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Description - Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts at the Wallace Collection by Helen Jacobsen

From talking furniture to magically transformed tableware, Walt Disney’s fantastical animations can often be associated with the colourful art and architecture of French Rococo. Gothic Revival architecture can be found in Cinderella (1950); bejewelled, medieval manuscripts in Sleeping Beauty (1959); and Rococo-inspired furnishings and objects are brought to life in Beauty and the Beast (1991). This catalogue explores Disney's fascination with European art and examines how French motifs have made their way into Disney films and theme parks.

Just as the furniture makers, silversmiths, and ceramicists of the eighteenth century, Disney’s artists embraced their creative freedom and sought to expand the limits of design and invention. The book highlights the audacious work of artists such as Mary Blair, Hans Bacher and Peter J Hall and compares them to the ‘animated’ and anthropomorphic ceramics and gilt bronzes of Sèvres and Meissonnier. It explores the shared creative roots of their two seemingly disparate artistic realms and seeks to revitalise the feeling of excitement, awe, and marvel, which both Rococo craftsmen and Disney animators sought to spark amongst their audience.

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