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DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

Detroit Institute of Arts exhibition Watch Me Move: The Animation Show brings a variety of related activities to enjoy in November

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Exhibition tickets include admission to one Detroit Film Theatre Compilation 

Contact:  Larisa Zade   313-833-7962

(Detroit)—Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Daffy Duck and cartoon superheroes are just some of the stars featured in November at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) as part of activities related to the exhibition Watch Me Move: The Animation Show. The exhibition is on view through Jan. 5.

The exhibition is the most extensive animation show ever mounted, featuring iconic moments and lesser-known masterpieces from the last 150 years. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see an array of animation techniques in animated film segments from across generations and cultures.

Exhibition tickets include admission to one Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) Compilation. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for ages 6–17. Tickets for those who see the Watch Me Move by Nov. 17 are $14 for adults and $8 for ages 6–17. DIA members are free, and receive a 20 percent discount in the special exhibition shop and main museum shop from Nov. 8 to Nov. 17.

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.

November activities include something for every animation interest—engaging presentations on various aspects of animation’s history, animated films, artist demonstrations, art-making and live music.

From Mickey Mouse to Buzz Lightyear

Leslie Iwerks is an Oscar®-nominated director and the granddaughter of Ub Iwerks, who designed Mickey Mouse. She will chronicle the evolution of animation from the 1920s, when her grandfather worked with Walt Disney, through the era of computer animation that has revolutionized Hollywood. Tickets: $5. Sponsored by Friends of Detroit Film Theatre.

An Animated Continent: Europe’s Role in the Shaping of an Art Form
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 6 p.m.
Elliot Wilhelm, director of the DFT, talks about the significant role European artists played in the history of cinema, ever since August and Louis Lumière projected motion pictures before a paying audience in 1895. Tickets are $60 and include the presentation, a cocktail reception and an exclusive viewing of Watch Me Move. Call 313-833-4005 or visit to purchase tickets. Proceeds benefit the DIA. Sponsored by the Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

Bam! Piff! Pow! Creating Superhero Art
Saturday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m.
Creators of Batman: The Animated Series Alan Burnett and Paul Dini will speak about their collaborations, including Justice League, Ultimate Spider-Man and their new project, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Tickets: $5.

Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg
Wed., Nov. 20, 7 p.m.
Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg creates stop-action claymation films that tell stories about the human condition accompanied by music composed by Hans Berg. Sponsored by Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art and College for Creative Studies

Out of the Inkwell, Out of the Vaults
Saturday, Nov. 30, 3 p.m.
Steve Stanchfield, professor of animation history at the College for Creative Studies and an award-winning animator and co-owner of Thunderbean studio in Ann Arbor, will discuss the art and technology of animation with examples from his extensive film collection. Tickets: $5.

Animated Feature Films at the DFT
The DFT presents a variety of animated films in conjunction with Watch Me Move. Tickets are $7.50 per showing and $6.50 for members, unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
Ridiculed for his enormous ears and separated from his mother, young Dumbo, a circus elephant, is relegated to performing acts far beneath his abilities. It’s up to Dumbo’s only true friend, Timothy Q. Mouse, to give Dumbo the courage to live up to his true potential in this 1941 Disney classic.

Saturday, Nov. 2, 9:30 p.m.
In 19th-century England, a wondrous new invention called the “steam ball” appears at the door of a young inventor, promising a revolutionary advance in steam power. But the boy quickly discovers that nefarious forces are out to seize the new power source for their own greedy ends.

Chico and Rita
Friday, Nov. 8, 9:30 p.m.
Oscar®-winning director Fernando Trueba and legendary illustrator Javier Mariscal celebrate the music and culture of Cuba with an epic story of love, passion, and heartbreak. In 1948 Cuba, Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and desire unite them as they chase their dreams and each other from Havana to New York, to Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas. Chico and Rita features the music of (and animated cameos by) Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Cole Porter, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Tito Puente, Chano Pozo and others. Free with museum admission.

The Iron Giant
Sunday, Nov. 10, 4:30 p.m.
When a nine-year-old boy makes friends with an alien giant robot, it's up to the boy to protect his gentle new friend from sinister military forces. Set in the 1950s, The Iron Giant is based on the 1968 story "Iron Man" by British poet laureate Ted Hughes. The Iron Giant was the first big-screen feature from director Brad Bird, who would go on to direct two of Pixar's classics, The Incredibles and Ratatouille.

Summer Wars
Friday, Nov.15, 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 17, 4:30 p.m.
When young Kenji solves a 2,056 digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting Oz, a globe-spanning virtual world where people and governments interact through avatars. This cyberpunk/sci-fi story is a visual tour-de-force of anime; Oz itself is a hallucinatory pixel parade of cool avatar designs, kung fu jackrabbits, toothy bears and a burst of rainbow colors.

Jason and the Argonauts
Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m.
This 1963 classic mythological adventure film about Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece features legendary stop-motion animation by special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, highlighted by battles with a giant snf a living bronze statue, as well an army of angry, weapon-wielding skeletons.

Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, 9:30 p.m.
Director Tim Burton’s feature-length version of a short film he made as a student is the tale of young Victor, who conducts a science experiment to return his dog back to life after it was hit by a car. The results are hilarious and moving in this example of traditional stop-motion puppet animation.

A Town Called Panic
Sunday, Nov. 24, 4:30 p.m.
Horse, Cowboy and Indian have a strange and wonderful relationship, especially considering that they’re plastic. Animating generic toys, the creators of this Belgian gem have fashioned an absurdist world that has plenty of room for friendship and love, birthday presents, online shopping, music lessons, and home improvements. Slightly risqué only when Horse concentrates on wooing the village’s sexy equine music teacher, this is animation for both adults and kids. A Town Called Panic features occasional bad language in the English subtitles, but is otherwise appropriate for kids.

Animation Compilations
Compilations of clips and short films in 10 categories cover the milestones in the history of animation. Tickets are $5 per showing. Watch Me Move exhibition tickets include admission to one showing. Running time for each program is approximately one hour.

Animated Oddities and Unexpected Pleasures
Sunday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 23: 4 p.m.
Some of the most memorable animated short films have not been part of an easily identifiable stylistic or thematic trend. From one-joke comic larks to the early work of Tim Burton and the fables of John and Faith Hubley, animation is often the medium of choice for expressing the inexpressible.

Computer Animation
Thursday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 24, 2 p.m.
The earliest experiments in computer generated imagery took place in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1986 that Pixar’s short film Luxo Jr. made the world take notice. Following Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs in 1993, computer animation became a doorway that led animators and feature filmmakers to a limitless frontier.

Pioneers of Animation
Sunday, Nov. 10, 2 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 29, 4 p.m.
At the dawn of the 20th century, visionary artists such as the Lumière brothers, Etienne-Jules Marey, Emile Cohland, and Georges Méliès, discovered the ability to artificially animate images to cast a spell of astonishment.

Early East Coast Studios
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2 p.m.
Animation evolved into a sizeable business by the 1920s. In New York, pioneers such as Max and Dave Fleisher were creating characters like Koko the Clown, Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor, who literally popped “out of the inkwell” to embark on surrealistic, sophisticated adventures that embraced the ethos and rhythms of the Jazz Age.

Golden Age of Hollywood Animation
Friday, Nov. 15, 4 p.m.
The first movie stars were products of Hollywood, but for animators on the West Coast, like Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, the biggest stars were not discovered at auditions—they were drawn from scratch, ready to perform as directed.

Warner Bros. Animation
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2 p.m.
For audacity and comic invention, perhaps no other Hollywood studio matched the imaginative output of Warner Brothers. The words “Looney Tunes” appearing in a darkened theater brought immediate cheers, as characters like Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and the Road Runner were brought to life.

Avant-Garde Animation
Saturday, Nov. 16, 4 p.m.
Since the earliest days of animation, experimentation with the abstract, non-narrative possibilities of the movie screen as a channel for expression has appealed to such artists as Oskar Fischinger, Fernand Léger and the Quay Brothers. Dispensing with traditional storylines, these films used the power of suggestion and the pure joy of motion to grab viewers' attention.

The National Film Board of Canada
Sunday, Nov. 17, 2 p.m.
Canada’s National Film Board (NFB) has produced a staggering number of short animated works, receiving more than 50 Oscar® nominations. Ranging from the comic to the poetic, the NFB has supported animators whose works have utilized a variety of animation techniques to create visions of a world both beautiful and troubled.

Early Television Animation
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2 p.m.
By the 1950s, Saturday morning TV meant one thing to American kids: cartoons. A universe of characters could be found, including Scooby-Doo and Fred Flintstone.

Post-War European Animation
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2 p.m.
After World War II, animation artists in Soviet-bloc countries found powerful ways to express the anxiety and fear that constituted day-to-day existence under repressive regimes. Walerian Borowczyk, Jiri Trnka, Jan Svankmajer and others distilled their feelings into visual metaphors that conveyed their messages to the rest of the world.

The Films of Ladislaw Starewicz with Little Bang Theory
Friday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m.
Ladislaw Starewicz began creating his surreal stop-motion animation films in 1910 and continued until his death in 1965. The equally innovative and quirky music of Frank Pahl and Little Bang Theory will accompany a selection of Starewicz’s works.

Omar Sosa
Friday, Nov. 8: 7 p.m.
Composer-pianist-bandleader Omar Sosa creates music that fuses electronic elements with his native Afro-Cuban roots to create a fresh and original sound with a Latin-jazz heart.

Family Programs
Flip Book Drop-in Workshops
Fridays in Nov., 6–9 p.m.
Learn about this simple animation process and create a small book with images that appear to move.

Artist Demonstration: Shadow Animation
Sunday, Nov. 24: Noon–4 p.m.
The Adzooks Puppets explore the link between puppetry and animation in this hands-on demonstration using iPads provided by the performers.

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. For membership information call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.