The Met's exhibition examines Walt Disney's personal fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in his films / © AFP
What was the inspiration for the talking teapots and singing candelabra that populate Walt Disney's movies? A new show in New York suggests they can be traced back to antiques and artwork that the animation master encountered in Paris as a young man.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition uncovers how Disney artists have for decades drawn from the lavish Rococo style of Sevres porcelain and gilded sofas, as well as from Gothic Revival architecture and medieval influences.
From "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" (1936) and "Sleeping Beauty" (1959) to "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), the show explores how Disney classics have mixed fantasy with detailed research.
Curator Wolf Burchard said he believed Disney artists and their 18th-century colleagues were connected not just by their style, but also by a wish to "address our emotions and not our intellect."
Sixty works of 18th-century European decorative arts and design feature alongside 150 Disney artworks / © AFP
The show, which opens on December 10, exhibits 60 works of 18th-century European art alongside 150 Disney production works.
Born in Chicago in 1901, Walt Disney made his first trip to France in December 1918, shortly after World War I, as a volunteer for the Red Cross. He returned to Europe in 1935, and then multiple times after World War II.