Walt Disney museum to focus on man behind brand

Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:00pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walt Disney is a global brand with film studios and theme parks bearing his name, but now his family are unveiling a museum to tell the story of the animation pioneer they say has been lost behind the trademark.

The Walt Disney Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1995 to promote education and writing about Disney as well as scholarships in his name, will open the Walt Disney Family Museum on October 1 in San Francisco.

"My father's name is probably one of the most well-known names around the world, but as the 'brand' or trademark has spread, for many, the man has become lost," Disney's daughter and museum founder, Diane Disney Miller, said in a statement.

The museum will trace Disney's life from his birth in Chicago and childhood in Missouri to his move to California in 1920s, where he married and his animation career took off with the creation of the "Mickey Mouse" character.

Among the exhibits on display will be early animation drawings, film clips, scripts, cameras and many of Disney's numerous Academy Awards, including an honorary Oscar in 1939 for his first feature length animation film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

There will also be a model of the Disneyland theme park he first envisioned, quite different from the park that opened in California in 1955, and a model of the Lily Belle train that ran on half a mile of track around his Hollywood home.

"Visiting my grandpa was pretty fun," Walter Miller, the foundation's president, recalled at a launch of the museum in New York on Wednesday.