Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio Exhibit at The Walt Disney Family Museum


This post contains affiliate links. Experiences were provided by Disney, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Disney Studio Artist

Disney Studio Artist, visual development for Pinocchio, pencil on paper; collection of The Walt Disney Family Foundation, gift of Ron and Diane Miller, © Disney

I have always dreamed of being able to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum because I am a Disney fanatic. So imagine how excited I was to find out that as part of the #RogueOneEvent trip I was taking to San Francisco in December, we would be going! I grew up watching Disney movies and going to Disney World for family vacations – and now I take my family to Disney World at least once a year. So this was going to be a really special experience for me – and it was. I laughed, I smiled, and I cried (I mean sobbed – just as Joyce from Women and Their Pretties – she was sobbing with me) while I was there.

Wish Upon A Star Exhibit

But the thing that really stood out to me was the Wish Upon A Star: The Art of Pinocchio Exhibit. One of my all time favorite Disney movies is Pinocchio. I have watched it at least 50 times, if not 100. I have shown it to my two young daughters and they love it just as much as I did when I was their age. It is one of the classics and there is just something about it that makes me all warm inside. The exhibit was all that I could have hoped for, and more. The exhibit features more than 300 objects and takes a closer look at the settings, color, mood, character relationships, and style of Pinocchio. I was genuinely taken aback while walking through the exhibit – there was so much to see! From actual models that were used by the animators to original sketches. It was really special to be there and to be able to see everything in person – I cannot explain the way it made me feel.

Walt at the Pinocchio storyboard meeting

Walt at the Pinocchio storyboard meeting; collection of the Walt Disney Archives Photo Library, © Disney

Spending the day at The Walt Disney Museum made that day one of the best days of my life. The entire museum is amazing – and a must see for any Disney fan. I hope that you were lucky enough to check out the Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio exhibit because it was amazing. I loved seeing how Pinocchio came to life. I am really excited that Pinocchio is coming to vibrant new life for the first time on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere TODAY (January 10) and on Blu-ray and DVD on January 31.

From the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s, The Walt Disney Studios created five cinematic classics that explored new possibilities and redefined the art of animation: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942). Produced at the end of the Depression in the late-1930s, Pinocchio brilliantly deployed state-of-the-art hand-crafted drawings and various technical breakthroughs—such as the Multiplane Camera—to tell an epic story. Touted by many as the crowning achievement of the extraordinary Golden Age of Walt Disney’s early studio, this groundbreaking film pioneered cutting-edge animation and sound technologies and firmly established a blueprint for Disney filmmaking that remains intact today. It became the first animated feature film to win a competitive Academy Award®—in fact it won two—and is now considered one of the finest films ever made.

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to the level of fine art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global yet distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000 square foot facility features the newest technology along with a vast collection of historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney’s achievements to life, myriad interactive galleries presenting early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland and much more.

The Walt Disney Family Museum has created many world-class exhibitions, such as Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination; MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair; and Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong, several of which have traveled to other museums around the world. Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio is the fifteenth exhibition originated by museum since 2012.

The Walt Disney Family Museum

Hours: 10am to 6pm, Wednesdays through Monday; closed on Tuesdays and the following public holidays: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Tickets: Museum and special exhibition admission is free for members and children under 5
General admission + special exhibition: $30 adults, $25 seniors and students, $22 youth ages 6 to 17
General admission: $20 adults, $15 seniors and students, and $12 youth ages 6 to 17
Stand-alone special exhibition ticket: $10 all levels
Audio guide: free for members as download, $7 audio guide rental for members and non-members

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