In the early 80's Disney was in a slump. The Fox and the Hound pulled a profit but didn't exactly light the world on fire and The Black Cauldron was a bona fide box office bomb. It seemed like the studio may have passed its prime, never to return to its former glory. Enter the creative team of Ron Clements and John Musker, two Disney animators who stepped into the director seats with ideas that pulled the company out of its slump. Responsible for The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet, and The Princess and the Frog , the duo helped guide Disney back to its feet. Next week, Moana hits U.S. theaters, marking Clements and Musker's first contribution to the silver screen in seven years.
In celebration of their directorial return, Disney is opening An Art Tribute To The Disney Films of Ron Clements and John Musker. Featuring a display of over 100 new art pieces celebrating their legacy, the exhibit will include original pieces and prints from over 60 artists. The exhibit will be open from November 19 to December 6th, 2016 at the Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California.
For the many who don't live within visiting distance of the exhibit, (or just want a sneak peak,) Disney is sharing a collection of 36 pieces for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy clicking through them in the gallery below.
[vn_gallery name="Disney Artwork – John Musker and Ron Clements" id="844474"]
Perhaps it's because of the animated medium or the late Walt Disney's name appearing first and foremost on their films, but Clements and Musker don't have near the same name recognition of other directors whose works have had such a lasting cultural impact. Perhaps this exhibit is meant to right that wrong? It's also plausible that with so many noteworthy arms to their empire (Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar), Disney wants to remind potential viewers that Moana is from the creators of some of its most defining legacies.
Despite being rendered in a swath of striking artistic styles it's a tribute to a strong design work that these characters and worlds are still so recognizable. Props to Clements, Musker, and the talented artists at Disney for their colorful and captivating creations.
Do you have a favorite piece from the art collection? Let us know in the comments section and stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates and impressions from Moana and Disney's entire catalog as they hit.
- Moana (2016) release date: Nov 23, 2016