Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Talking Marc Davis with WDFM Curator Michael Labrie

Maleficent concept by Marc Davis
If you were to create the ultimate exhibition on the art of Marc Davis, you'd need a pretty big room to represent his animation creations from Thumper and Br'er Rabbit to Tinker Bell, Maleficent and Cruella de Vil. Then, of course, you'd have to consider all the concept and story work he did on Disneyland attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and it's a small world. It would be a daunting task to do justice to that rare artist--one of Walt's Nine Old Men--who made an incredibly successful and influential leap from animation to theme park design during his 43 years with Disney.

Because of sheer volume, the Walt Disney Family Museum will be starting small in their upcoming presentation of Davis's work. They're making it all about the ladies.

Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Mark Davis opens at WDFM on April 30th in the Theater Gallery and will spotlight over 70 pieces of Davis's work, concentrating on the iconic female characters he brought to life during his legendary career. The exhibition will be a fitting counterpoint to Magic, Color, Flair: The World of Mary Blair (currently in the Museum's Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall), as both Davis and Blair enjoyed a decades-long friendship and greatly admired each other's work.

I'm happy to welcome the co-curator (with animator Andreas Deja) of Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales, Michael Labrie, to The Mouse Castle Lounge as we talk about Marc Davis's incredible body of work and what it was about him that made Walt Disney refer to Davis as his "Renaissance Man."

Don't make me go all fire-breathing dragon on you. Give a listen and enjoy!

Michael Labrie (l.) with artist Tyrus Wong


Related Story: Exploring the World of Mary Blair at the Walt Disney Family Museum

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