Special Exhibitions

What's Happening


FILM OF THE MONTH: Silly Symphonies
Showtimes: 1:30 & 4pm daily (check calendar for exceptions) | Theater
Free with museum admission
Enjoy groundbreaking shorts that served as Walt’s proving-ground for emerging technology, new musical styles, and advanced character and story development. Run Time: Approx. 75 mins.
Note: The museum is closed on Tuesdays


SPOTLIGHT TALKS | Synchronized Sound
Every Fri, Sat, and Sun in Mar | 11am, 1 & 3pm
FREE for members or with paid admission.
With more than 25,000 items in the museum’s collection and galleries brimming with art and artifacts, there is a lot to see and learn. Get the inside story on a select object on view or special exhibition during these short talks given by museum staff members. During the month of March, hear about the groundbreaking advancement of synchronized sound in animation, championed by The Walt Disney Studios with Steamboat Willie.

TALKS | Animation Basics: Music
Sat, Mar 14 | 3pm | Theater
$18 members | $20 non-members | $15 youth (17 and under)
Feel the power of music! Join us for the fourth in a five-part series about the basics of animation production that were followed in Walt’s time and are still applicable today. Part IV: MUSIC covers the important role that music plays in the process of animation. Watch the award-winning documentary The Tunes Behind the Toons, and hear from Dave Bossert, the film’s producer; Mark Watters, the featured composer; and Jon Burlingame, leading writer on the subject of music for films and television.

TALKS | How Kay Kamen Made Mickey Mouse a Merchandise Superstar
Sat, Mar 28 | 3pm
$18 members | $20 non-members | $15 youth (17 and under)
Merchandising the most popular cartoon character of the early 1930s proved to be a problem until an enterprising businessman from Missouri approached the Disney brothers about licensing Mickey. Join Tom Tumbusch, writer, publisher and expert on Disney collectibles, to hear how Kay Kamen’s brilliant marketing and licensing strategies set new industry standards and brought millions to The Walt Disney Studios to fund later projects.

TALK | How the Glamour Shot Changed Hollywood
Sat, Apr 11 | 1pm
$18 members | $20 non-members | $15 youth (17 and under)
Learn about the art of studio photography and how the glamour shot changed the look of Hollywood. Kendra Bean, author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, discusses the importance of glamour photography to the creation of the classic Hollywood image, the art and craft behind the lens, and George Hurrell's impact on that stylized world. The work of photographers James Abbe and Laszlo Willinger is also discussed. This program is offered in conjunction with the special exhibition, Lights! Camera! Glamour! The Photography of George Hurrell.


TALK | The Animation Collaborative’s Bay Area Creative Connection
Sat, Mar 21 | 10am-6pm
$85 early bird | $100 regular
The Animation Collaborative will be offering a series of panel discussions, portfolio reviews, and a chance to meet up with local artists and professionals in animation. Get a first-hand look into the work Pixar, ILM, and DreamWorks artists as they discuss their journey into becoming the inspiring artists they are today.


WORKSHOP | Music and Animation with Alex Mandel
Sat, Mar 14 | 10am-noon | Learning Center
$55 members | $60 non-members | $45 student | limited to 25 students per class | ages 18+
Music has played a central role in Walt's films from the very beginning. In this class, we'll explore the role of music in Disney's shorts and feature films. We'll analyze the different genres utilized: from popular song and jazz, to classical and twentieth century symphonic music. From the Silly Symphonies to Fantasia, Pinocchio, and Mary Poppins, we'll explore key musical moments in Disney films and learn about the people who created them.

OPEN STUDIO | Synchronized Sound
Every Sat & Sun in Mar | 1–4pm | Learning Center
FREE with museum admission
Steamboat Willie was the first animated film to successfully synchronize sound to the images you see on screen. Come in and play with sound effects and add them to your own original animations to give your scene even more liveliness!

Every Sat, Sun & Mon in Mar | 10am–noon | Learning Center
FREE with Museum Admission
Come and explore sound at Little Open Studio! At different stations throughout the Learning Center you’ll find all kinds of different objects make a variety of different sounds. You will even be able to make your very own rain stick to take home!