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D23: Strolling the Exhibit Room Floor

D23: Strolling the Exhibit Room Floor

I attended the Disney fan expo, D23, this past weekend and if you are a fan of anything the Disney Studio owns and produces this was certainly the place to be. Everyone, including us, has reported on the big animation, live action and theme park presentations – but inbetween those events I strolled around the massive exhibit floor looking for stuff – and I wasn’t disappointed. My first stop was to my friend Mike Van Eaton who had some incredible original pieces of Disney production art for sale:


I made my way past this amazing Eric Goldberg Gallery to the Disney Publishing booth – where I found out the art I just saw was now available in a lavish new book (which I immediately bought). An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg Draws The Disney Characters (by Dave Bossert) is a must-have if you are a fan of Eric Goldberg (full disclosure: I am a longtime personal friend of Eric’s), and can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone who admires great art and the classic Disney characters. 

Imagine the history of Disney cartoon stars – from Oswald and Mickey to Frozen and Big Hero 6 – all drawn by one artist, Eric Goldberg. Shanghai Disney Resort in China approached Disney Animation Studios Special Projects (Dave Bossert) about creating a series of framed caricatures of Disney animation characters, similar to the type that graced Hollywood Brown Derby back in the Golden Age. 144 individual images were required to fill the walls of the dining room – and though it was first considered a job for a large group of artists, it as decided to hand the assignment to the one artist who could handle such a scope of character designs with relative ease. 

Bossert begins the book with a bio of Eric and details of how this art came to be – with much interesting and rare Goldberg art and photos (including model sheets from Get A Horse!). The bulk of the book are the drawings – and they are incredible.  Every animated character and feature gets the Goldberg treatment – and you’ve never seen the characters from The Black Cauldron, Dinosaur or Cars look so appealing (Eric even makes Mater look good). These pieces are gorgeous and the book itself is my idea of what a great coffee table art book should be – 192 oversized, glossy pages that will hold you in awe of Eric’s artistic gifts.

There were several other books that either just came out, or are about to, that I had a chance to preview at D23. I glanced through Disney Movie Posters: From Steamboat Willie to Inside Out – and at first look, I’d recommend you stick with Tony Anselmo’s previous The Disney Poster Book (2002). The new book’s first half contains a nice assortment of vintage cartoon posters – but the second half is a mash up of a variety of live action or recent animated films. Maybe if they send me one to seriously review I’ll give it a better look.  

Had an advance look at Dave Bossert’s Dali and Disney – Destino book and this one is a keeper. The full story, lavishly told and illustrated, behind this short. It’s origins, the relationship between Disney and Dali, and all the work to make a film from it decades later. A special edition of the book (which was on display) contains the Destino short itself, a video embed inside the front cover!

Since this had my Dali-Disney fires flaring, I was delighted to see another new book I didn’t know about on sale at the Disney Family Museum booth. Disney Dali: Architects Of The Imagination is a 192 page catalog of the current Disney-Dali exhibit at the Disney Museum. It’s the next best thing to seeing the exhibit in person – and I highly recommended you do that. The exhibit catalog is published by Disney Editions and you can buy it at the museum – or online though the Museum’s website. Do!

I didn’t get the details on this other publishing venture (photo above) – but apparently the studio is selling facsimiles of its corporate stationary. The fun company stationary that advertised the latest pictures – particularly the big animated features from Snow White through Sleeping Beauty – will be packaged in a version of the on-screen storybooks that open the film. 

I then strolled over to the Disney Music Emporium booth where they were taking pre-orders on a wonderful limited edition set of vinyl record albums collecting the soundtracks of all 75 Silly Symphony shorts. The liner notes are by J.B. Kaufman and Russell Merritt, the packaging is superb and the whole concept is incredible. For more information on The Silly Symphony Collection click here

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