A new Walt Disney Animation Studios exhibit has arrived to the Arlington Art Museum, and the collection features animation from Disney‘s most talented animators. 

“Disney Art from Private Collections” consists of 250 original animation sketches, storyboards, character studies, and concept drawings by longtime Walt Disney Animation Studios artist and Disney legend Andreas Deja and two of the “Nine Old Men,” Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. 

The collection includes works from Disney classics such as Snow White and the Seven DwarfsFantasiaBeauty and the BeastThe Princess and the FrogThe Lion KingAlice in Wonderland101 DalmatiansBambiThe Little MermaidCinderellaAladdin, and more.

“When the Arlington Museum of Art asked me if I was interested in an exhibition that would feature my work from the [Walt] Disney Studios, as well as some personal art, I felt flattered and excited,” Deja said in a press release.

The exhibit will feature Deja’s memorable villains, such as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, and Scar in The Lion King, which Deja oversaw the creative development for, in addition to a behind-the-scenes look at 80 years of Disney films. 

Deja, who was hired in 1980, has been a longtime fan of Disney and, during his early years, was mentored by some of the original Disney animators who Walt Disney himself hired.

“It is my great pleasure to exhibit the work of Disney animators who came before me,” Deja said. “Artists like Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston have inspired me my whole life through characters they animated for classic films like PinocchioPeter Pan, and The Jungle Book. Their original drawings give viewers an insight into the depth of their character analysis and draftsmanship.” 

Chris Hightower, President and CEO of the Arlington Museum of Art, says visitors can expect a unique and immersive experience that includes additional curated events to accompany the exhibit.

“Disney Art from Private Collections” is scheduled to end on September 4, 2022. Additional events will be geared toward children and adults and include a series of Disney animated film screenings.

“Traditional animation requires a great number of drawings for the purpose of bringing a character to life,” Deja said. “No computer will help you in this quest; it is only you and many blank sheets of paper. The artist’s goal is not only to move drawings but more importantly, to move audiences.”