With a cinematic history of animated classics as long and esteemed as Walt Disney Animation Studios, how do you safely, securely, and conveniently store and archive those immense collected works? Where do the sketches, backgrounds, and concept art pieces retire to when the project is complete? In the world of Disney, they head to a nondescript building in southern California, where the Animation Research Library keeps the keys to the kingdom of Disney history in their first-class physical vaults and digital archives.
I was lucky enough to visit the fabled ARL back in 2017 and they do fascinating work there. So, with Cinderella waltzing into the Walt Disney Signature Collection just in time for its 70th anniversary, I jumped at the chance to hop on the phone with ARL Managing Director Mary Walsh. We discussed Cinderella‘s legacy and how the ARL helps with these big anniversary re-releases, how they maintain a 65-million-piece collection, how they work with historians, artists, documentarians, filmmakers and more to provide access and inspiration, how she ended up in such a rarefied field and her advice to anyone looking to follow in her footsteps
Direct to the Complete Interview with Mary Walsh