How You Can See Some of the Art That Inspired Walt Disney

Credit: (Left) Disney/ (Right) The Met

The mind of Walt Disney was one of creative genius — from creating Mickey Mouse and his Fab 5 friends to developing beautiful movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to creating an entire theme park enjoyed by millions of people every year. Walt Disney may be one of the most genius creators of all time, and he took inspiration from the world around him to create incredible works of art.

Walt Disney Disneyland

Credit: Disney

While it is easy to see what Walt created in works like Sleeping Beauty and her castle at Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris, it may not be as easy to see exactly where he got the inspiration behind his creativity, until now. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently hosting a special exhibit called “Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts”, which will run until March.

Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here is more information on the special exhibit:

Pink castles, talking sofas, and objects coming to life: what sounds like fantasies from the pioneering animation of Walt Disney Animation Studios were in fact the figments of the colorful salons of Rococo Paris. The Met’s first-ever exhibition exploring the work of Walt Disney and the hand-drawn animation of Walt Disney Animation Studios will examine Disney’s personal fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in his films and theme parks, drawing new parallels between the studios’ magical creations and their artistic models.

Sixty works of 18th-century European decorative arts and design—from tapestries and furniture to Boulle clocks and Sèvres porcelain—will be featured alongside 150 production artworks and works on paper from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Collection, and The Walt Disney Family Museum. Selected film footage illustrating the extraordinary technological and artistic developments of the studio during Disney’s lifetime and beyond will also be shown.

The exhibition will highlight references to European visual culture in Disney animated films, including nods to Gothic Revival architecture in Cinderella (1950), medieval influences on Sleeping Beauty (1959), and Rococo-inspired objects brought to life in Beauty and the Beast (1991). The exhibition also marks the 30th anniversary of the animated theatrical release of Beauty and the Beast.

Credit: Disney

The Met’s website currently offers a 3-minute intro audio guide that you can listen to.

If you wish to visit the exhibit in person — and we highly recommend that you do — it is important to note the Museum’s vaccine requirement. The Met currently requires all Guests 5 and over to show proof that they have received at least one dose of an acceptable vaccine — which includes Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Astra-Zeneca, Covaxin, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and NovaVax. Beginning December 27, all Guests ages 12 and up must show proof that they have received both doses of vaccines that require two doses. All Guests 18 and over must also show a valid ID.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!