Installation view of Bambi: The Making of an Animated Sound Picture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Walt Disney was one of the first donors to MoMA’s film collection, presenting the institution with the Mickey Mouse short Plane Crazy and several others in 1935. The Museum continued to acquire animation for its film collection, and in 1942 presented Bambi: The Making of an Animated Sound Picture, which was timed to coincide with the film’s theatrical release. The exhibition explored the technical process of making feature-length animation; it featured the building blocks of the craft—animation cels, drawings, and background paintings—along with documentary photographs of the cast and crew at work on the film. MoMA would follow this effort with numerous exhibitions on the art of animation over the years, including United Productions of America: Form in the Animated Cartoon (1955) and more recent exhibitions by artists who employ animation, such as Tim Burton, William Kentridge, and the Quay Brothers.

Installation views

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