TORONTO – The Toronto-based business behind the esthetic blockbuster referred to as Immersive Van Gogh is partnering with Disney to develop an exhibit that showcases highlights from classic animated films like “The The Lion King” and “Frozen.”
Lighthouse Immersive Studios, which employs projection and set pieces, as well as projection screens that cover the walls, floors and the surrounding area with art, announced Thursday that it is collaborating in partnership with Walt Disney Animation Studios on their latest venture, which is scheduled to debut in Toronto in December, and then move into international markets.
Canadian filmmaker J. Miles Dale, who won an Oscar for “The Shape of The Water,” is the creative leader of the project known as Disney Animation: Immersive Experience He says it draws on a popular desire for entertainment that is less passive than traditional shows or exhibitions.
A number of other companies also run similar exhibitions with multimedia in Canada and around the world this trend started growing in popularity around the middle of the ’90s and gained momentum in recent years.
“Since Disney began as a company they were the first to connect with animation sound and also the first to introduce colour to cartoons.” claims Dale who first introduced the idea of working in conjunction with Disney in The Lighthouse Immersive the founder Corey Ross.
“I believe that they realized they wanted to not be left behind by this new media happening…It was a means to increase their reach and also for those who couldn’t normally go to the parks to go and discover a different side of the things they love.”
Although the majority of pandemic restrictions in Canada have been lifted this spring the theatres and cinemas have said getting audiences back was an uphill battle.
Dale says he believes that the magnitude of the Disney project will provide an incentive to families who might otherwise be hesitant about going out on their own.
Ross says he agrees, stating that even though the pandemic could have contributed to the development of new dependences on indoors for some but the entertainment offered by his company along with Disney brand is sure to draw attention.
“We’ve discovered how to stay in the house, stay safe , and also watch Netflix,” says Ross.
“I believe that it’s a matter of time that this kind of experience shared by a group is vital to both the community and the individual. It might require some truly innovative ways to draw people away from their homes, and I’m hoping this can play a role in creating that.”
Dale joins Mexico City-based company Cocolab together with special producer of projects Dorothy McKim who will be leading the initiative for Disney Animation. The global director of Lighthouse Immersive’s creative department David Korins – Tony Award winner and set designer for”Hamilton,” a Broadway musical “Hamilton” is set to create interactive elements for the lobby of guests before entering the exhibition.
When the doors open visitors will be welcomed by themes that cover the entire spectrum of more than 40 Disney properties, ranging from animations that date back to “Steamboat Willie” from 1928, to more modern Disney films like “The Lion King,”” “Frozen” as well as “Encanto.”
One of the issues that creators had to solve was ways to bring an additional dimension to the films that were animated and perfectly formed both visually and audibly. When it came to Van Gogh show, watching still art being brought to life was a part of the attraction, but the same element exists in those Disney films, as he explains.
“We’ve dismantled these films and developed four dimensions of protection , so that it covers. It’s a world that you are in and we’ve put all of it in thematically.”
Ross states that the idea basis to Disney Animation: Immersive Experience came from the popularity of the company’s version Immersive Van Gogh, which premiered in Toronto in the year 2020. Since then, they’ve given similar treatment in the works of Frida Kahlo King Tut and Gustav Klimt and also showcased exhibitions in over twenty North American cities.
Exquisite images and projections will change with the changing shades of color, merging painting and VR into one space.”We started in Toronto with great success and relocated it onto America. United States where we sold more than 5 million tickets,” Ross says. Ross. “That means that one in 90 American citizens could have a ticket to go to the Van Gogh experience, and we enjoyed this incredible achievement and the money that went to it.”
In the wake of Toronto, “Disney Animation: Immersive Experience” is scheduled to relocate across U.S. cities including Nashville, Boston, and Las Vegas next year.