On Sunday I visited the Disney Family Museum. If you’re even a casual Disney fan and you are in the vicinity of San Francisco you must make a point to visit it when it opens in the beginning of October. Unfortunately they don’t allow picture taking so you’ll have to come to see it yourself. I took some pictures from the outside and was able to sneak a few in less traveled areas (Click thumbnails below for larger images).
There are 9 separate galleries containing a staggering 214 video presentations. Some projected, most were small video screens populated throughout the museum. It covers pretty much all of Walt’s life and work. Here are some of the highlights (spoilers below):
• In the entryway is a collection of awards, including the famous 8 Oscars custom-made for Snow White.
• There are some recreations, but lots of original artwork, like storyboards, animation drawings and cels; the most memorable for me being Tytla’s drawings of Chernobog from Night on Bald Mountain in Fantasia. Exquisite draftsmanship was on display in some drawings from The Band Concert, and the Brave Little Tailor.
• They have the actual train that Walt gave rides to his guests in his backyard.
• Correspondence from famous people, dozens of TV screens playing his myriad television programming.
• One of the most impressive recreations was an exact replica of the multiplane camera, you first encounter it from the second level and look down through several levels of art, then when you are down on the first floor the controls and background from Bambi (a recreation) is in the gift shop.
• There is also a gigantic model of Disneyland (or at least what they claim is Walt’s original idea for the park, which is probably not true, but impressive nonetheless).
• There are some interactive games for kids like making sound effects to go along side Steamboat Willie and Silly Symphony quizzes.
• There are a large number of kiosks where you can hold an old timey telephone speaker to your ear and hear a personal story from a friend or Disney artist.
• There is an interactive representation of the pages from the notebook of Fantasia effects animator Herman Schultheis. You can enlarge and move around the pages on a huge table. Check out Michael Sporn’s Splog for some pictures.
• There is also a small state of the art theater that will have special guest lecturers and screenings of Disney classics. Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, The Three Caballeros and Walt and El Grupo are scheduled.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at 104 Montgomery Street, in The Presidio district, San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit the website.