameras allowed, no location revealed type of meetings. But, that’s what it was. And oh so jaw dropping!
As part of the #DisneyInHomeBloggers trip last month we were whisked away to the top secret location of the Disney Animation Research Library. We were not allowed to publish our location on any of our Social Networks, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
Picture taking was also off limits. All the pictures in this post were taken by a Disney photographer that went on the trip with us. We have permission to use them, but all rights belong to Disney. This is truly a rare look at how Disney films are being preserved and curated for generations to come.
Four teams make up this one-of-a-kind library. The goal here is simple; to preserve the art as best as they know how. And nobody does it like Disney!
Our tour started in the camera room. If you have a lot of patience, as in clicking and moving one piece of paper at a time, and can handle the highest resolution camera software available, this might be the job for you. This non-imposing room, has quite the enormous task of scanning 65 MILLION pieces of artwork into image archives. SIXTY FIVE MILLION!
HOW DO THEY DO IT?
Each drawing on a single piece of paper is photographed front side up so not to damage the drawing if it were placed face side down. Pics are in tiff files that are than converted into jpegs.
HOW DO THEY DECIDE WHERE TO BEGIN?
Animator Marc Davis for Cinderella started by archiving the favorites that everyone asks for. Don’t worry, all of Snow White has already been completely archived..and the glass slipper? It’s tucked safely away.
The next part of our tour was a short walk across from the camera room. After the art is converted into an image file it is cataloged, tagged, and filed away. The tech here is able to pull any image file they need easily and most importantly, safely! This is where some magic happens…
You can tell from the surprise on my face I witnessed true Disney magic! The tech pulled up some sequenced Cinderella files. The ones where she started dancing as soon as she transformed into a princess. Remember that one?! Yep, I saw the original sketches come alive. I had that awe inspiring moment watching it for the first time. Amazing experience.
More goosies! More chills! There are over 72 binders for Cinderella alone! I may have gotten chills because this place is just so cold, but it’s more likely because the classic Disney tales are all housed here from Snow White (1937) to Winnie the Pooh (1977).
Boxes upon boxes of art, paintings, sketches and get this..never before seen characters lay in these binders. They are well protected by a gas system in case a fire should occur. No water here! Water would just be trading one evil (fire) for another, considering both would ruin the art.
Can you guess what scene that it is? It’s the famous log bridge from Sleeping Beauty. It was hand painted on…glass!
Do you have anything like this hanging out in your basement? This gem was found almost 10 years ago in the studio basement! Imagine! That’s a pic of Walt Disney with this marionette.
This was the next stop on our tour; the ARL design team. They are architects, artists, engineers and creative minds all in one. They are responsible for the design decor seen in Disney executive buildings and exhibitions featuring Disney art.
See, architects! This is a 3-D model of a soon to be open Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Exhibition that will be open to the public November 15, 2012 – April 14, 2013 at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. I am really hoping to be able to make it to see this 3-D model come to life. I love Snow White!
Awestruck. Do you see what I see? I was *this* close to original Disney artwork. This was the last and final stop on our tour. It was an amazing way to end a once in a lifetime opportunity.
This is one of those experiences that stay with you forever. I hope you enjoyed the tour and at least got a glimpse into where the magic really starts!
Remember the Cinderella Diamond Edition Blu-Ray and Disney DVD Combo pack come out October 2!
Disclosure: The #DisneyInHomeBloggers event compensated my travel and accommodations, no other compensation was received. All chills, goosebumps and awestruck moments are my own.