Media Release — Please join the Cartoon Art Museum for a reception celebrating our latest exhibition, Once Upon A Dream: The Art of Sleeping Beauty on Saturday, August 15, 2009, from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Special guest Ron Dias will be present to discuss his career as an animation artist and illustrator, with a special focus on his role in the creation of the Walt Disney classic Sleeping Beauty.
This reception is free and open to the public.
About the exhibition:
Once Upon A Dream explores the creation of one of Walt Disney Studios’ most enduring films, from pencil art and model sheets to animation cels, color guides and behind-the-scenes photographs of the cast and crew. Almost ten years in the making, Sleeping Beauty was designed to look like no other Disney film, drawing from both medieval illustrations and cutting-edge 1950s graphic design. Artist Eyvind Earle, who supervised the film’s look and hand-painted most of the dozens of lavish backgrounds, gave the film its unique blend of lush detail and bold, stylized designs. Disney production designer Ken Anderson developed these elements into a visually arresting feature, much of it animated by members of the Nine Old Men, Walt Disney’s most trusted cadre of animators. Sleeping Beauty was the last Disney film to use fully hand-inked animation cels and one of only two ever filmed in 70mm widescreen. A box-office hit when it premiered in 1959, it’s now renowned as one of the most beautiful and beloved animated films ever made.
About Ron Dias:
In 1956, Ron Dias, an 18-year-old kid fresh from Hawaii, came to Hollywood to work for the Walt Disney Animation Studios. After finishing his assignment in the Animation Department on Sleeping Beauty, Ron worked throughout Hollywood as a scenic artist for 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures and MGM Studios. He returned to the animation field to work with such studios as Hanna-Barbera (Jonny Quest), Warner Brothers (Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny), Don Bluth (The Secret of Nimh), and many others, ending with Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid feature and television series.
In recent years, Dias has created artwork for Disney Imagineering’s “Disney Seas” murals in Tokyo, Japan, and has collaborated with noted marine life painter Wyland on a series of paintings featuring characters from The Little Mermaid. Dias now lives in central California and has gone full circle with his career, creating fine art as he was trained to do at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. He is still actively creating work for the Disney Studios, as well.