walt disney archives

A Historical Legacy: The Beginning of the Walt Disney Archives

By Kimi Thompson and Ed Ovalle, Walt Disney Archives

Our story begins with none other than our founder, Disney Legend Dave Smith. A Southern California native and UCLA reference librarian, Dave began his research on Walt Disney Productions (known today as The Walt Disney Company) after expressing an interest in compiling an extensive bibliography on Walt Disney…

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hunchback of notre dame archives

Out There! Celebrating 25 Years of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame

By Christina Pappous, Walt Disney Archives

Did you know that today is the 25th anniversary of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Released in 1996, the animated feature vividly brought the timeless characters and story from Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel to a new generation of filmgoers. Prior adaptations of Hugo’s novel included the 1923 silent version starring…

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Howard Ashman

Pride Month Spotlight: Legendary Handprints—Howard Ashman

Producer, lyricist, and Disney Legend Howard Ashman made a huge “splash” in the world of popular culture in 1989 with The Little Mermaid, which he also co-produced. His song “Under the Sea,” co-written with composer and Disney Legend Alan Menken, won an Oscar® that year for Best Song.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 17, 1950, the successful lyricist,…

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Elton John

Pride Month Spotlight: Legendary Handprints—Sir Elton John

The monumental career of singer, songwriter, and performer Sir Elton John has made him one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with more than 200 million records sold worldwide. Winning a wide array of industry awards including Grammys®, Tonys®, and an Oscar®, Elton continues to add to his personal repertoire of 35 gold and 25 platinum albums.


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Boy Meets world

“We’re Going to Disney World”: Boy Meets World

By Matt Moryc, Walt Disney Archives

If you grew up watching television in the 1980s and 1990s, there is an objective argument to be made that some of the greatest family sitcoms of all-time were produced during this era. The American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) was at the forefront of this golden age of adolescent television with their Friday night programming…

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Moulin Rouge

Setting the Stage: Revisiting Moulin Rouge

By Kevin Kern, Walt Disney Archives

Freedom. Beauty. Truth. Love. All maxims that drive and guide the protagonists at the heart of director Baz Luhrmann’s splashy movie musical, Moulin Rouge (2001).

Set amidst a bustling and bohemian Paris circa 1900, the film boasts a gorgeous design sense that helps to contextualize its characters while also providing a rapt…

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Tyrus Wong

Legendary Handprints – Tyrus Wong

While Tyrus “Ty” Wong worked at The Walt Disney Studios for only three years, between 1938 and 1941, his impact on the animated classic Bambi endures.

As legendary animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston point out in their book about the making of the motion picture, “He set the color schemes along with the appearance of the forest in painting after…

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Lea Salonga

Legendary Handprints – Lea Salonga

In the field of musical theatre, Lea Salonga has been honored with the Olivier, Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theatre World awards. In addition, she holds the distinction of having performed the vocal roles of two Disney leading ladies—the spectacular singing voices of Princess Jasmine and Mulan.

Lea’s breakthrough came on the West End stage in…

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Star Wars

Intergalactic Vinyl – Star Wars: A New Hope Soundtrack

By Christina Pappous, Walt Disney Archives

A long time ago…in a galaxy not so far away…Star Wars: A New Hope debuted in theaters on May 25, 1977, and became the surprise smash hit of the summer. The success of Star Wars resulted in a string of beloved blockbuster films and so much more! The impact Star Wars has had on popular culture and moviemaking as a whole…

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Wing T. Chao

Legendary Handprints – Wing T. Chao

For 37 years at Disney, Wing T. Chao played a vital role in designing and developing exceptional and inspiring projects at Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide. Wing served as Vice Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for Asia Pacific Development, as well as Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering, where he oversaw master planning, architecture, and…

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