Review Round Up: Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts, Wallace Collection

This new exhibition, created in collaboration with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, will explore the connections between  French 18th-century art  and 20th-century hand-drawn animation. But what have the critics had to say about it?

Cinderella, 1950, by Disney concept artist Mary Blair. Photograph: Lucasfilm Ltd

The Observer: ***** “It is common to talk of magic as inexplicable. You can’t see how it is done. One of the most spellbinding sights at the Wallace Collection is a whole wall of graphite drawings that shows exactly how the rags-to-gown sequence in Cinderella (1950) was achieved. Her godmother scatters the fairy dust that brings about this miracle, represented by literally hundreds of thousands of pencil dots, increasing, decreasing, shifting from one drawing to the next, to describe the dazzling swirl in which Cinderella transforms.”

Evening Standard: *** “What struck me about the show, however, was what it tells us about Disney. The original studios with their army of artists and technicians – a working definition of a creative industry – produced an homogenous artistic product with each film, but like any artist’s studios, they employed some skilful and very individual artists.”

The Telegraph: ***** “This sumptuous exhibition of 18th-century decorative arts and 20th-century film design is a witty, magical, entrancing gem.”

The Times: **** “Here’s the ideal excuse to curl up and watch Walt Disney films. It won’t count as indolence. Rather, call it vital research as you prepare to head off for the Wallace Collection’s fascinating new exhibition, Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts. What could Walt possibly have to do with the Wallace? How could Sèvres and Cinderella, or Fragonard and Frozen be linked? This show offers the answer.”

Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts is on display at the Wallace Collection from the 6th April until the 16th October.

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