Inspiring Walt Disney: Animation of French Decorative Arts, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this month, is a family-friendly, bubbling, low-profile, classic holiday exhibition. And, like the holiday season itself, that promise is a bit exaggerated.
The exhibition often traces in detail the various elements of the European aesthetic movement that about 600 Disney animators put into the film by the end of the 1930s. Rococo in France in “Beauty and the Beast” (1991). Gothic Revival architecture of “Cinderella” (1950), late medieval and early Dutch art of “Sleeping Beauty” (1959), 19th century German Romanticism of “Snow White” (1937). Since all of these stories began in Europe, the idea that Disney’s machines have taken root in European art is not a leap, for example, to stage “Hamlet” in Year 2000 in Manhattan.
As the title suggests, there are many 18th century French swirl gold leaf bronze candlesticks and very soft-paste biscuits porcelain figurines, but thanks to the four Disney movies included in the paper, the German language. , Dutch, and even the English example. And these works total 60 pieces, mainly from the museum’s own collection, more than 2: 1 with items rented directly from Disney. 150 concept art, paper works, and film footage from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library. , Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Collection, and Walt Disney Family Museum can make exhibition viewers feel like Alice has fallen from a rabbit hole into a sponsored content post. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art says the exhibition is not undertaken by Disney, and I’m not sure if this will make Capriccio a licensed company of this level better or worse).
The original “Beauty and the Beast” is a Rococo fairy tale written by the French novelist Gabriel Susanne Barbot de Villeneuve and later popularized by Jeanne Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. (Jean Cocteau also made a popular movie version in 1946). None of these three treatments featured anthropomorphic boules clocks and teapots with mysterious English accents, understood to be Disney’s victory. However, this exhibition tells the story of a man who was punished for blaming his soul for living on a real sofa in the 1742 novel “Sofa, Moral Story”, Prosper Jorio de Clebillon. It is due to the achievement of. Declaration of love.
The exhibition explains that this ancestor was unknown to Disney animators and accidentally chalks the company’s invention. The Metropolitan Museum of Art puts this section on a luscious red velor sofa (Ottoman veilleuse) It dates back to around 1760 to show the roots of the Rococo.
It’s not a bad excuse to see the magnificent sofas of circa 1775 and the luxuriously decorated miraculously finished Savel dinner service, but as you can see here, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” pot. An affinity with Mrs. Scala Lee Duo has been implied (transformed into a teapot) and her son’s tip (teacup) feels weak and inconsistent. In fact, Disney animators found it impossible to translate Rococo’s winding lines, but instead settled on castrated stylistic representations. This is most unfortunately seen in cartoon male character costumes. Rococo’s gorgeousness has been toned down so as not to alienate the concept of American masculinity. Historically correct Gaston would have been pleased with the luxuriously embroidered waistcoat and frilled jabots, rather than the plain V-neck, which was only a décolletage with a plunge decoration.
There are closer similarities between Disney’s mass entertainment goals, as well as visuals, and Rococo’s superficial expression of joy, unexplored at the show (the exhibition is an associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art). Organized by Wolf Virtuald). Both schools reflect the mysterious optimism of the maker Rococo, with over-decoration, a palette of pastel colors, and curvy shapes that evoke youth and eroticism. Disney with that flat idea of good and evil and an orderly ending. That optimism had better results for Disney than Rococo, whose aristocratic decadence helped incite the French Revolution.
The undulating still life of the buffet by Alexandre Francois Deportes (1661-1743) may resemble the choral line of the dancing candlestick of “Be Our Guest”, like the suggestion that the satyr presides over the painting. , The exhibition will have a compulsory rhyme. The feast is related to Lumiere.
One of Disney’s most obvious and unchanging influences is the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavarian, a 19th-century historicist confectionery, built in honor of Richard Wagner. This is a direct model of the centerpiece of Disney theme parks around the world, and its logo is repeated so many times that Neuschwanstein Castle simply appears towards the end of the exhibition. Is amazing. Despite being fair, “Inspirational Walt Disney, Burgen Romantic Animation” is not easy to get out of your mouth.
Disney may think they oppose the analysis of Mets’ proper technology, but they are careful not to use the word “A” at the exhibition (the extensive catalog covers this idea more completely. ). Disney films are “influenced” and “inspired” by European art, not by the massive lift of European art. However, by placing Disney’s work within a lightly obscured continuum of theft that enlivens art history, the exhibition will be better served. Stealing is not shameful, as evidenced by a copy of Titian on the second floor of Rubens.
Instead, the exhibition is fascinating, especially the American urge to make European ideas a little worse (cafe culture, bread, democracy) and the corporate urge to make those ideas a little worse. Provides unintentional analysis.
The most interesting of Disney’s artifacts is the panel of famous animator concept art. Mary Blair’s brightly colored, almost abstract gouache. Deeply layered background painting of Eyvind Earle. Melvin’s exciting soft pastel. And Kay Nielsen’s gorgeous preparatory sketches were largely junk or flattened to Disney’s matte-finished realism, according to the exhibition. They look quite different to the final opponent, and if they were true to their artist’s vision, they would have to imagine how rich those films would have been.
Is it Disney’s output art? It’s not a real problem that plagues the exhibition, but it’s a problem that the exhibition insists on printing in large letters anyway, perhaps to anticipate criticism. In 1938, when Met accepted the Disney gift of animated cells from “Snow White” into the collection at the show, Walt Disney said that many of the old masters he was attending were undoubtedly in the guise of a lube. He was the employer of the biggest artist (“Take Da Vinci. He was the perfect hand for the experiment. He might have worked for us and tinkered to his heart’s content … but , Don’t ask me anything about art .. I don’t know anything about it. “).
As it was then, Met places the current Disney inclusion in the same register of bold vision. It’s as if Disney is still a Vanguard Animation Studio and not the world’s largest entertainment IP conglomerator.
No self-consciousness is required. Disney transcended the high and low debates long ago. A better question is whether a major arts agency dedicated to programming to billion-dollar corporate giants will be most useful to viewers (Met, of course, Condé Nast does this once a year in its Costume Institute Gala). Allows you to do).
By the time you are spit out to the Petrie European Sculpture Court, it’s hard to say who this is for. Believers in decorative arts are likely to resist the dilution of their form, many of which can be found elsewhere in the museum without commercial interruption. And it’s doubtful that Disney’s perfectors, whose dedication could lead to rabies, have a rococo-like hole in their hearts.
“The kids believe what you said to them, and they don’t question it,” says Kokuto’s preface to “Beauty and the Beast.” Certainly naive is useful here as well. I saw a little girl in a tulle tutu trying to scale the glass case of a porcelain statuette of Johann Joachim Kendler’s Meissen porcelain. She had a great time.
Inspiring Walt Disney: Animation of French Decorative Arts
Until March 6th, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. , (212) 535-7710, metmuseum.org.