LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney and Cirque Du Soleil amazed a full audience Thursday night during the premiere of the new show “Drawn To Life.”
The theater at Disney Springs was packed with enthusiastic fans who had waited more than a year for its official debut. The show was originally scheduled to open to audiences in spring 2020, but Disney had to put those plans on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The show is the first-ever theatrical collaboration of three creative icons: Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering.
Officials said the show is a love letter to Disney Animation that comes to life through Cirque du Soleil’s acrobatic performances, dazzling choreography, innovative design, incredible costuming alongside all-new characters created by Disney Animation artists.
Before the show started audience members heard speeches from two-time Emmy Award-nominated actor and producer John Stamos, President of Walt Disney World Resort Jeff Vahle and Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.
“This show has been in the works for years and to finally share it with the world is a dream come true,” Lamarre said in a news release. “This collaboration has been unlike anything we’ve done before. We hope it will mean as much to our fans as it has to us – it’s not just our show now, it’s theirs too.”
“Drawn to Life” features 62 artists from 15 countries around the globe including Japan, Russia, Togo, Colombia and Peru.
The story revolves around the character Julie, a determined girl who discovers an unexpected letter by her Disney animator father: an unfinished animation. As she dives into the inner world of animation guided by a surprising pencil, Julie embarks on an inspiring quest filled with childhood Disney memories.
The story is driven by 10 unique acrobatic acts alongside animation from beloved Disney films as well as all-new animation created by Disney Animation artists led by Animation Director Eric Goldberg, best known for characters such as the Genie in the animated classic, “Aladdin.”
Other unique show facts provided by Disney include:
- The four animators who befriend Julie on her journey are Cirque du Soleil’s bow to Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men, icons of Disney Animation
- In the Dreams of Colors act, the kaleidoscope of colors pays homage to the genius of Disney Animation artist Mary Blair. Tribute is also paid to the Women of Ink and Paint, unsung heroes whose brushstrokes gave life to early animation celluloids
- The Old Mill act is inspired by Walt Disney’s groundbreaking 1937 animated short of the same name
- The Squash & Stretch act was inspired by the rubber band fights Disney Animators were known to have during their breaks
“Seeing a Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs has long been a cherished experience for our guests,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “Combining the rich legacy of Disney Animation with the incredible artistry of Cirque du Soleil, Drawn to Life is pure magic.”
“Drawn to Life” will perform Tuesday through Saturday at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.
Click here for tickets and information.