The Walt Disney Company is opening its archives to the public for the very first time — well, figuratively speaking. Collider can exclusively announce that Adventure Thru the Walt Disney Archives, an all-new documentary, will premiere on Disney+ on November 19, taking Disney fanatics on an adventure through the company’s vast history, examined through the lens of the objects and ephemera stored in the Walt Disney Archives.
Previously screened only once for members of D23, the official Disney fan club, the documentary’s release will mark the first time the film has been made available to the public, opening up the doors of 50 years of history. Hosted by Don Hahn — legendary producer of Disney films like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast — the film will explore beloved parts of Disney’s history as displayed in the archives, speaking with team members to uncover iconic pieces remembered fondly by fans the world over.
Directed by John Gleim, the film features glimpses at classic Disney iconography, including Mary Poppins’ carousel horse, Haunted Mansion’s hitchhiking ghosts, and even the piano used by Richard and Robert Sherman when they wrote some of Disney’s most iconic songs, including “Feed the Birds,” Walt Disney’s favorite tune. The film also reveals new interviews with Disney icons, including Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, Pixar’s Pete Docter, film historian Leonard Maltin, and Star Wars icon Mark Hamill.
“Walt Disney was one of the first to pull back the curtain,” Hamill says in the film’s trailer, “And show how movies and television were made.”
The Walt Disney Archives celebrated their fiftieth-anniversary last year, having been founded in June of 1970 by Disney Legend Dave Smith to “collect, preserve and make available for research the historical materials relating to Walt and the company he founded.” The archives have collected millions of items pertaining to the entertainment giant’s history since their founding, and have curated numerous exhibits across the country to display that history, including Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume, now on display at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington.
Adventure Thru the Walt Disney Archives premieres exclusively on Disney+ on November 19. Check out the film’s trailer below: