20.34.9 2016

Disney´s Art of Storytelling

The Nordic Watercolour Museum is the first European venue to host the new animation exhibition, Disney’s Art of Storytelling. The exhibit will showcase not only original drawings and watercolours from the early films of Walt Disney Animation Studios, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fantasia, but it will also include artwork from more recent films, such as The Little Mermaid and maybe the best animated film of all time, Frozen, known to Swedish movie fans as Frost.

Many of the greatest Disney animated films are based on the oral and written storytelling traditions of myths, fables, legends, tall tales and fairy tales. This exhibition, curated by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, explores the reinterpretations of such stories by the Walt Disney Animation Studios and how such adaptations have helped make the original stories more accessible, engaging, and relevant to contemporary audiences. For some tales presented, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck provide the appealing entree to telling these stories visually. For other titles, classically familiar literary characters such as Hercules and Robin Hood have been reconceived in novel fashions, stimulating new connections with audiences of those tales.

The art provides a visual and visceral link between the source stories and the Disney presentations. Traditionally trained artists, many from Europe, contributed to Disney’s modern visualization and retelling of these stories by using a variety of artistic mediums, including watercolour, charcoal, pastel, graphite, gouache and digital paint. Through their art, their development of appealing characters and their story-telling abilities, we reveal how such tales are kept alive via the most visual form of storytelling: animated motion pictures.



Frozen (2013), Brittany Lee © Disney
Brave Little Tailor (1938), Bill Tytla © Disney
Fantasia ​(1940), Disney Studio Artist © Disney    
Donald’s Better Self (1938), Disney Studio Artist © Disney  
The Little Mermaid (1989), Disney Studio Artist © Disney