Disney marks centenary with retrospective in Munich

AFP - [email protected] • 21 Apr, 2023 Updated Fri 21 Apr 2023 13:10 CEST
Disney marks centenary with retrospective in Munich
A woman takes a photo of exhibits at the "Disney 100 - The Exhibition" show in the small Olympic hall in Munich, southern Germany, on April 17zh, 2023. Photo: Christof STACHE / AFP

Disney is putting its cultural legacy on show in Germany in a multimedia exhibition featuring memorabilia from the Magic Kingdom, including the first ticket to Disneyland and drawings from its most famous animated pictures.


From Mickey Mouse to Marvel, the US entertainment titan's celebration of its centenary opened in Munich this week, the first stop on its European tour.

Visitors are treated to 10 galleries mixing images, sound and text as well as items pulled from the Disney archives: screenplays, photos, movie props, letters and memorabilia.

Some 250 original pieces have been put on display, including drawings from the 1937 film "Snow White", the snow globe from Mary Poppins and the first entry ticket to Disneyland.

Disney traces its beginnings back to 1923. In that year, Walter Elias Disney, a young advertising artist from Kansas City, produced a number of short-length silent films which plunged real-life heroine Alice into a world of cartoon creations.

The contract signed by Disney for the distribution of "Alice's Wonderland" is one of the highlights of the exhibition in Munich.

"Many children today or young people don't understand that Walt Disney was a real person," said Becky Cline, the director of the Disney archive.

A video of the founder greets visitors when they arrive at the exhibition.

Mickey Mouse first appeared on screens thereafter in 1928. A page from the original script for the iconic character's debut "Steamboat Willie", where Mickey is cast as a sailor, is also on display.

Characters from Cinderella to the protagonists of the Pirates of the Caribbean series feature in the exhibition, which draws back the curtain on the production of Disney's most famous pictures.

"We decided to make something that everyone could enjoy, that no matter what age or cultural background you are, you'll understand and enjoy it," Cline told AFP.

The show also lays out how Disney built its empire through the acquisition of studios such as Pixar and Marvel, as well as the Star Wars movie franchise.

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The enchanted kingdom has similarly become a big player in the online streaming business though Disney+, which counts some 161 million subscribers worldwide.

The exhibition is open in Munich until September, a choice Walt Disney would likely have been pleased with.

He took inspiration from nearby Neuschwanstein castle for Sleeping Beauty's residence -- an image which would go on to represent the Disney group as a whole.


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