By Jocelyn Buhlman
Heading to Disney100: The Exhibition at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Don’t miss these incredible details throughout the galleries...
Where It All Began
Gallery poster: Before you start exploring the gallery itself, stop and take a look at its poster to spot some Easter eggs from Disney’s early history.
- The Colony Theater, for example, is where Steamboat Willie debuted in 1928!
- The marquee on the theater is a reference to a different early Disney cartoon—Alice’s Wonderland (1923) is short which launched the Alice Comedies—and The Walt Disney Company itself, years before the creation of Mickey Mouse.
- Standing outside the theater in the crowd of silhouettes are two figures who look suspiciously similar to a certain pair of young Disney brothers from around the time their cartoon studio was formed...
- The vehicle outside the theater bears the license plate X034-0, which shares a number with Mickey’s car in the animated short Traffic Troubles (1931). In the cartoon, the car breaks down, and the plate turns upside down to spell out, “0-HECK.”
Where Do the Stories Come From?
Mary Poppins (1964) Snow Globe: You’ll definitely have “Feed the Birds” stuck in your head while you admire this iconic prop; projected birds bring the St. Paul’s Cathedral Snow Globe to life in its display.
Mary Blair Art for Alice in Wonderland: We hope you’re not late for a very important date while you’re admiring this concept art created by Disney Legend Mary Blair. Linger long enough, and you might get a visit from the Cheshire Cat and his mysterious grin!
Illusion of Life
What’s in a Name?: The name of this gallery is inspired by the title of the legendary 1981 book The Illusion of Life, penned by Disney Legends Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston—two of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men of animation.
Hey, Dave!: In the corner of the gallery (featuring costumes and art from iterations of The Little Mermaid), keep an eye out for a photo of animator Dave Pacheco working on a drawing of Ariel. Pacheco is one of the two artists responsible for the stunning gallery poster artwork!
The Spirit of Adventure and Discovery
THE SACRED TEXTS!: In Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, we only see the exterior of the book containing the sacred Jedi texts—but did you know that interior pages were created? You can see some of the actual sacred texts themselves projected onto the wall around the display of the prop book.
The Magic of Sound and Music
Sounds Familiar: While you’re listening to “Let It Go” or “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” being performed in various languages, make sure to check out the wall behind the screens! The sound waves on the wall belong to a familiar tune—the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Pixie Power: One of the newer acquisitions to the Walt Disney Archives are the chimes that created Tinker Bell’s jingling sounds in Peter Pan (1953). While you can’t jingle the chimes for yourself, you might hear a familiar tinkling sound—and see Tinker Bell herself light up the chimes with her pixie dust!