Walt Disney Animation Studios today announced that it will team with Lighthouse Immersive Studios, the producers of the blockbuster Immersive Van Gogh, to develop Disney Animation Immersive Experience, which will receive its world premiere in Toronto this December and then can be seen across the United States and other areas of the world in the next year.
Creating iconic animated stories for all ages for nearly a century, Walt Disney Animation Studios will join forces with North America’s top creator of experiential projection exhibitions to present the music and artistry within Disney Animation’s canon of films – from hits of today like Encanto, Zootopia and Frozen, to all of the classics including The Lion King, Peter Pan and Pinocchio.
Disney Animation Immersive Experience will debut at Lighthouse ArtSpace Toronto in December 2022, and will subsequently be seen in Cleveland, Nashville, Detroit, Denver, Boston, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Columbus in the first four months of 2023.
Additional cities are currently being scheduled and Tokyo will be the first city outside of North America to receive Disney Animation Immersive Experience.
“The collaboration with Lighthouse Immersive is a first for Disney Animation,” said Clark Spencer, president, Walt Disney Animation Studios and two-time Academy Award winner (Encanto, Zootopia).
“It’s a dream to bring the best of animated storytelling together with the top experts in the immersive art experience. We can’t wait for audiences around the world, of all ages, to experience the great moments from our legacy of feature films in this incredible way.”
“Like so many of us, I have a life-long love of Disney films,” said Lighthouse Immersive founder Corey Ross. “I’ve grown up with them since childhood and so has my family.
“The work lends itself brilliantly to the immersive experience and I am confident this program will give our guests the opportunity to be engulfed in the world of Disney, making them feel like they’re standing next to their favorite characters and seeing the world through their eyes.”
The creative team for the Disney Animation Immersive Experience is led by Oscar-winning producer J. Miles Dale (Best Picture 2018 – The Shape of Water) who said, “Trailblazing in a new medium is always exciting, and this is truly going to be the most challenging and rewarding project of my career.
“Being entrusted with Disney’s rich archive of animation is a great honor, but also a tremendous responsibility.
He added: “With such a wealth of material and a treasure trove of memorable characters, it will be a thrill to bring the work of all the great Disney animators and performers to life in a 360-degree immersive environment.”
Mexico City-based Cocolab is working with Dale and the Creative Legacy team at Walt Disney Animation Studios to develop the program for Lighthouse Immersive Studios. Special Projects Producer Dorothy McKim (Oscar nominated for Get A Horse!) is spearheading the project for Disney Animation.
The audience experience will be further enhanced by Lighthouse Immersive’s Global Creative Director David Korins, (Tony Award nominee whose credits include more than 20 Broadway shows including Hamilton, and an Emmy Award winner for Grease Live).
Korins will develop never-before-seen interactive lobby elements that guests can enjoy before or after entering the gallery.
Ross captures the excitement both Disney and Lighthouse Immersive feel for the project as he describes how it begins: “Just imagine journeying through Zootopia with Judy Hopps, diving to the ocean floor with Ariel, flying on a magic carpet with Aladdin, and stepping into Casita with Mirabel and the family Madrigal. This is where the Disney Animation: Immersive Experience will take you.”
Collaborating with Lighthouse Immersive is the Creative Legacy team of Walt Disney Animation Studios, helping bring their library of films to audiences in a manner never before experienced. The schedule of openings, on-sale date for tickets and prices will be announced at a future date. The public can sign up to receive more information at DisneyImmersive.com.
Mirko Parlevliet has been reporting on the entertainment industry since 1998 and founded Vital Thrills in 2018 to cover the latest streaming, movie, TV, and video game news. Mirko previously created the websites ComingSoon, Spider-Man Hype!, SuperHeroHype, and ShockTillYouDrop.