DETROIT (AP) — The 128-year-old Detroit Institute of Arts has gained a reputation as a home for some of the world's most hallowed masterpieces: Paintings by Van Gogh and Picasso, the Diego Rivera industry murals.
Things will look a bit different, though, over the next few months.
Vincent, Pablo and Diego will have company in the form of Mickey, Bart and Bugs.
"Watch Me Move: The Animation Show," which organizers call the "most extensive animation show ever mounted," has both iconic clips — featuring the aforementioned Mouse, Simpson and Bunny — as well as lesser-known works that span the past 100-plus years. The show brings together industry pioneers, independent filmmakers and contemporary artists, including William Kentridge and Nathalie Djurberg, alongside commercial studios such as Walt Disney, Aardman and Pixar.
The exhibit takes its name from American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay's century-old short film "Little Nemo," which displays an on-screen message inviting viewers to "Watch Me Move."
Visitors can peruse more than 100 animated film segments — nearly 12 hours' worth of footage.
Time-lapse, stop-motion, hand-drawn and computer-generated animation. It's all there in a six-section configuration designed to attract art lovers and pop-culture fanboys alike.
"Animation is art and is just as worthy as our Van Goghs or our (Pieter) Bruegels to hang inside a museum," said Jane Dini, one of the show's curators.
"Hang" is the operative word.
Plush couches and other seating areas are placed throughout the show, along with headphones and built-in audio sources. It's designed to allow visitors to take a load off and absorb the animated content at their own pace.
"One of the things we tried to think about was how somebody could easily get through the exhibition in a half an hour, 40 minutes and feel that they had been immersed in the history of animation," Dini said. "And then for those real connoisseurs of animation, that they could sit here and really" take it in.
For that latter group, the DIA is offering a $75 pass that allows for unlimited visits to the exhibit and to the related movies and lectures.
One lecture will be delivered by Leslie Iwerks, an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker whose grandfather, Ub Iwerks, was a pioneering Disney animator. A clip from Ub Iwerks' "Silly Symphonies" is shown not far from "Little Nemo" in the show's "Beginnings" section, which kicks off the show and is devoted to the emergence of the animated image.
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