This past week, the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco debuted their new special exhibition entitled Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World. In this showcase, visitors can explore the history of Mickey Mouse and his impact on pop culture through the ages. Mickey’s story is told in conjunction with Walt’s, giving guests more insight into the inspiration and legacy behind the character.
Walt Disney inspecting a filmstrip with an animated Mickey Mouse, 1939, Exhibition graphic, Courtesy of the Walt Disney Archives Photo Library | © Disney
If you are a fan of the Mouse, this is surely an exhibit you won’t want to miss. The museum will be presenting never-before-seen sketches and concept art along with original Mickey merchandise and cartoons. Guests will be able to watch Mickey’s journey unfold from his beginnings in cartoons to comics to Disney Parks around the world. The gallery includes many hands-on and interactive portions which are guaranteed fun for the whole family. The exhibit also celebrates the creative animators and artists who are responsible for making Mickey Mouse who he is today, such as Ub Iwerks, Les Clark and Fred Moore, along with Andreas Deja, Eric Goldberg and Mark Henn.
Andreas Deja served as guest curator for this special exhibition alongside Michael Labrie. Deja is a Disney Legend for his legendary work with the Walt Disney Animation Studios. His early work included “The Black Cauldron” (1985), “The Great Mouse Detective” (1986) and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988). Later on, he took on the role as supervising animator for Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), Jafar in “Aladdin” (1992) and Scar in “The Lion King” (1994). Most notably, Deja created some of the most beloved Disney characters such as Hercules in “Hercules” (1997), Lilo in “Lilo & Stitch” (2002) and Mama Odie in “The Princess and the Frog” (2009). Deja even had his own exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum called Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja back in 2017.
Deja describes his experience with collecting work for the exhibition: “I have been collecting and studying classic Disney animation drawings for a long time. Among them are very rare sketches of Mickey Mouse by master animators like Fred Moore, Frank Thomas, and others. Each artist applied their personal style to Mickey, not only in the way he is drawn but also in the way he moves and acts. By analyzing these beautiful drawings, I am constantly reminded of how wonderful and magical character animation can be.”
The Walt Disney Family Museum Executive Director, Kirsten Komoroske praises Deja’s contribution to the exhibition: “It has been an honor and pleasure to collaborate with Andreas Deja—the leading authority on the history and animation of Mickey—in creating this meaningful exhibition. Depicting 90 years of this iconic character’s enduring success was a wonderful challenge, and Andreas has brilliantly succeeded in creating a remarkably diverse and extensive special exhibition.”
Disney Studio Artist, Publications model sheet, 1959, Collection of Andreas Deja | © Disney
In addition to the original artwork and renderings of Mickey Mouse, this exhibit features later and more modern takes on the Mouse. Guests will see interpretations of Mickey during the 1950s and 1960s from pop artists such as Gottfried Helnwein, Damien Hirst, Wayne Thiebaud and Andy Warhol. The exhibit also features more contemporary artworks of Mickey from artists Lorelay Bové, Tennessee Loveless, Eric Robison and Simon Norris.
Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World will be running through January 6, 2020. There is no better way to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday than at the Walt Disney Family Museum with this special exhibition!