live action model

“Belle is the feminist princess so much better than Cinderella who is a bad role model for girls!”

Oh. Oh really

So she was a bad role model when she:

  • Stood up to her abuser twice
  • Didn’t whine or moan about only getting until midnight at the ball
  • Used the derogatory name her abusers had given her to proudly announce herself to the prince because she wouldn’t let them win
  • Remained kind and courageous through the abuse she endured
  • Worried more about the man who delivered her the news about her father’s death than herself (”that must have been very difficult for you”)
  • Forgave her abuser, because she knew continuing to stay mad would only bring her down.
  • Felt sorry for how her stepsisters because of what they had become due to their mother
  • Had just had her mother’s dress destroyed and the chance of meeting her only friend taken away from her, but still cared for the beggar woman who asked for some milk
  • Didn’t try to hide who she was for the prince
  • Told a man of wealth off for hunting after a stag - “just because its what’s done doesn’t mean its what should be done!”
  • Cared for all her animals

A female character doesn’t just have to punch things and not wear a corset to be a good role model. I love Belle, but don’t dismiss Cinderella when she’s just as good as a role model as Belle!

(also feel free to add what I have missed!)

Quite a lovely photo of my kit from Swordcraft last night. Slowly working my body strength back up to be able to wear all my plate armour again. It feels amazing! Even if I am pretty sore today. Also my halberd, Jacopo, is finally back in fighting form after having to rebuild him twice.

Photo by Portrait Photography.
Swordcraft. Melbourne, Australia.

A fellow Grace Kelly fan, theawesomeprincess, has recently called my attention to a fact no Disney/classic Hollywood aficionado can fail to see: Cinderella looks strikingly similar to the Princess of Monaco.

I used to wonder whether Cinderella was actually modelled after Grace. But the dates don’t add up: Grace Kelly would only get a big break in Hollywood in late 1952, and Cinderella was produced in 1949. The truth is, Cinderella was actually modelled after a professional live action model Helene Stanley. And yet…

In this manip, Cinderella is wearing a famous black and white dress designed by Edith Head for ‘Rear Window’ - just like Grace.

 By the by, the fact that Edith was not nominated by the Academy for this film’s costume design is beyond me.

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When Howard Ashman was coaching Ariel’s live-action reference model, Howard physicalised the now iconic extraction of Ariel’s voice to help her understand what she needed to express. “It was dance-like and very visual, clear and dramatic”, recalls director John Musker. When you see the voice extraction scene, in the moment that Ariel’s voice moves out of her body, you are watching Howard’s movement. 

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HAPPY STAR WARS!!
Had to draw my gorgeous roommate in an action/starwars-esque scene! Hope you enjoy it!!

Same Voice, Different Disney Characters

When Walt Disney was alive, many of his animated films (and some released after his death) featured different characters with the same voice actors. Some of these included Eleanor Audley (who voiced Lady Tremaine and Maleficent), Sterling Halloway (whose character voices included Adult Flower, Cheshire Cat, Kaa, and Winnie the Pooh), and Verna Felton (who voiced the Fairy Godmother, the Queen of Hearts, and Flora).

Among my most favorites is Kathryn Beaumont, who was one of the few child voice actors to voice characters who were also children. She is best remembered for voicing two female protagonists: the titular Alice of Alice in Wonderland and Wendy Darling in Peter Pan. Not only did she perform their voices, but she played both characters as a live action reference model for the animators in the two films. Because they share the same voice actress and model, Alice and Wendy also have extremely similar facial features, including blue eyes. Besides that, these two heroines share some other things in common:

  • Both live in England
  • Both wear blue clothing (although Alice wears an actual dress, while Wendy wears a nightgown)
  • Both are preteens (Alice is ten, Wendy is twelve)
  • Both are very imaginative and adventurous
  • Both have a pet (Alice has her cat, Dinah, Wendy has her dog, Nana)
  • Both interact with characters voiced by Heather Angel and Bill Thompson (Angel voices Alice’s sister and Wendy’s mother, Thompson voices the White Rabbit and Mr. Smee)
  • Both of them also wake up from what seems like a dream of their respective fantasy worlds, both of which also end in “land” (although it is made very clear that Alice’s adventures were just a dream, while it doesn’t appear so much that way for Wendy)

Another connection made between the two films is one of the songs. The opening song in Peter Pan, “The Second Star to the Right,” actually contains the recycled melody of a deleted song from Alice in Wonderland, known as “Beyond the Laughing Sky.”

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Peter Pan

51 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Feb. 5th, 1953
Country: USA
Director: Clyde Geromini, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske

“Peter Pan, one of Walt Disney’s favorite stories, is based on the 1904 play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. Peter Pan is the final Disney animated feature released through RKO before Walt Disney’s founding of his own distribution company, Buena Vista Distribution, later in 1953 after the film was released. Peter Pan is also the final Disney film in which all nine members of Disney’s Nine Old Men worked together as directing animators. 

The film begins in the London nursery of Wendy, John, and Michael Darling, where the three children are visited by Peter Pan. With the help of his tiny friend, the fairy Tinkerbell, Peter takes the three children on a magical flight to Never Land. This enchanted island is home to Peter, Tink, the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and her Native American nation, and the scheming Captain Hook who is as intent on defeating Peter Pan as he is from escaping a tick-tocking crocodile.

Peter Pan was originally intended to be Disney’s second film after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. However he could not get the rights until four years later, after he came to an arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, to whom Barrie had bequeathed the rights to the play. The studio started the story development and character designs in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and intended it to be his fourth film, after Snow White, Bambi and Pinocchio.

During this time Disney explored many possibilities of how the story could be interpreted. In the earliest version of the story, the film started by telling Peter Pan’s back story. Walt also explored opening the film in Neverland and Peter Pan coming to Wendy’s house to kidnap her as a mother for the Lost Boys. Eventually, Disney decided that the kidnapping was too dark. In another version of the film, Nana went to Neverland with Pan and the Darling children, and the story was told through her eyes. In other interpretations of the story John Darling was left behind for being too serious, practical and boring.

It was not until 1947, as the studio’s financial health started to improve again after WWII, that the actual production of Peter Pan commenced, even though Roy O. Disney did not think that Peter Pan would have much box office appeal.\

Milt Kahl, the supervising animator of Peter Pan and The Darling Children, claimed that the hardest thing to animate was a character floating in mid air.

Rumor has it that Tinker Bell’s design was based on Marilyn Monroe, but in reality her design was based on Tinker Bell’s live-action reference model, Margaret Kerry. Margaret Kerry posed for reference film shots on a sound stage; the footage was later used by supervising Tinker Bell animator Marc Davis and his team when they drew the character. Like Kerry, Bobby Driscoll was both the live-action reference model, mainly used for the close-up scenes, and the voice actor for Peter Pan. Peter’s flying and action reference shots, however, were provided by dancer and choreographer Roland Dupree. Similarly, Hans Conried, the voice of both Captain Hook and Mr. Darling, also performed the live-action reference footage for those characters (it was one of the few elements left over from the play, that Hook and Mr. Darling were played by the same actor). 

The film was a commercial success and was also the highest-grossing film of 1953. In 1955, it was reported that the film had earned $7 million against its budget of $4 million. Peter Pan was praised by most critics during its initial release. The New York Times gave the film a mixed review, praising the animation itself, but also declaring that the film was not really true to the spirit of the original Barrie play. Walt Disney himself was dissatisfied with the finished product, feeling that the character of Peter Pan was cold and unlikable. However, experts on J.M. Barrie praise this as a success, as they insist that Pan was originally written to be a heartless sociopath.

Peter Pan has been seen as racist in recent years due to the way Disney portrayed the Native American “Indians” in the film. They are displayed as wild, savage, violent and speak in a stereotypical way. These stereotypes are present in J. M. Barrie’s play. Marc Davis, one of the supervising animators of the film, said in an interview years after the production that ‘I’m not sure we would have done the Indians if we were making this movie now. And if we had we wouldn’t do them the way we did back then.’”

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Was anyone aware that Disney did this. Long before computer animation Disney animators had Live Action Reference Models they had them play out entire scenes and they would study them to animate. They did this with the little mermaid and most of Ariels mannerisms are those of the actresses.