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"Walt Disney, The Decisive Years (1930-1940)"
An exhibition of original drawings from Walt Disney Studios

As we celebrate the centenary of the creation of Walt Disney Studios (October 1923), we are delighted to present a unseen exhibition of original drawings mainly from the 1930s, a keyl period in the history of animation when Walt Disney (1901-1966) revolutionized film animation.

The exhibition showcases a selection of pencil drawings on paper, ranging from Mickey’s debut in short films to the first feature animated films in cinema history: Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs (1937), Fantasia (1940), Pinocchio (1940), films bringing fame and fortune to Walt Disney, establishing his legend.     

Everyone is familiar with Disney and his empire, admired for the works he produced and criticized for his commercial excesses and disputable positions. The centenary is an opportunity to recall that in his early days Disney and his collaborators truly revolutionized animation and laid the foundation for an art form that has evolved right up to the present  day.   
Few know that Walt Disney didn't really draw. His genius lay primarily in the art of conceiving and producing animated stories by rallying talented illustrators and technicians. This exhibition pays tribute to these brilliant pioneers who largely remained anonymous, overshadowed by the "Master" who loved the media spotlight.         

These animators (U. Iwerx, L. Clark, E. Larson, O. Johnston, M. Davis, F. Thomas, A. Babitt, V. Tytla, W. Kimball...) are the true authors of these magnificent drawings that evoke memories for all generations. These drawings, nearly a century old, demonstrate the modernity of Disney Studios' work. They keenly capture expressions and movements based on acute observation of reality, managing toarouse emotions despite the artifice of drawing.         

The question of whether this art of animation, often considered minor, can be elevated to the rank of a major art is obviously open to debate. Clearly, Disney's cartoons draw from popular culture that borrows from "high culture," but we also believe the reverse can be asserted.

This exhibition offers visitors a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the creative world of this entertainment industry visionary. Beyond the obvious quality of the presented drawings, the animation techniques reveal the true genesis of the creative process. 

The exhibition, curated by Frédéric Collier, is hosted at PARADIS. David Carette, its founder, and Frédéric Collier share an interest in the relationship between "Low Culture" and "High Culture," with the desire to create a space that brings together all aspects of contemporary culture. Paradis, a cosmopolitan venue, serves as a hub, a contemporary art gallery, an art shop, a cultural urban market... a space also filled with sometimes rare and creative objects, art books, Japanese toys...   

On September 30, 2023, Paradis will open its doors permanently.

Contact: Exhibition Curator Fred Collier

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