Monday, August 12, 2013

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at D23 Expo 2013...

This past weekend Disney held its huge fan event at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, the D23 Expo. I was there on Friday to hunt out the best original costumes, props and movie memorabilia the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives had to offer.

Disney D23 Expo 2013 at Anaheim Convention Center
Disney D23 Expo 2013 Anaheim Convention Center
Compared to the eclectic offering at the last Disney D23 Expo in 2011 which featured delights from Alice in Wonderland, The Rocketeer, TV's Zorro and LOST, Hocus Pocus and more, this costume and prop exhibit was much more focused on several key franchises including Disney's Oz movies, the iconic Mary Poppins musical movie, the hit fairytale-themed ABC television show Once Upon A Time and Disney Channel's latest phenomena, Teen Beach Movie.

Oz The Great and Powerful movie costumes
Oz The Great and Powerful movie costume exhibit
I'd been able to enjoy some fantastic costumes and props from Oz The Great and Powerful at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood earlier this year, but the D23 exhibit had additional costumes for both Rachel Weisz's 'Evanora' and Mila Kunis' 'Theodora', plus James Franco's 'Oz' outfit on display in addition to Michelle Williams beautiful 'Glinda' gown and the film's re-imagined 'Wicked Witch' costume.

Oz was obviously a key theme as the successful 2013 movie shared the spotlight with some of the amazing costumes and props from Disney's 1985 Return to Oz, which starred Fairuza Balk as 'Dorothy'.

Original Return to Oz movie costumes
Original Return to Oz movie costumes
One of the many highlights of the exhibit was seeing the golden 'Tik-Tok' up close and in person, as I've always has a special affinity for this wind-up one-man-army of Oz.

Original Mary Poppins movie costumes and props
Original Mary Poppins movie costumes
Original Mary Poppins carousel horses props
Another key focus was Mary Poppins this year, mainly because it was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the new Disney film coming out this December, Saving Mr. Banks, which delves into the past of the magical nanny's author P.L. Travers and her meetings and collaboration with Walt Disney during their adaptation of her novel to the big screen in 1964.

Not only did they have two outfits worn by Julie Andrews on display, but also costumes worn by other characters, plus props featured in the beloved movie musical, like these merry-go-round horses.

Costumes from TV's Once Upon a Time
Once Upon A Time TV costume exhibit
In keeping with the magical fairytale theme, there were also these six fabulous outfits and props from ABC Studios Once Upon a Time TV series which just finished its second season and has a spin-off coming this Fall, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

Not only was it great publicity for the shows, but it was also a fantastic showcase for the amazing work by Costume Designer, Eduardo Castro. Included in the display were magnificent costumes worn by Red Riding Hood, Prince Charming, Snow White, The Huntsman, The Mad Hatter and The Queen of Hearts. They really looked like movie quality costumes, rather than belonging to weekly episodic television.

Original costumes and props from Teen Beach Movie
Teen Beach Movie costumes Disney D23 Expo
Teen Beach Movie props Disney D23 Expo
Disney Teen Beach Movie costumes D23 Expo
To satisfy the younger visitors there were also original costumes and props from Disney Channel's latest hit, Teen Beach Movie, which premiered on July 19, 2013. Amongst the props on display were Dr. Fushion's laser gun and manual, plus McKenzie's flower garland and memory book and a skeleton key.

Patchwork Girl costume from The Fourth Anniversary Show
Patchwork Girl costume Fourth Anniversary Show
Mickey Mouse Club Patchwork Girl Fourth Anniversary Show
Meanwhile this patchwork costume creation is a blast from the past and was worn by Doreen Tracey in The Fourth Anniversary Show of the Mickey Mouse Club from 1957. 
D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
There may not have been the same variety of movie and television costumes on display at this event compared to two years ago, but as you can see there were some real highlights which I'll expand upon in the days to come.

One final display of note was the Once Upon A Dream dress exhibit at the entrance to the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives. I was so excited to see what was inside that I didn't really focus on this gowns, which were re-imagined versions of Disney Princess outfits by world-leading fashion designers, which had been featured in the Christmas windows of London's infamous Harrods store in Knightsbridge.

Harrods Once Upon A Dream Disney Princess gowns 
Harrods Once Upon A Dream Disney Princess gowns D23 Expo
Harrods Once Upon A Dream Disney Princess gowns D23 Expo
The gowns were flown in especially for the D23 Expo and were to be flown back to the U.K. to be auctioned off for the Great Ormond Street Hospital children charity.

Re-imagined Snow White gown by Oscar de la Renta
Harrods Once Upon A Dream Disney Princess Snow White gown
Harrods Once Upon Dream Disney Snow White gown
With limited time, I was immediately drawn to this fabulous and dramatic re-imagining of 'Snow White's' 1937 iconic animated look by fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, infamous for his red carpet gowns.

Re-imagined Tianna gown by Ralph & Russo
Harrods Once Upon Dream Disney Tianna gown
This other beautiful dress by Ralph & Russo was a stunning new take on 'Princess Tianna' from Disney's 2009 animated feature and the first to star a black princess, The Princess and the Frog.

Re-imagined Sleeping Beauty gown by Elie Saab
Harrods Once Upon Dream Disney Sleeping Beauty gown
Next was this enchanting fresh look for 'Princess Aurora' from 1959's Sleeping Beauty, and finally a re-envisioned 'Cinderella' dress for the rags to riches fairytale princess from Disney's 1950 animated classic, by Versace no less.

Re-imagined Cinderella gown by Versace
Harrods Once Upon Dream Disney Cinderella gown
In hindsight I really wish I'd taken more time with these beautiful fairytale dresses, but as you can see, there was so much to take in it was almost overwhelming.

Stay tuned in the next week for even more detail and delights from the temporary exhibition, and if you like this collection, be sure to also check out last year's Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit that took place at The Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and featured movie memorabilia from the Tron movies, Iron Man 2, Pirates of the Caribbean and 101/102 Dalmatians.

Remember in the words of Walt himself, "All our dreams come true, if we have the courage to pursue them"...


  1. The Treasures of the Disney Archive is on its way to Chicago. When you saw the exhibit, was there anything from the 1979 movie The Black Hole? Just curious before we make the trip to Chicago. Thanks!

  2. Nope nothing from The Black Hole I'm afraid - this expo exhibit was predominantly focused on Mary Poppins, Oz, Once Upon a Time and Teen Beach movie.


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