ACMI: Disney: The Magic of Animation – Exhibition Review

Disney: The Magic of Animation is a wonderful visual journey that not only takes you through Disney’s animated feature history but also showcases the evolution of animation from hand-drawn 2D animation to 3D computer generated animated art.

Everyone has their own special story when it comes to their first relationship with Disney animation. For me, Disney’s The Little Mermaid was the very first movie I ever saw in cinemas and is single-handedly the spark that ignited my love for cinema, animation, Disney and musicals. So, when I found out that the ACMI would have a Disney animation exhibition exclusive to Melbourne, I was incredibly excited. And you would be hard-pressed to find someone who has not seen or grown up with Disney in some shape or form.

The exhibition at the ACMI covers Disney’s early beginnings, from Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella to Disney’s renaissance period consisting of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Mulan, all the way up to the current generation from Tangled, Frozen, even including Disney’s latest, Raya and the Last Dragon. Although extremely comprehensive, the exhibition doesn’t cover every Disney animated feature (Me on the showroom floor, “Where’s Lilo & Stitch?”), however, I was happily surprised to see titles such as Zootopia, Moana and Big Hero 6 in the line-up on the exhibition floor.

Whether it be hand drawn sketches, scaled models, super cool zoetropes, projections, thoughtful storyboards or stunning final works, there really is so much detail, so much to admire, immerse yourself with, and it is all stunning.

The best part is, once you are at the exhibition, you can take as long as you like. If you wish, you can even take photos too, be it on your phone or with a proper camera, all of this is totally fine, provided you don’t use flash. There’s even a photo opportunity on the exhibition floor which you can take with Snow White!

Attending Disney: The Magic of Animation actually made me really emotional and teary, you don’t realise just how much Disney animation has been there for us, how much it has touched our lives until it is right in front of you. No matter how old you are, you will be able to enjoy this exhibition because when it comes to Disney, art and creativity you’re never too old for the things that you love.

Disney: The Magic of Animation is exclusive to Melbourne and is now open until Jan 23rd, 2022. Whether you go with your kids, your friends or feel it’s perfect for a date day out, it is a must-see for the big Disney fan in all of us. I loved it and I’m definitely going to go back!

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