Recommended by Nick Carver – Marketing Manager

  • THE STRETCHING PORTRAITS (1969)
  • Marc Davis

Marc Davis (1913 – 2000) was an artist and animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios. He was one of Disney’s ‘Nine Old Men’, the pioneering animators behind the classic films of Disney’s golden age. He was admired and renowned for his knowledge and understanding of visual aesthetics. After his work on ‘One Hundred and One Dalmatians’ in 1961, he moved to Walt Disney Imagineering to work on concepts for Disneyland and Walt Disney World before retiring in 1978.

Davis was responsible for the design and development of a plethora of well-loved Disney characters, including: Snow White, Tinker Bell, Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, and Bambi. He was a prolific artist, and the concept art he produced for these characters is among my favourite in the world of animation.

However, being pinned down to a particular choice, I have opted for four paintings that are well-known within Disney circles, but are not connected to their film library. The four paintings, known as the “Stretch Portraits”, were designed by Davis for the classic Disneyland attraction ‘The Haunted Mansion’ in 1969. Guests enter a panelled room and find themselves overlooked by four seemingly innocent portraits. As the doors disappear, the room seems to start stretching, as indeed are the portraits; the more they stretch, the more their darker secrets are revealed!

The work is typically Davis – whimsical, fun and characterful… and for those who remember any of my previous art choices, full of the vintage charm that I love!