Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation. – Walt Disney
Walt Disney is arguably one of the most artistic and creative men that have ever lived. Animation was truly an important part of Walt Disney’s life and career, and he believed in the importance of art. Walt was an imagineer, and had many visions that were transformed into art and animations.
Today, artists put their own spin on Walt’s visions, and work to replicate iconic moments in Walt Disney Studio’s film history. Thomas Kinkade, an American realistic painter, demonstrated and captured his views of some timeless Disney tales through “narrative panoramas,” including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Pirates of the Caribbean, Fantasia, and more.
These works of art are truly breathtaking, and incorporate so much detail. The storyline of the film is often successfully shown in the single image, creating the “narrative panorama.” Keep your eyes open, however! Sometimes you may even spot a few extra characters in the paintings that may not have been in the original story.
With no surprise, my personal Thomas Kinkade favorite (and current background of my laptop) is “Beauty and the Beast Falling in Love.” The attention to detail, and the depth of this painting is remarkable, and I wish to own a copy for my future home someday. In Thomas Kinkade’s artist notes for the painting he said, “In my painting I memorialize that magic moment when they first begin to discover their love for each other.” You can see that charming and peaceful look in the Beast’s eyes, and Belle realizing there may be something there that wasn’t there before. You can also see in the scene Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip, and Maurice in the sky. If you look closely, you can see Gaston, LeFou and the mob approaching. There’s also a few characters that do not quite belong (hint look under the table with the enchanted rose!)
Aside from Beauty and the Beast, Kinkade has also depicted narrations from Snow White, Pinocchio, Cinderella, The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Sleeping Beauty, The Lion King, Peter Pan, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, Winnie the Pooh, and even Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Each painting is complex, with hidden characters all throughout. The color palettes that Kinkade uses are just stunning. My favorite part about these paintings is the story that each tells so well. The entire story really is depicted through this one not-so-simple painting, and I think that is magical.
These paintings can be found on Thomas Kinkade’s website, or at Art of Disney in Epcot and Downtown Disney. To read more about Thomas Kinkade’s artistic life, you can check out his biography. Just like Walt Disney, Thomas put everything he had into his dream, and remained inspired.
Some of the paintings can also be found in jigsaw puzzle form, so if you have the time and patience, you can piece together the magic of these paintings.
Which painting from Thomas is your favorite?