With just a little over five weeks to go before Buena Vista Street opens at Disney California Adventure park, here’s your first look at the art for one of the key programs, appropriately titled “Storytellers” and set to debut inside Elias & Co. While I could spend all day telling you why I’m a fan of this piece, I thought I’d turn it over to artist Noah and Product Developer Lisa Bergman, who were able to give me a bird’s-eye view on what inspired them to create this piece and on the magic that lives on in all of us.
“The main objective was to take the gorgeous ‘Storytellers’ statue that exists in the park and create a life-like scene,” says Noah. “I wanted this piece to have the 1920s sepia-tone feel that can be seen in old vintage photographs. When I painted it, I listened to Big Band music and imagined the sights, sounds, smells and even the weather, and tried to engulf my creativity in that same style. I tried to put myself in Walt Disney’s shoes or follow in his footsteps, as some would say. How excited he must have been on the trip out here, the challenges and dreams he wanted to overcome and achieve. I thought about the luggage he carried, how he lettered his name, and his identity. Walt Disney took the gift of creativity, believed in himself and leveraged it to impact the world with the idea of families coming together to enjoy life. He used stories as the vehicle and gave the child in each of us permission to play and use our imagination.” Noah went on to say, “Every day in some small way, we are a part of Walt’s dream, whether walking through the park, watching amazing movies or television, or just spending time together. It all started with a young cartoonist landing in Los Angeles, his friend Mickey Mouse in his heart, a trunk full of dreams and ambitions, and most importantly, a lifetime of stories to tell.”
There’s so much that went into this, explains Product Developer Lisa Bergman. Its influence came from Disney Archives ephemera, which included a rough sketch of the Hyperion Studios by Ward Kimball, archival photographs of the Hyperion Studios neon sign, Walt’s business card, and pre-1937 animated featurette posters. Representative of the Disney heritage, you will find the iconic “Storytellers” artwork on an array of sepia-tone items, including sublimated t-shirts, fleece sweatshirts, a supple leather jacket, limited edition art, collectibles and more.
Debuting alongside the “Storytellers” collection is a figural piece created by sculptor Rick Terry, whose 3D art you will find as the centerpiece of Buena Vista Street. Product Developer Lisa Bergman has given us the first look at this new sculpture, replicated from the original design. Take a peek!