Disney Family Museum to Offer ‘Nine Old Men’ Exhibit

Nine Old Men
Nine Old Men

Fans of classic Disney art have one more reason to travel to San Francisco’s Walt Disney Family Museum in May. The org is offering the much-anticipated show Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men: Masters of Animation beginning May 17 through January 7, 2019. The special exhibit is guest curated by iconic Oscar-nominated producer Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) and will showcase the works of Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Frank Thomas.

Masters of Animation will feature beloved artwork and family mementoes from each of the Nine Old Men, including sketchbooks, caricatures, and snapshots, as well as original art from the classic films Pinocchio (1940), Bambi (1942), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Sleeping Beauty (1959).

Personal art, paintings, sculptures, flip-books, and hundreds of original animation drawings will all be on display, alongside documentary interviews with these masters of animation as well as rarely seen pencil tests and final color scenes that showcase their genius. In conducting his extensive research on the Nine Old Men, Hahn sat down with each of the animators’ families for in-depth discussions, unearthing details about the unique backgrounds and personalities of the men behind iconic Disney characters and films.

“This exhibition presented a rare chance to work with the families of the Nine Old Men, who opened their homes and collections to us,” said Hahn. “This gives us a chance to show a spectacular collection of personal artifacts and ephemera—items never seen by the public—that help tell each animator’s individual story and reveal how they collectively elevated character animation to an art form.”

With hundreds of objects on display, most of which have been generously loaned to the museum by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, by Disney Legend and animator Andreas Deja, or are from the museum’s own extensive collection of artwork, visitors will have the opportunity to view rarely exhibited and never-before-seen artworks.

The work of the Nine Old Men helped nurture a new generation of animators and filmmakers, including Don Hahn and Andreas Deja, and others such as Brad Bird, Tim Burton, Brenda Chapman, Ron Clements, Glen Keane, John Lasseter, John Musker, and Floyd Norman.

General admission ticket are $25 (adults), $20 (seniors & students), $15 youth (ages 6 to 17). For more info, visit waltdisney.org.

Nine Old Men

Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men

Pinocchio

Pinocchio

Pinocchio

Pinocchio

The Band Concert

The Band Concert

Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

  • Jonathan Funnell of Florida

    SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANNA SEE THIS EXIBIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE THE NINE OLD MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MILT KAHL WILL ALWAYS BE MY FAVORITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jacquie Trowell

    Just a pity no women were allowed to be part of the pioneering. They just got stuck with the ink and paint factory work…

    • Tom K Morris

      Not true. Women were a huge part of animation pioneering although they were excluded from drawn animation for the first twenty or so years (an industry norm at the time). But from the very beginning at Disney they were among thei first female editors, writers, designers, stylists, camera operators, etc in the industry, not just inkers and painters. Disney was the first major studio to accept them in as actual animators. The embargo, if you will, was is in place due to social norms at the time; one being that animation often went into overtime and into the weekends and it was frowned upon for moms to be away from home that long. Walt was the one who saw the stupidity in this thinking and fought to get them in.

      • Jacquie Trowell

        And yet we don’t remember any of THEIR names….

        • Tom K Morris

          You may be right, many were unsung but I suspect they will gather more limelight in the future. I can only recall a few myself from the 30’s/40’s era although I know there were many more. Some of these have gone on to be be duly recognized by the industry and by Disney. All of the below were there in the 30/40′s when it’s often alleged there were no women in animation. Read Mindy Johnson’s “Women of Walt Disney’s Animation” for a more scholarly deep dive.

          Hazel Sewell – manager & “inventor” the ink & paint process
          Ruthie Tompson – scene planning, camera & animation
          Bianca Majolie – story artist & visual development
          Dorothy Ann Blank – story development & writer
          Marion Stirrett – backgrounds
          Sylvia Holland – story artist & visual development
          Gyo Fujikawa – book illustrator & product designer
          Mary Blair – concept designer & visual development
          Mary Schuster – writer & animator
          Elma Milotte – cinematographer
          Luisa Field – music editing
          Evelyn Kennedy – music editing
          Thelma Witmer – background & layout
          Retta Scott – first female animator

        • Dave Preciado

          There’s book about the Women of Disney found here
          https://www.amazon.com/Ink-Paint-Disneys-Animation-Editions/dp/1484727819