May 18, 2024

An exhibition in Munich presents the history of the entertainment empire

It all started not just 100 years ago, when Walt Disney signed a contract to produce animation in Hollywood. While October 16, 1923 is considered Disney’s birthday, it may have started when Walter was a young boy, given sheets of paper, and made pennies drawing a neighbor’s horse.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Now the Disney empire, one of the largest entertainment groups in the world, celebrates its centenary and celebrates it with a grand exhibition in Munich. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bambi, Peter Pan, “Star Wars” and all the Marvel products bought in 2009 – who wants and can still keep track of things?

Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the press conference for the European premiere of “Disney 100”: Munich is the only city in Europe whose anniversary exhibit can be seen.

“Everyone has their own personal Disney moments,” says show curator Dieter Semmelmann of Semmel Concerts. Disney as such in its entirety is hardly tangible. But Semmelmann’s moments looked like this: Growing up in what was then the German Democratic Republic, he received a few volumes of Disney “funny paperback” from his relatives in the West. Since these were forbidden, he concealed them well and read them over and over again.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

The “Disney 100” show found a good place in the small Olympic Hall on the Olympic stadiums. It took nearly three years to represent this giant company in one way or another. It takes place in ten stations with many historical and new posters, original drawings and artifacts of all kinds, and in Europe Munich was chosen as the sole location for the exhibition, not Paris, London or Berlin. In the US, it’s Philadelphia.

See also  The year 1860 and the game was played in the United States. TSV 1860 Munich vs. Osnabrück (Live Broadcasting and TV) Live Streaming from VfL Osnabrück!

The exhibition tells a lot about the history of the company: in the beginning, Walt Disney did everything himself – he drew cartoons, designed and produced cartoons. A sketch from circa 1928 is the oldest surviving depiction of Mickey Mouse and his companion Minnie. Visitors to Munich learn about the company’s first color films from 1932 onwards. Snow White was published in 1937 – the costume bodice, which served as a model for the painted version, is shown. Pinocchio followed in 1940. To inspire the painters, models were made, for example a clock sculpted in Master Geppetto’s workshop. Munich has many fine art galleries and illustrations to see.

Star Wars fans, who had a fling with writer, director, and producer George Lucas selling his company to Disney for $4 billion in 2012, can see memorabilia from the Star Wars series. For example, Han Solo’s lucky dice and a First Class soldier outfit are shown. The show also makes reference to Disney parks, of which there are 14 in North America, Asia and Europe. And there’s a glimpse of the near future: “Peter Pan and Wendy” could air starting April 28th.

Prospects for the near future: Starting from April 28, the movie “Peter Pan and Wendy” (here is a scene from the movie) will be available on the Disney + indoor streaming platform.

Behind Disney — $75 billion in sales, 223,000 employees worldwide in 2019 — are people. Some of them came to Munich to open the exhibition. Andreas Deja, for example, has been a Disney artist for 31 years. “It’s really a great way to get on with life,” he says. “As an animator, you are always watching, always keeping your eyes open.” In the movies, an animator is only responsible for one character. “You make your way into the anatomy, into the gestures.” Degas painter says, is the exact opposite of the stencil painter. “I design characters very differently than anyone else.” Once, for example, he took over his father’s qualities in a character.

Read more after the announcement

Marvel has been part of Disney since 2009. There’s also plenty to see in Munich from successful comic adaptations, such as Star Lord’s helmet from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Disney is a company that represents the United States of America like no other. However it works globally. “Emotions and entertainment reach every country, every culture,” says Deja. Film producer Don Hahn has another explanation: “Walt Disney himself traveled a lot, wandered around the world, and was very interested in other countries and cultures.” And he was fascinated by the new possibilities of technology. The company produces “universal stories from everywhere”. According to Han, Disney is only reluctant to address current social issues. Climate change and environmental protection are also important to the company – “but first and foremost we make entertainment.”

Bavarian Prime Minister and trophy collector Markus Söder (CSU) with “Storm Soldier” at the Disney Fair in Munich. Söder is a fan of Star Wars and Marvel.

Walt Disney, who died at the end of 1966, is lauded in the show as a major saint. His quotes, which are displayed in many places, are reminiscent of high-ranking almanac sayings. “Beginning means to stop talking and start doing,” she says, for example. Or: “The revived fantasy continues to be the driving force for my work.”

“Disney 100” exhibition

On display in Munich until September 3

Disney 100 – Exhibition: daily until September 3, 2023 in the Small Olympic Hall in Munich, Spiridon-Louis-Ring. Tickets € 24.90, reduced € 19.90, children up to 9 years € 12.90. Saturday and Sunday 4 euros more expensive.

However, in recent years there has been much criticism of the group, for example the racist portrayal of black people in the past. Or stereotypical, less gender-equal traits: male characters are good or bad actors, and female characters are pretty, flamboyant, and plenty of flash.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Becky Klein basically agrees. She is the head of the Disney Archives, and therefore also guards all those films and comics that can no longer be shown today. “You have to look at it as a historical development,” she says. “What was acceptable 50, 60 or 70 years ago is no longer acceptable.” Of course, Disney will not produce such works now. It is a pity that this part of the story, which deserves criticism, is not touched upon in the show.

The show takes a look at Disney’s long history.

But there’s plenty of music from Disney movies: with the film’s music playing on a continuous loop, one would be happy with one acoustic silence or another when walking through deeply darkened rooms.

Well, everyone has their Disney moments. Anyone who is or has been at home with Donald Duck and his relatives in Duckburg, for example, will only get a very narrow view in that regard. That should not be enough for die-hard Donald supporters.