Continuing our photo tour of the D23 Exhibit at the Reagan Library from my previous post, we descended a staircase to a large tented section of the exhibit that could host items of somewhat larger scale than in the upstairs building.
This section of the exhibit featured a bunch of costumes from various Disney films, stage productions and advertising campaigns. Some were displayed in glass cases while these costumes from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland were featured in a scene that included props and set pieces from the film.
I’m still getting used to the idea that Marvel is part of Disney but Captain America was always one of my favorite superheroes when I was a kid so it was fun looking at this costume. The nice thing about this exhibit is that there are plenty of things for the hardcore Disney fanatic to enjoy as well as stuff for people who might appreciate more contemporary pop culture.
The only mild complaint I may have had with the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Reagan Library is that there wasn’t enough on display from the theme parks. This Maleficent dragon head from the Fantasmic show at Disneyland almost single-handedly made up for that. Like others who were impressed by the Iron Man statue, this was an impressive display in both scope and coolness factor.
It is always fun to get a good, up close look at some of the things that make the Disney theme parks so magical. The Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion attraction are iconic figures and it was interesting to be able to examine their features from outside a moving Doombuggy.
One of the more popular Disney film(s) from the recent era of the Studio is Pirates of the Caribbean so it was not surprising to find plenty of costumes, props and set pieces from the series. The largest piece, towering high over visitors, was a special effects filming model of the Black Pearl. Seeing this piece made me wish that I had taken wood shop in school so that I could perhaps build something 1 percent as cool.
I mentioned on the podcast that my least favorite thing to see on display at the exhibit was the set of animation maquettes. Although beautiful made, we used to sell reproductions of these at the Disney Store when I worked there where they were on display in the collectibles case. These figures are used by animators to help them get a three-dimensional view of the character when trying to animate them from different vantage points.
A fitting conclusion to the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Reagan Library was memorabilia from Ronald Reagan’s connections to Walt Disney. He served as one of the co-hosts of the opening of Disneyland television special. He wrote a letter to the Postmaster General while governor of California asking for a stamp to be issued to commemorate the life of Walt Disney. And his likeness appears in the Hall of Presidents attraction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Reagan’s bust that served as his model for the Audio-Animatronic version at the Hall of Presidents was on display with busts of the other 43 presidents of the United States.
The above images are only a small sampling of what you’ll find at the exhibit. There’s more than 500 items on display in the 12,000 square foot exhibition spanning from Walt’s boyhood days to Laugh-O-Gram Films, the Oswald Series, Mickey Mouse, animated films, live-action films, Disney theme parks and beyond. (Including lots of costumes!)
D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library is scheduled for exhibition through April 2013. The Library is located in Simi Valley, California. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit the exhibit’s page at ReaganFoundation.org.