I know I’m not alone when I say Disney was my childhood. When that luminescent castle lit up the screen alongside the orchestral accompaniment of When You Wish Upon a Star, the hair on my arms would rise, and I was filled to the brim with joy. We learnt that a dream is a wish your heart makes from classics like Cinderella, that Ohana means family from favourites like Lilo and Stitch or believed that we could go the distance with iconic films like Hercules. No matter the occasion, Disney has a film to guide you through the ups and downs of life.
If you’re looking for a time machine to take you back to when life didn’t need to be taken so seriously, or you find yourself craving a smidge of fairy dust, look no further than the Immersive Disney Animation!
The tales that we all know and love are jumping off the screens and straight into the Marina Bay Sands Theatre. From now till 31 December 2023, Disney will be gifting fans the opportunity to submerge themselves into the happiest realm in the world. Let’s see what the Immersive Disney Animation experience entails!
The entrance to this magical teleportation machine is lined with a plethora of Disney movie posters. Everything from their box office hits to their lesser-known films are put on display for everyone to soak in. This display of Disney’s legacy stands as a sheer testament to the rich tapestry they have woven over the past century – the wall is adorned with generations of pure storytelling gold that have shaped the minds of many with their creative narratives, which fill us with the belief that we can go to infinity and beyond!
And of course, no Disney event is complete without the one and only: Mickey Mouse. As you walk in, you’ll be greeted by a grandiose inflatable of television’s most iconic mouse. This is the first of many photo opportunities that the event will present, and it’d be a sin to walk away from a Disney experience without encapsulating it in a picture with Mickey.
Right next to him is a heartfelt dedication to his creator, the father of this fairy tale dynasty, the man himself: Walt Disney. Armed with nothing but a dream, an amazing flair for imagination and undying grit, Walt Disney started what would be one of the world’s most successful animation powerhouses that has stood the test of time. Although it’s been over a decade since his passing, his message of believing in your imagination and spreading joy remains steadfast. It is woven into the storylines of every Disney movie.
A section a little further down the road pays homage to Disney’s Model department with a life-sized version of the dynamic sisters, Anna and Elsa.
The pair took the world by storm and captured the hearts of children and adults alike with their heartwarming show of familial love. The section shines a light on the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to translate amazing stories into movies for us to enjoy.
Now, let us venture deeper into the magical realm, where the gallery area awaits, promising an insider glimpse into the workings of Disney.
Disney is the world’s biggest supplier of dreams. Now, this dream-making machine is letting us in on how they create and animate their stunning movies. We got to know how this mammoth animation house births one hit after the other. Here, they explore the art of animation by breaking it down into four main components:
- The art of characters: Across the past century, Disney has introduced countless loveable characters that have won our affections. Creating a character that an audience can connect with is integral to storytelling, which is why Disney wants to share how they go about doing so with their audience.
- The art of creating worlds: Disney movies are set in a myriad of different cultures. Given the sheer reach of their films and the impressionable young audience, a lot of research is poured into the creation of the worlds these movies are based on.
- The art of backgrounds: This is where the technicalities of animation kicks in. Unlike live-action films, animation does not have the liberty of professional camera work. So animators have to go above and beyond to portray depth in their movies that suck their audiences in.
- The art of effects: From the small sparkles that shone brightly as Cinderella transformed into the belle of the ball to the epic water scenes in family favourites like Moana, teams at Disney had to find a way to animate these intricacies in the most accurate way they could. Whether using special technology or classic animation techniques, an abundance of effort goes into each effect, big or small, in every Disney movie.
In the gallery, we also got the chance to recreate our favourite characters with the help of a drawing guide! You can now also experience first-hand how it feels to be a Disney animator by recreating Mickey Mouse and friends.
I had no idea just how much work was poured into making an hour and a half of every Disney film. As a viewer, I was only ever entranced by the narratives of these movies, allowing most of the animation magic to fly under my radar. Exploring Disney’s creative process gave me a newfound appreciation for the dedicated individuals working behind the scenes. Witnessing their efforts illuminated the magic and joy embedded in the movies that define our childhood.
We’re now headed to the crux of this experience with the exhibition, which will transport you into the magic stories and tales of your favourite Disney films.
Everything from the screens that replaced the four walls of the theatre down to the floors we stood on were interactive. I was able to dive back to my childhood days as a montage of iconic Disney scenes played all around me. This spectacle, which lasted an hour, included movies like Pocahantas, Zootopia, Aladdin, Encanto and The Lion King – just to name a few. Everyone will be spellbound, whether you’re going to this event with children or adults who may not have had the chance to catch up with newer Disney movies.
This was the highlight of my experience. While immersed in the magical world of Disney, my mind wandered, and funnily enough, I found myself thinking about the boa constrictor in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. In the novel, the little prince drew a boa constrictor that had eaten an elephant. To the adults, his depiction merely resembled a hat, and they would not buy into his illustration of a snake resting after swallowing an elephant.
I wondered when I would turn into the adult who saw a hat instead of the child who would see the animals instead. Experiencing the Immersive Disney Animation rekindled the sense of childlike mysticism in me. Suddenly, I was the same little girl sitting in front of the television, squealing as that castle lit up my screen.
Immersive Disney Animation @ Marina Bay Sands
Now it’s your turn to feel firsthand the magic of this iconic symbol of our childhoods. Immerse yourself in the wonder and nostalgia by securing your tickets for this unforgettable journey down memory lane!
Date: Till 31 December 2023
Location: Sands Theatres, 4 Bayfront Ave, B1, Singapore 018973
Price: From $33
For those of you who want to experience the magic for yourselves, you can head to the official SISTIC ticketing website or the official Marina Bay Sands website to secure yourself tickets for this trip down memory lane!
Photos by Jillian Lau of the DANAMIC Team. Additional visuals courtesy of Immersive Disney Animation Singapore.