Disney: The Magic of AnimationDisney: The Magic of Animation

Disney: Magic of Animation

For all Saturdays of December, Disney: Magic of Animation will stay open till 9pm with last admission at 8pm.

26 OCT 2019 - 29 MAR 2020

Fall in love again with your favourite films and stories from Walt Disney Animation Studios! From Mickey Mouse to Anna and Elsa, uncover the magic behind almost a century of artistry and technological innovations that has brought to life our most beloved animated characters. Disney: Magic of Animation at ArtScience Museum also debuts original artworks from the highly anticipated Frozen 2.

Shown in Southeast Asia for the first time, Disney: Magic of Animation is a rare opportunity to experience over 90 magical years of Disney animation, featuring a selection of more than 500 exceptional art pieces, including original drawings, paintings, sketches and concept art, curated by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library.

From the timeless classics Steamboat Willie (1928) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to The Lion King (1994) and other classics of the Disney Renaissance, to recent blockbusters such as Frozen (2013), Zootopia (2016), Moana (2016) and the upcoming Frozen 2 (2019), the exhibition pays homage to the artistry and technological innovation that have brought Disney’s world-renowned characters to life. Discover how Disney Animation developed its numerous animation techniques that have given the spark of life to its characters, from the simplest hand-drawn lines to the most elaborate computer-assisted creations.

In keeping with ArtScience Museum’s ethos of presenting captivating interactive exhibitions, the show also includes projections, audio-visual displays and alluring exhibits that transport visitors into the world of Disney’s films using hands-on educational activities.

Go behind-the-scenes at the Walt Disney Animation Studios and delve into a world of art and technology developed by the talented artists and production teams behind the films.

Explore the Galleries

Creating Believable Characters: Bringing Drawings to Life

The exhibition begins by revealing how Disney animators of the 1930s revolutionised the existing animation techniques used to bring two-dimensional illustrations to life and pioneered various techniques for naturally portraying a variety of movements—including flying, squashing and stretching—as well as developing techniques for synchronising these movements with sound.

Discover how the characters we have grown to love started as two-dimensional illustrations and learn about the innovative techniques that animators used to portray movements naturally. It was the development of these fundamental animation techniques, which have been passed down to the present day, that first brought Disney characters to life.

Starting with Mickey Mouse, Disney artists amazed people around the world through the creation of a series of lovable characters with deeper emotional ranges that made audiences laugh and cry.

This section features original story sketches and animation drawings from some of the earliest Disney films. This gallery also includes a physical recreation of the iconic steamboat from Steamboat Willie (1928), the first Disney cartoon to have sound synchronised with the animation on screen.

Hawaiian Holiday, 1937, Concept art, Disney Studio Artist ©Disney
Hawaiian Holiday, 1937, Concept art,
Disney Studio Artist ©Disney

The Magic Begins: Continual Research and Development

Bold technological innovations allowed Disney animators in the 1930s to explore and apply new artistic principles to capture nuances of human and animal movements and idiosyncrasies more accurately. Following the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), the world's first feature-length animated film in Technicolor, Disney Studios’ artists threw themselves into the creation of a number of remarkable films including Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942), amazing people all around the world with magical new animation techniques.

Through a series of concept artworks, story sketches and a display of the multiplane camera, the revolutionary filmmaking tool developed at Disney Animation, The Magic Begins explores the artistic principles and technological innovations that opened the door to a new means of expression. 

Pinocchio, 1940, Concept art, Gustaf Tenggren ©Disney
Pinocchio, 1940, Concept art, Gustaf Tenggren ©Disney

Producers of Magic: Creating Diversity in Expression and a Wider World

Celebrate the talented Disney animators who produced films that expressed a bold and brilliant variety of artistic styles with background paintings and concept art from films including Lady and the Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1959) and One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) that showcase the talents of artists who created diverse visual worlds. This chapter also charts the scientific advances that Disney has become known for and highlights some of the new production technologies developed by the Studio that were enabled by advances in global communications in the 1940s to 1950s.

During the same time period, the Studio continued to develop numerous new production technologies as they sought to achieve even higher quality in their films.

Sleeping Beauty, 1959, Concept art, Disney Studio Artist ©Disney
Sleeping Beauty, 1959, Concept art,
Disney Studio Artist ©Disney

Towards New Dimensions: Digital Advances, Musical Seas

The digital revolution of the 1990s provided an additional source of inspiration for Disney artists, who are constantly looking for novel ways of making films. With the advancement of computer graphics technologies, coupled with the involvement of leading Broadway songwriters, Disney's films began to move beyond the world of animation to explore new musical possibilities, evoking powerful emotions in its audience.

Featured in this section of the exhibition are colour scripts and concept art from the striking films of this era, including The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), Mulan (1998) and Tarzan (1999).

The Lion King, 1994, Concept art, Kelvin Yasuda ©Disney

Bringing People Together: Social Diversity, Messages for Our Global Future

As Disney’s animated films shift from pencil and paper to stylus and tablet, and as the world continues to evolve, Disney films continue to incorporate contemporary ideologies, weaving them into the narrative of the stories.

The final section of the exhibition, Bringing People Together, conveys impactful messages that build on social values, such as the importance of family bonds, cultural diversity and respect for nature, which includes films like Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Frozen (2013), Big Hero 6 (2014) and Moana (2016). The highlight of this section is the assortment of never-before-seen original artworks from Frozen 2

Moana, 2016, Concept art, Lisa Keene ©Disney
Moana, 2016, Concept art, Lisa Keene ©Disney
About Walt Disney Animation Research Library
This exhibition is organised by Walt Disney Animation Research Library and ArtScience Museum.


Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Located in Burbank, WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2013's Academy Award®-winning Frozen, the biggest animated film of all time. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Big Hero 6, Zootopia and Moana.


The Animation Research Library is entrusted to conserve and protect the artistic heritage of Walt Disney Animation Studios. The ARL is the repository for over 65 million pieces of art created over the almost 100-year history of Disney animation. The diverse collection includes conceptual art, storyboards, maquettes, animation drawings, background paintings, cels and digital art files.

In addition to the conservation and protection of this unique collection, the ARL makes the art available within The Walt Disney Company for creative inspiration, reference and enrichment. The Animation Research Library also works with museums throughout the world to curate and exhibit materials from this collection in order to highlight and celebrate this truly distinctive art form.

About the Co-Producer


A one-stop solution provider that specialises in interior, permanent gallery and museum fit-out projects, SPACElogic has built a strong foundation of trust and an excellent track record to deliver high standard services. SPACElogic collaborates with experts from various disciplines to co-create spatial stories, integrating visual aesthetics with technology and functionality to craft out meaningful and engaging experiences for its customers. As thinkers and doers, SPACElogic thrives on ideas and solutions to create enthralling encounters in museums, commercial and artistic environments.
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