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The Animation Research Library is really one of the most magical places that I have visited. I really think that I need to go back to school in Animation just so I can get a job and Disney and have access to viewing everything that it is the Animation Research Library. If you are a Disney fan at all, you will get chills when you see first hand the artwork created by many of the Disney greats in Animation. We had the opportunity to view artwork from Peter Pan in celebration that Peter Pan Soars Into the Walt Disney Signature Collection on Digital May 29 and on Blu-ray™ June 5. We learn information about this movie that I didn’t realize! For example– did you know that the Peter Pan artwork was originally done by David Hall before the wall but the project got put on hold. His look and vision for the movie was very different as you can see from this piece of concept art.
The magic behind the walls of the Animation Research Library
The Animation Research Library is a Disney facility where 65 MILLION pieces of art are held in their archives. This facility is available to all Disney and Pixar employees to use as reference in their current projects. For example, in making of Pirate Fairy, the artists could refer to the Tinkerbell in Peter Pan to make sure their character was on scale from the original movie.In the past, employees could actually check out the pieces of art and take them to their desk. Now they can view the work at the Animation Research Library or they have an online database of digitized images so they employees have better access to it. Now the artwork is only checked out to museums or exhibits.
Inside the Disney Animation Research Library they have 11 temperature controlled vaults. In this vaults you find the entire paper collection that they have. They do not store a lot of Cels. You can find artwork from your favorite movies like Snow White, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Peter Pan and more!
One of the vaults was filled with Marquette’s from the different movies. Marquette’s are study models so artists and actual move the model around and see it from all angles. This vault is called the dimension objects vault which contains marquette’s and puppets. Including a marionette of Pinocchio that actually sat on Walt Disney’s knee! Here are some great photos that show how the artwork is stored and shared in the vaults.
It is important that of their 65 million pieces of art in the archives that each piece of art gets a record in their data history. They have employs who use these fancy cameras (shown below) and digitize that artwork. Because most of the artwork is standard size they don’t have to move the cameras often so they can shoot 400-1000 pieces of art every single day. Consistency in digitizing is important so attention is given to every detail.
The artwork is then uploaded to the computers for quality control so they can make sure that every detail is perfect. In hand drawn animation they can load the different frames on the computer and scroll through like an animation so each frame needs to line up perfectly.
Here is some of the art that you can find inside the Animation Research Library:
Visiting the Animation Research Library is really one of my favorite places to visit. You can feel the magic of Disney and see the care that is placed in taking care of Disney history. Celebrate the 65th Anniversary of Walt Disney Animation’s Peter Pan, available on Digital and Movies Anywhere May 29 and on Blu-ray™ June 5.