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Life Magazine’s Disney photo archive

Life Magazine has just put its entire photo archive online via Google. Results in the search of “Walt Disney” bring forth a treasure trove of rare pictures – including many candids (like Walt eating chicken), behind the scenes shots (like this mixing session from Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom), and special posed sessions with animators (like Ward Kimball).

Click here – but be prepared to spend a few hours eyeballing this material!

  • Walt eating chicken is the BEST!!

  • Brad Constantine

    What a great reference site!!Thanks fer sharing. I like that in the two pics of Walt and Ward, that the first has a caricature of grumpy Walt on the wall, and the second has a caricature of Ward on the wall..those pesky fellas.

  • Scott Harpel

    No mention of the great shot of Mary and Lee Blair in South America sketching? the rest of the SA photos are great as well.

  • Sam

    Oh goody! Hours and hours of endless fun looking at Walt and his world! So glad I found your blog! Many thanks!

  • FANTASTIC!! Disney, Picasso, Dali, Hitchcock, John Huston . . .
    there goes my evening! Thanks Jerry!

  • This one’s titled “Walt and his wife Lillian going for…”, but isn’t that mary Blair?


  • Domagoj

    Wow, that’s a great find. I feel like I’m traveling back in time and reminiscing about times I’ve never had. The color ones are ok, but the black & whites seem to have the most personality to them.

  • Killroy McFate

    That’s no chicken… that’s a LIVE BAT!!!

  • Jim Engel


    Run a search on ANIMATED CARTOONS for a neat shot of a Flintstones recording session, and HANNA-BARBERA for a fun shot of Bill & Joe in a jalopy full of their characters…

  • Nic Kramer

    My favorite picture is the one with Roy Disney the business manager surronded by all those licensed mechandise. Talk about nostalgia!

  • Paul

    Note that the way Google has this set up, it’s easy to get out of the LIFE archive without realizing it and start searching elsewhere. Search results come up on a regular Google Images search results page. The search boxes on them have your current search terms followed by source:Life. If you enter a new search there and don’t leave source:Life in place, you’ll be doing a regular Google Images search that doesn’t include the LIFE archive.

  • A handy reference indeed, although it seems somewhat limited to people and major events… a search on “time covers” though, will give you a nifty gallery of TIME magazine’s covers throughout the years.

  • Gavin, that is Mary Blair, not Lillian Disney in the photograph.

    The LIFE picture archive is fantastic. I looked up other pop figures I love who’ve been featured on covers, etc. and most have several alternate takes available, which allows for fascinating comparisons.

    I wonder why they made it all “free”? But I’m certainly glad they did.

  • yup, thanks Jenny, but they still haven’t fixed the title.