Fantasia Book (1940)
The object that I found to be the most interesting in Special Collections was the Fantasia book by Deems Taylor from 1940. As one of the earliest Walt Disney films, Fantasia is still revered by many to be an outstanding example of early 2D animation cinema, and as one of the first movies to combine classical music with artistic animation, it still remains significant in media arts culture. Although Fantasia flopped at the time and caused Walt Disney Studios to lose a lot of money, Fantasia is now a Disney classic and stands out through its unique usage of animated characters to tell stories of the music that it was inspired by. The book itself is quite big, hardcover with fabric binding in black and white print. Interestingly enough, however, colored renderings of Fantasia concept art have been pasted in over the black and white lithography that give a new dimension to the illustrations of the book and draw the reader into the story. Musical scores of the corresponding scenes flow through the book so that one can visually understand the way the music and the artwork work together to create a modern cinematic experience for the time. If I had not seen the object in person, I would not have known that the colored images were pasted in nor have been able to feel how thick the pages were. I found this book particularly interesting to look at because, as an aspiring Disney artist, I draw a lot of inspiration from the Golden Age of Disney and the original conceptual artwork that focuses more on animation as an art form and not a money pit. Understanding the work put into making this book and seeing the original concept art is a great experience and I feel a greater appreciation for Fantasia after viewing the book in person.