My first recollection of Disney cartoons was not a specific cartoon or character but a behind-the-scenes documentary about how Disney animation was created. What left the deepest impression was how an animation is put together by a series of still images. I was fascinated by it and secretly desired to be a cartoonist at the tender age of around seven. Even though I did not become an animator, that documentary must have prompted me to delve into a study of Disney animation and submit a thesis paper for my Film Appreciation module back in my Uni days. And also dressed up as one of the Disney princesses together with my colleagues for Yahoo's Dinner and Dance a few years back with me being Rapunzel from Tangled.
Disney cartoons have come a long way. From popular classics Bambi, and Snow White to well-known characters such as Mickey and Friends, we have witnessed how Walt Disney studios have reinvented themselves, moving with the times with the emergence of a series of brave, independent female characters holding their own, such as Merida (Brave), Moana (Moana), Rapunzel (Tangled), Anna and Elsa (Frozen), successfully doing away with the Cinderella syndrome of the old times. With Disney’s 100th anniversary this year, we are seeing covetable collaborations with various beauty brands, lifestyle products, jewellery, and fashion; there's no denying the impact and influence of Disney in our everyday lives.
For the first time, Immersive Disney Animation is here thanks to a partnership between Walt Disney Animation Studios and Asia Pacific’s leading live entertainment company, Base Entertainment Asia. The wall-to-wall screen projection will be shown at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands from now until 25 February 2024.
If you are still wondering if you should get tickets to watch it, here's what you can expect.
Plenty of photo ops await before the show even begins. From an oversized Mickey Mouse to life-size replicas of Frozen’s Elsa and Anna to sculptures and figurines from Moana.
As you move along the pre-exhibit area, you will uncover the magic behind Disney with rarely-seen exhibits from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library. View early character sketches, watch time lapses of character creations, and learn how to draw your favourite Disney characters at an interactive drawing table. They even break it down into a step-by-step guide as you follow along and draw, seeing your favourite characters, such as Mickey and Donald Duck created by your own hands.
When (Disney) makes a movie… it often becomes a lot of people's first glimpse at that culture… and so they take it really seriously.According to Lin-Manuel who worked closely with Walt Disney
Have you ever felt that what you watched during your childhood in cartoons was so true to life? And no wonder. At this exhibition, I realized the emphasis on every minute detail and factual information Walt Disney put into his cartoons. According to the exhibition, Walt Disney believes in being true to life and spared no expense in bringing his animation team to immerse in a location that they would be depicting. It is not unusual for the founder to send his team to another locale to thoroughly explore the nuances of its culture for them to bring life into the animation.
Such care, pride, and dedication to the art form are just a slice of what Disney studios do to engage, entertain, and educate the young and old. At this exhibit, you will also have a glimpse into the life of an animator via the voices of those who help to create Disney magic.
The gallery area is where the real magic happens. In a nearly 90-minute experience, Immersive Disney Animation takes visitors on a 100-year journey of Disney animation with scenes, characters, and songs from Disney's extensive archive of past and present animated films. This 360-degree environment takes you from the Disney Renaissance period to the latest film hits. See iconic scenes from Frozen, Big Hero 3, The Little Mermaid, Lion King, and more play out across gigantic screens, and experience nostalgic songs in full surround sound. You will be awash with nostalgia, sing, and even dance along with the familiar tunes of your favourite Disney shows.
This exhibition celebrates a century of animation excellence, inviting visitors to explore the art, technology, and creativity behind Disney's iconic animated films. We are excited to share this immersive journey and create magical memories that will last a lifetime.Chantal Prudhomme, Chief Executive Officer of Base Entertainment Asia.
As the term “Immersive” suggests, thanks to a wristband you wear upon entry, you and your companions are encouraged to move with the interactive floor projection that illuminates with your every move, adding an extra sprinkle of wonder in true Disney form. What's more, expect the timely appearance of bubbles that is sure to make your immersive experience truly magical. We shall not spoil the fun by oversharing but leave you to experience it for yourself.
Talented team behind Immersive Disney Animation
The creative team behind the Immersive Disney Animation is led by Oscar-winning producer J. Miles Dale (Best Picture 2018 -The Shape of Water), Special Projects Producer Dorothy McKim (Oscar-nominated, Get A Horse!), who is spearheading the project for Disney Animation, Global Creative Director David Korins (Tony Award-nominee for Hamilton, Emmy Award winner for Grease Live), and Mexico City-based Cocolab.
Most of our guests have seen these films multiple times, but they tell me that they feel as though they are seeing them in an entirely new way, and that was always our goal.Oscar-winning producer J. Miles Dale
Is Immersive Disney Animation worth it?
As a Disney fan, I came out of the show with greater respect for Walt Disney Studios. I particularly found the animator’s desk fascinating and toyed with the idea of seeing myself behind it.
However, having recently experienced teamLabs Planets in Tokyo, an art facility that taps into all your senses and features strongly on interactive elements, I wished for even more immersive elements in the show. But all in all, for those new to immersive exhibits, especially Disney fans, you will walk away with a newfound admiration for the craft and dedication painstakingly poured into every Disney masterpiece.
Disney animations are truly a delight for the young and old in the family. Bring your parents, children, and your besties. Better yet, get dressed as your favourite Disney character and have a whale of a time. There's something for everyone at the Immersive Disney Animation, whether you are a Disney fan or not. Who knows, it may even kickstart an artistic fire in your young ones.
Immersive Disney Animation opens from now till 25 February 2024 at Marina Bay Sands, Sands Theatre.