Many artists have taken inspiration from Disney characters and designed figurines in their likeness. You can find many of these statues for sale across multiple lines from or in partnership with The Disney Company. But what inspired the artists who created those characters? Curiously, figurines were involved in that process as well. In this article, we’ll explore the Disney Archives, as well as the Disney Archives Collection products that bring everything full circle.
What is the Disney Archives?
Founded in 1970, the Walt Disney Archives is a division of Disney itself that preserves art and artifacts from the company’s history. The collection contains millions of sketches, animation cels, film props, production materials, and Audio-Animatronics, among other things. In short, it’s a dream come true for intensive researchers and dedicated Disney fans.
Most relevant for this article, the Archives also includes an assortment of animation maquettes. These miniature statues, made for animated films in the works, served as three-dimensional models of the movie’s characters. Artists and animators could refer to them for questions on perspective, lighting, and more. The Disney Company has used them since Pinocchio, and plenty of these maquettes are permanently housed in the Walt Disney Archives.
What is the Disney Archives Collection?
One could describe animation maquettes as the first figurines for each new Disney character. It only makes sense, then, to make figurines based on those models. That’s the idea behind the statuettes of the Disney Archives Collection, painstakingly recreated in their proportions, colors, and molding. Hardcore fans of the Mouse House might never own an original maquette, but these figurines can be just as satisfying.
Additionally, the Disney Archives Collection also includes sets of notecards based on Disney movies. Rather than cookie-cutter artwork found on most other merch, they contain rarer materials from the film’s production and promotion. Fans of filmmaking and film history will appreciate and treasure these gifts, as will collectors.
Spotlight on the Series
We wouldn’t talk about something like the Disney Archives Collection without highlighting a few of our favorite pieces from the line. Here’s just a taste of what you might find if you dig deeper:
- Pinocchio Limited Edition Figurine: Pinocchio was the first Disney film whose artists extensively used maquettes. This model of the title character may look a tad different, but that just makes it more authentic.
- Fantasia 5x7 Notecard Set: Fantasia is the preferred Disney favorite among cinéastes. These notecards, featuring rare archival artwork, prove that there’s a great Disney-related gift for even the most “refined” tastes.
- Frozen Anna Maquette Figurine: Even in the CG age, maquettes can still prove useful. Frozen art director Michael Giaimo supervised the creation of this figurine, which adds the film character’s cape over her maquette’s design.
- The True Original Mickey Mouse Box and Notecards: 20 illustrations from all eras grace these notecards, along with detailed descriptions of their significance. Even ardent Mickey Mouse fans may learn something new.
Disney Archives Collection at Your WDW Store
Your WDW Store’s own collection of Disney goods is vast in its own right, and you can own anything you want from it. Check out our selection of notecard sets and statuettes from the wonderful Disney Archives Collection at our shop.