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Inside the windowless bunker where Disney stores its 'secret weapon'
Rory Carroll

The Walt Disney Animation Research Library, which houses 65m items from sketches of Mickey Mouse to the original Pinocchio puppet, is an Aladdin’s cave of intellectual property

Disney staff used to call it the morgue, a windowless bunker of a building near corporate headquarters which stored drawings and sketches dating back decades.

The very first pencilings of Mickey Mouse, drafts of the forest in Sleeping Beauty, underwater sequences in The Little Mermaid and millions of other scenes and fragments from films, all diligently stored in the building’s 11 vaults in Glendale, Los Angeles.

The lugubrious nickname conjured mildewed arcana, a forgotten department two miles from the Burbank studio where paper went to die. A deceptive impression.

The morgue, now officially called the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, channels a corporate life-force that has made Disney the world’s entertainment behemoth.

“For a long time this was known as Disney’s secret weapon because the company could always go back to reuse and develop material. Every single animated drawing has its own record. Amazing really because Hollywood is usually so ephemeral,” said Fox Carney, the library’s research manager.



Source type Magazine
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text


Id 4241
Availability Free
Inserted 2019-03-26