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New Orleans-style blowout planned for final weekend of Disney’s “Dreams Come True”

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New Orleans-style blowout planned for final weekend of Disney’s “Dreams Come True”

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Why are all these people racing through the streets of New Orleans? *

Runners make their way through City Park in New Orleans
Photo by Nancy Stadler

Because “Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from Walt Disney Studios” is closing on March 14th. Which means that you now only have six short days to catch this acclaimed exhibition.

The front of the New Orleans Museum of Art was adorned with large banners touting the Disney art exhibition When Dreams Come True
Photo by Nancy Stadler

Weekend before last, Nancy and I actually made a special trip up from Orlando to see the 600+ pieces of animation art that are now on display at the NOMA. But those 10 hours that we spent in the rental car on Saturday were totally worth it. For “Dreams Come True” truly was a first class affair. From this exhibit’s witty entrance area …

The entrance to the Disney exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

…to the amazing pieces of Disney history that were on display here (Take – for example – the illustrated books of fairy tales that Walt Disney himself collected while he was traveling in Europe. When the old Mousetro was still looking for source material for new animated features and shorts) …

The NOMA exhibit included books with the illustrated books of fairy tales that Walt Disney himself collected while he was traveling in Europe
Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

… this collection of rarely seen items from Disney’s Animation Research Library is a must-see for animation fans. As you move through all seven galleries, you’ll see things like the character concept painting depicted below. Which shows one of the many ideas that Disney Legend Mary Blair considered as she was struggling to get a handle on how the characters in “Cinderella” should actually look.

The NOMA exhibit includes this Mary Blair concept painting of Cinderella and her prince
Image courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Research Library.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

You’ll find that all of WDAS’ fairy tale films are celebrated here as part of this exhibit. Everything from the great movies from the Second Golden Age of Disney Feature Animation (EX: “The Little Mermaid” …

The NOMA exhibit included room after room of amazing Disney art
Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

… Where – in this particular gallery – you’ll get to see Andy Gaskill’s preliminary concept drawings for this animated feature. Back when Flounder actually looked like a flounder).

Andy Gaskill's preliminary concept drawing of Ariel and Flounder from Disney's The Little Mermaid
Image courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Research Library.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

There’s even gallery space here devoted to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest production, “The Princess and the Frog.”

The NOMA exhibit included gallery space for Disney's The Princess and the Frog
Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

Those of you who are fans of Disney inside jokes will love a number of the items that are on display here. They run the gamut from bobblehead versions of “PATF” directors Ron Clements and John Muskers to caricatures of Ron’n’ John. Showing what these two might have looked like if they had played fireflies in this flick.

One display at the NOMA included fun inside joke items like bobblehead version of John Musker and Ron Clements
Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

Given that “The Princess and the Frog” was set in New Orleans, it’s only appropriate that “Dreams Come True” began its world tour in the Big Easy. And since this city is infamous for its over-the-top celebrations … Well, it’s only appropriate that NOMA is sending this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition off in style, staging a big NewOrleans-style blowout for its closing weekend.

Which is why -- from March 13th through the 14th -- the New Orleans Museum of Art will stay open for 30 hours straight to accommodate all of those who have yet to see “Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from Walt Disney Studios.” There will be family activities throughout the day, raffle prizes offered long into the night and Ralph Brennan’s Courtyard Café will be serving coffee, pastries, turtle soup and seafood gumbo around the clock.

And did I mention that Jazz at Lincoln Center will providing live jazz music all weekend long? With Ellis Marsalis, the Shannon Powell trio and the Loyola University Jazz Band providing some tunes. Which will hopefully make it that much more enjoyable to check out all of this toon-related art.

But – again – please keep in mind that there are only six days left to see “Dreams Come True” before this exhibit of Disney animation art then has to be packed up and shipped off to Australia. So – to borrow a line from a “Princess and the Frog” song – if you want to “ … Catch it down in New Orleans,” you’d best get a move on.

For further information on the New Orleans Museum of Art as well as all of the events that are planned for “Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studios” closing weekend, please click on this link.

* Okay. The real reason that people were running through the park that NOMA is located in Sunday before last was because the city was holding its annual Mardi Gras Marathon on the same day that Nancy and I visited this museum. But given the number of people that we saw inside of the "Dreams Come True" exhibit that day who were still wearing their Mardi Gras Marathon jerseys, it's clear that a number of people who took part in this race then headed over to the New Orleans Museum of Art just so that they could check out this display of Disney animation art. Which is why I felt justified in including this particular image as part of today's article.

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