new-york

“Disney Animations And Animators”

Whitney Museum of American Art

Walt Disney at the Whitney promised the sunniest of meetings between popular and high culture. At last, the Diaghilev of animation was getting his entrepreneurial due. Walt Disney, after all, set standards against which animation is still measured, established a formula for family entertainment that held together for the better part of 50 years, and produced a body of work that is unrivaled in its ability to transcend the cultural and political differences of a global audience. His animation is as calculated as a NASA space probe, but the embraceable reality of his characters and the sentimental sincerity of his material has laid an important claim on the collective affection of millions.

Unfortunately, the “Disney Animations and Animators” exhibition was an unremittingly gloomy installation. Something was seriously wrong; it was as if the worthiness of the enterprise was in question and

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