Media Release — The Cartoon Art Museum proudly presents Once Upon a Dream: The Art of Sleeping Beauty, celebrating 50 years since the original release of the classic animated feature from Walt Disney Studios, July 18, 2009 – January 10, 2010.
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.
This exhibition also includes a spotlight on Disney artist/illustrator Ron Dias, whose first professional job in the animation industry was as an in-betweener to clean-up animator on Sleeping Beauty. Dias went on to become one of the most highly-regarded and sought-after background artists and color stylists in the business. The Cartoon Art Museum will feature a selection of his background paintings and color concepts from The Secret of Nimh, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and The Little Mermaid.
Details about the opening reception with special guest Ron Dias will be announced shortly.
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.