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Violinist and Young Woman Edgar Degas
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Violinist and Young Woman (70.167) — Edgar Degas

Watch Me Move: The Animation Show

Sunday, October 06, 2013 – Sunday, January 05, 2014

Expect the unexpected. Lose yourself in the magic of animation with over 100 classic, popular and cutting-edge works on screen. What'll move you?

Purchase Tickets


Watch Me Move: The Animation Show is the most extensive animation exhibition ever mounted, featuring both iconic moments and lesser-known masterpieces from the last 150 years. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see an incredible array of animation techniques in more than 100 animated film segments from across generations and cultures.

"Artists have been experimenting with ways to create the illusion of movement throughout history," said Graham W.J. Beal, DIA director. "Animation as an art form offers limitless opportunities for creativity, and this exhibition illustrates how artists use the medium not just to entertain, but also to explore cultural issues and elements of the human condition."

The exhibition includes animation's great inventors, innovators and artists, from Georges Méliès and Chuck Jones to William Kentridge and Tim Burton, as well work from animation studios such as Walt Disney, Aardman, Studio Ghibli and Pixar.

The exhibition is divided into six interrelated chapters: Apparitions – the emergence of the animated image; Characters – animation's ability to construct powerful, complex personalities; Fables – the use of animation to re-present existing myths and fables and invent new ones; Structures – underlying formal and conceptual structures of the medium; Fragments – animated narratives in a post-modern world; Superhumans – the exaggerated, extended character; and Visions – mapping animated worlds onto the "real" world.

Every Saturday Buy 1 Adult Ticket, Receive 1 Youth Ticket Free

  • Adults: $20 (See the exhibition during the first 6 weeks and save $6!)
  • Youth (Ages 6-17): $10 (See the exhibition during the first 6 weeks and save $2!)
  • Groups (15+): $15 (Discounts for early bookings and school groups.)
  • DIA Members: Free (Buy a membership today!)

Animation super-fan?

A limited number of all-access, unlimited visit passes are available. Click here for details.

All exhibition tickets include a pass to one Watch Me Move: The Animation Show related program at the Detroit Film Theatre. Some exceptions apply.

A $3.50 charge applies to nonmember tickets not purchased at the DIA. Tickets are timed, and advance purchase is recommended. Final entry is one hour prior to closing.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets can also be purchased at the DIA or by calling 313.833.4005.


Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday: Closed

Membership Helpline

Call 313.833.7971 to join, renew or upgrade. DIA members receive free exhibition tickets, discounts and more.

Group Visits

Reservations required for 15+; call 313.833.1292.

Dining and Rentals

Call 313.833.7966.

Visitor Services

Call 313.833.7940. The DIA is wheelchair accessible at the Farnsworth entrance.


Lighted, secure lot behind the museum between Brush St. and John R.

A field trip to see Watch Me Move: The Animation Show can be used to address the Michigan Department of Education's Grade Level Content Expectations for grades six to 12. Students will discover the magic of animation with over 100 classic, popular and cutting-edge works on screen.

Click here to read more and schedule a field trip.

Holiday gifts for cartoon-lovers abound at the Detroit Institute of Arts this year, thanks to the special exhibition Watch Me Move: The Animation Show. The special exhibition shop carries shop items ranging from animation books and DVDs to collectible figures of cartoon favorites, among them Astro Boy, Mickey Mouse and other Disney notables, Betty Boop, The Peanuts Gang, Futurama and the Simpsons, Marvel and DC superheroes and creations by Tim Burton and Pixar. You are sure to find something for everyone in the family.

Located on the second level, across from the exhibition entrance, the shop is open during regular museum hours. Or, shop online, anytime at diashop.org.

This exhibition has been organized by Barbican Centre, London. The Barbican Centre is provided by the City of London Corporation as part of its contribution to the cultural life in London and the nation. In Detroit, generous support has been provided by the GM Foundation and Honigman. Additional support has been provided by Quicken Loans & Rock Ventures LLC. 

Image Caption: Dave Fleischer, Betty Boop, 1932-39. BFI National Archives.




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