I don't really consider myself a huge Disney fan, not like some people (I know one 30-something man who hits the Magic Kingdom 3 or 4 times yearly - without the wife and kids), so when this exhibit came to town, Rich and I thought we'd take the kids for their sake, not so much for our own. I guess we've become jaded by the commercialism and general gagginess of our princess-saturated market, to the point that we forgot just how much genius went into making the classic Disney films so, well, classic.
Okay, so we were wrong and you should totally go check it out if you're anywhere near New Orleans while this exhibit lasts and you have an interest in the creative process. It was great.
I was already a fan of the fabulous Mary Blair, so seeing her original sketches and paintings up close and in person was a treat. (By the way, Disney has recently released Blair's iconic concept art in the form of storybooks retold by current authors - Cinderella, Peter Pan (those mermaids!) and Alice in Wonderland.)
Even better, though, was discovering Eyvind Earle, background artist and creative director for Sleeping Beauty. Okay, so I've seen Sleeping Beauty at least half a dozen times and never really noticed the scenery all that much. But, again, seeing those hand drawn cels in person! Dreamy. I especially love the botanical details (me = former plant geek). Earle had a modern sensibility that made his art really striking for its day. (From what I gather, that didn't win him the affection of some of his more traditional fellow illustrators. Boo.)