Jungle Book - Mowgli and Baloo
The Jungle Book (1967) © Disney

ACMI & the Walt Disney Animation Research Library present

Disney: The Magic of Animation


Discover the creativity and innovation of almost 100 years of Disney Animation.

Shown in Australia for the very first time, exclusive to Melbourne, this exhibition contains original sketches and rare artworks from 1928 to the present day, including a world-first exhibit of artworks from Raya and the Last Dragon (2021).

The Walt Disney Animation Studios have been creating extraordinary films for nearly a century, and every film begins with drawings that capture the essence of character, story and emotion.

This exhibition features over 500 exceptional artworks including original paintings, sketches and concept art that have been specially selected by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library in Los Angeles, California. These rarely seen works reveal the development of beloved stories and animation techniques from your favourite Walt Disney Animation Studios films and shorts, including Mickey Mouse’s first talkie, Steamboat Willie (1928), films such as Fantasia (1940), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Little Mermaid (1989), The Lion King (1994), Frozen (2013), Moana (2016), Frozen 2 (2019) and the studio’s latest release, Raya and the Last Dragon (2021).

The five sections of this exhibition each focus on a different era of innovation, from perfecting the technique of bringing two dimensional drawings to life in the 1920s, to the creation of the first animated feature films in the late 1930s and 1940s, the stylistic innovations of the post-war years, the renaissance of the 1990s to the digital revolution and advances of present day.  The exhibition charts the Walt Disney Animation Studio's process in continuing to tell diverse and inclusive stories for contemporary audiences.

Big and little kids alike can explore the five kingdoms of the world of Kumandra from the studio’s latest release Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) through a giant projection. Experience the depth of colour in animation through an immersive room featuring scenes from The Lion King (1994) and Pocahontas (1995). You can even step inside and become part of a scene from the Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

Be inspired by the incredible artistry behind your favourite characters and discover how drawings are brought to life, from pencil and paper to today’s computer-generated wonders.

Disney: The Magic of Animation is shown for the first time ever in Australia, exclusive to Melbourne.


13 May – 17 Oct 2021


Full $26
Concession $22.5
Member $20
Family (4–5) $72
Group (4 or more) $18 per person
Child 4–15 years $17

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Gallery 4, Ground Floor
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there


Once you’ve seen all the incredible works in the exhibition, delve into the Walt Disney Animation Studios collection in the comfort of your own home on Disney+. The Disney+ Walt Disney Animation Studios collection gives you endless access to Walt Disney Animation Studios movies, TV shows & more.

Explore all of these titles and more on Disney+

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Presenting Partner

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Major Technology Partner

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Major Research Partner

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Major Academic Partner

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Exhibition Partner

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Exhibition Supporters

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Image: Lady and the Tramp (1955), Frank Thomas, Clean-up animation drawing, coloured pencil and graphite on paper © Disney

Download our Disney activity sheet
Lady and the Tramp (1955), Frank Thomas, Clean-up animation drawing, colored pencil and graphite on paper © Disney

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