Sleeping Beauty: Back in the USA

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My PC World colleague Anne McDonald alerted me to this amazing story: A Japanese university has found 250 pieces of original Disney art in a closet, where they’d languished for almost 50 years after being displayed in Japanese department stores in a touring exhibit.

The 1960 show was timed to coincide with the release of Sleeping Beauty, and most of the artwork is from that film. But I bet I’m not the only animation fan who’s more excited to learn that the recovered art includes exquisite cel setups from Flowers and Trees and Pinocchio, as well as art from The Three Little Pigs and Fantasia.

Disney, which had donated the art to a Japanese museum which was so disinterested in it that it gave it to Chiba University (which then stashed it in the closet) isn’t getting stuff back with no strings attached: It’s giving the university prints of the films in question and a million bucks in scholarship funds. Sounds like a good deal to me.

The New York Times has a story by Charles Solomon with more details and a nifty slideshow.

This is the most fascinating story involving cartoons and hidden art since the bizarre 2006 tale of Henry‘s artist squirreling away Norman Rockwell art. And I’m really glad to report Disney news that doesn’t involve Adolf Hitler…

1 thought on “Sleeping Beauty: Back in the USA”

  1. I have the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art’s 2006 catalogue for this exhibition. The pieces are gorgeous. You can order a DVD edition of the catalogue for about 50 dollars (and they have it in Blu-ray, too).

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