Great Big Beautiful Podcast: Episode 22 – Walt Disney Archives

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Episode 22: Walt Disney Archives

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This week, we’re honored to be joined by the director of the Walt Disney Archives, Becky Cline. There is perhaps no other arm of the Walt Disney Company that inspires as much romance and mystery as the Walt Disney Archives. In short, it’s a closed-to-the-public repository of pretty much everything of historical importance to Disney.

From animated shorts and films, to the theme parks, to modern live-action films (including properties Disney now owns, such as Marvel and Star Wars), the archives houses it all: important paperwork, photographs, drawings, sketches, paintings, models, props, costumes, recordings, and on and on.

It’s pretty much heaven for Disney geeks. And Becky Cline gets to oversee it all. We’ve had a lot of people on the show who claim to have a “dream job,” but Becky might actually have a legitimate claim to the title.

The massive Disney convention, D23 Expo, is coming up next weekend, and the Walt Disney Archives will have a major presence there. This year, they’re mounting a 12,000 square foot exhibit (their largest ever) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Disneyland. The exhibit will be on the show floor and will include themed areas that honor the park’s history, attractions, parades, and entertainment over the past six decades.

More than 300 items will be on display, including these gems:

  • Ticket number 1, purchased by Roy O. Disney on July 18, 1955
  • A prototype ride vehicle for the Alice in Wonderland attraction
  • Fantasmic! costumes
  • An early Autopia car
  • The recently replaced Abominable Snowman from the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction

We talk about the exhibit and a couple of D23 Expo panels Becky is involved with: a Mickey Mouse Club “reunion” and a panel about a four-hour film that shines a spotlight on Walt Disney’s life and legacy that will be on PBS’s American Experience in September:

Mostly, though, we just geek out about the archives and what it holds.

And yeah, we talk about how much space she needs to find for the new Star Wars props and vehicles.


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