walt disney animated features

6

‘A Dream Come True and a Career Curtailed:

The True-Life Fairy Tale of Adriana Caselotti, the Voice of Snow White’

by Brian Sibley, via Independent.co.uk

If the animated princess in the fairy tale represented a child-like innocence and naive goodness Adriana Caselotti - even well into her old age - still embodied those qualities. In our more cynical age, there were those who dismissed her as eccentric, or, worse, as plain batty. But she preserved and defended the image of the character she helped to create and took great joy in being loved for what was a unique contribution to cinema history.

She was 18 years old when Walt Disney embarked on a revolutionary project: the world’s first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Not only had no one attempted such a film, but no one knew whether audiences would sit through a 90-minute “cartoon”. However, Disney believed that as long as his artists could create characters with believable personalities, the film would succeed.

The search for someone to speak and sing for Snow White began in 1934 when Disney’s casting director, Roy Scott, sought the advice of Guido Caselotti, a Los Angeles singing teacher. His younger daughter, Adriana, picked up the telephone extension while they were speaking and heard Scott asking her father if he knew of a little girl who could speak as a child and yet could sing operatic-style songs.

The eavesdropper immediately interrupted the conversation with a request that she might try out for the part, followed by a demonstration of her best coloratura trills. She was the first person to be auditioned for the role.

Since the part was intended for a 14-year-old, Adriana Caselotti knocked two years off her age and told Disney’s musical director, Frank Churchill, that she was only 16. When she sight-read Churchill’s song Someday My Prince Will Come, Walt Disney (who was listening behind a screen, so as to concentrate on the voice without being distracted by the singer’s appearance) felt sure that he had found his Snow White. That said, no fewer than 148 other hopefuls were auditioned!

It was a remarkable vocal performance: her singing was exquisite and her rendition of the dialogue was full of naivete, gentleness and compassion. She was paid $20 a day for her work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and her total earnings for the film were just $970, although the film went on to earn millions of dollars for Disney. It was only when, uninvited, she managed to sneak into the film’s rapturously-received premiere, in December 1937, that she realized she had taken part in something that was destined for enduring fame. However, none of the actors who spoke for the characters was credited on the film.

For Adriana Caselotti, being Snow White was a once-in-a-lifetime job; in different circumstances it might have brought her great stardom. Jack Benny wanted her as a guest star on his radio show, but Disney vetoed the appearance, writing, “I’m sorry, but that voice can’t be used anywhere. I don’t want to spoil the illusion of Snow White.” And, whilst Caselotti always hoped that Disney would find her another screen role, he wisely knew that the voice of Snow White was unique and should never be used again. Her only other cinematic contribution, for which she was paid $100, was to sing the falsetto line “Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo", in the Tin Man’s song in The Wizard of Oz.

Later, Disney sent her on film-promotion tours, dressed as Snow White and accompanied by Pinto Colvig, who spoke for the dwarfs Sleepy and Grumpy. Adriana Caselotti confided to me that on one tour she and Colvig had a fling - the idea of a romance between Snow White and Grumpy is certainly an intriguing one.

In 1938, Caselotti and the actor who voiced Prince Charming unsuccessfully sued Disney and RCA (for $200,000 and $100,000, respectively) for a share of soundtrack-record profits. After this episode, though, she appeared to have been fairly loyal to Disney for the rest of her life.

Gracious and generous-hearted, Caselotti lived out the role of Snow White for the rest of her life: singing Whistle While You Work to strangers in the street, allowing herself to be photographed in the famous costume and permitting the public cataloging of her marriages to four Prince Charmings.

But despite making only one movie, Adriana Caselotti nevertheless secured for herself a kind of immortality. The last time I left her, she remarked that Snow White would never die; then, with a laugh, she added: “And when I’m in that coffin, d'you know what you’ll hear? Someday My Prince Will Come, because you see my voice will live for ever.”

Adriana Caselotti, actress: born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on May 6, 1916; died in Los Angeles January 18, 1997. R.I.P. Adriana!

10

Sleeping Beauty

75 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Jan. 29th, 1959
Country: USA
Director: Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman

“Sleeping Beauty was the 16th film released from Walt Disney, and was the first animated film to be photographed in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process.

Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil witch Maleficent, who declares that before the sun sets on Aurora’s 16th birthday she will die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. To try to prevent this, the king places her into hiding, in the care of three fairies. They raise Aurora as their own, calling her Briar Rose and letting her know nothing of her true identity. On the day of her 16th birthday, she unknowingly meets her betrothed prince, as well as reignites Maleficent’s wrath. 

The name given to the princess by her royal birth parents is ‘Aurora’, as it was in the original Tchaikovsky ballet. In hiding, she is called Briar Rose, the name of the princess in the Brothers Grimm’s version. Prince Phillip has the distinction of being the first Disney prince to have a name.

Following the critical and commercial success of Cinderella, writing for Sleeping Beauty began in early 1951. Partial story elements originated from discarded ideas for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella. By the middle of 1953, director Wilfred Jackson had recorded the dialogue, assembled a story reel, and was to commence for preliminary animation, but Walt Disney decided to throw out the meeting sequence between Briar Rose and Phillip, delaying the film from its initial 1955 release date.

In December 1953, Jackson suffered a heart attack, by which directing animator Eric Larson of Disney’s Nine Old Men took over as director. Disney instructed Larson that the picture was to be a ‘moving illustration, the ultimate in animation’ and added that he didn’t care how long it would take. Because of the delays, the release date was again pushed back many times. Milt Kahl would blame Walt because ‘he wouldn’t have story meetings. He wouldn’t get the damn thing moving.’ Relatively late in production, Disney removed Larson as the supervising director, and was replaced with Clyde Geronimi.

The artistic style originated when John Hench observed the famed unicorn tapestries at the Cloisters located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

For Sleeping Beauty, Eyvind Earle said he ‘felt totally free to put my own style’ into the paintings he based on Hench’s drawings. Furthermore, Earle found inspiration in the Italian Renaissance as well as Persian art and Japanese prints. When Geronimi became the supervising director, Earle and Geronimi entered furious creative divisions. Geronimi commented that he felt Earle’s paintings ‘lacked the mood in a lot of things. All that beautiful detail in the trees, the bark, and all that, that’s all well and good, but who the hell’s going to look at that?’

Because of the artistic depth of Earle’s backgrounds, it was decided for the characters to be stylized so it can appropriately match. While the layout artists and animators were impressed with Earles’s paintings, they eventually grew depressed at working with a style that many of them regarded as too cold, too flat, and too modernist for a fairy tale. Nevertheless, Walt insisted on the visual design. Marc Davis drew from Czechoslovakian religious paintings when designing Maleficent.

In 1952, Mary Costa was approached by Walter Schumann who told her, ‘I don’t want to shock you, but I’ve been looking (for Aurora) for three years, and I want to set up an audition. Would you do it?’ Costa accepted the offer and landed the role. Marc Davis served as directing animator over the title character with the character’s figure and features based on those of Audrey Hepburn as well as her voice actress, Mary Costa. Helene Stanley was the live action reference.

During its original release in January 1959, Sleeping Beauty earned approximately $5.3 million, not reaching its production costs of $6 million. The high production costs, coupled with the underperformance of much of the rest of Disney’s 1959–1960 release slate, resulted in the company posting its first annual loss in a decade for fiscal year 1960, and there were massive lay-offs throughout the animation department.

At first, the film had mixed reviews from critics. Nevertheless, the film has sustained a strong following and is today hailed as one of the best animated films ever made. Like Alice in Wonderland, which was not initially successful either, Sleeping Beauty was never re-released theatrically in Walt Disney’s lifetime. However, it had many re-releases in theaters over the decades.

This was the last Disney adaptation of a fairy tale for some years due to its mixed critical reception and performance at the box office; the studio did not return to the genre until 30 years later, with the release of The Little Mermaid in 1989.”

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Sleeping Beauty is available on YouTube.

10

The Jungle Book

136 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Oct. 18th, 1967
Country: USA
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

“The Jungle Book was inspired by the 1894 book of the same name by English author Rudyard Kipling. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, it was the last film to be produced by Walt Disney, who died during its production. The plot follows Mowgli, a feral child raised in the Indian jungle by wolves, as his friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear try to convince him to leave the jungle before the evil tiger Shere Khan arrives.

After The Sword in the Stone was released, storyman Bill Peet claimed to Walt Disney that ‘we [the animation department] can do more interesting animal characters’ and suggested that Kipling’s The Jungle Book could be used for the studio’s next film. Disney agreed and Peet created an original treatment, with little supervision, as he had done with One Hundred and One Dalmatians and The Sword in the Stone. However, after the disappointing reaction to The Sword in the Stone, Walt Disney decided to become more involved in the story than he had been with the past two films, with his nephew Roy E. Disney saying that ‘[he] certainly influenced everything about it. (…) With Jungle Book, he obviously got hooked on the jungle and the characters that lived there.’

Peet decided to follow closely the dramatic, dark, and sinister tone of Kipling’s book, which is about the struggles between animals and man. However, the film’s writers decided to make the story more straightforward, as the novel is very episodic, with Mowgli going back and forth from the jungle to the Man-Village, and Peet felt that Mowgli returning to the Man-Village should be the ending for the film. Some plot points were taken from Kipling’s 1895 novel The Second Jungle Book. 

Disney was not pleased with how the story was turning out, as he felt it was too dark for family viewing and insisted on script changes. Peet refused, and after a long argument, Peet left the Disney studio in January 1964. Disney then assigned Larry Clemmons as his new writer and one of the four story men for the film, giving Clemmons a copy of Kipling’s book, and telling him: ‘The first thing I want you to do is not to read it.’ Clemmons still looked at the novel, and thought it was too disjointed and without continuity, needing adaptations to fit a film script. Although much of Bill Peet’s work was discarded, the personalities of the characters remained in the final film.

Many familiar voices inspired the animators in their creation of the characters and helped them shape their personalities. This use of familiar voices for key characters was a rarity in Disney’s past films. The staff was shocked to hear that a wise cracking comedian, Phil Harris was going to be in a Kipling film. Disney suggested Harris after meeting him at a party. Harris improvised most of his lines, as he considered the scripted lines ‘didn’t feel natural’. After Harris was cast, Disneyland Records president Jimmy Johnson suggested Disney to get Louis Prima as King Louie, as he ‘felt that Louis would be great as foil’. Walt also cast other prominent actors such as George Sanders as Shere Khan and Sebastian Cabot as Bagheera.

David Bailey was originally cast as Mowgli, but his voice changed during production, leading Bailey to not fit the ‘young innocence of Mowgli’s character’ at which the producers were aiming. Thus director Wolfgang Reitherman cast his son Bruce, who had just voiced Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. The animators shot footage of Bruce as a guide for the character’s performance.

The characterization of the orangutan King Louie has frequently been cited (including by Anthony Edward Schiappa, Susan Miller, and Greg Rode) as a racial stereotype, especially given the political and civil rights climates in America during the time this film was released. Initially, the producers considered famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong for the role, but to avoid the likely controversy that would result from casting a black person to voice an ape, they instead chose Italian-American musician Louis Prima.

Longtime Disney collaborator Terry Gilkyson was brought in to write the songs for the film. Gilkyson delivered several complete songs which were faithful in tone to Rudyard Kipling’s novel, but Walt Disney felt that his efforts were too dark. The Sherman Brothers were brought in to do a complete rewrite, on the condition that they not read Kipling’s book. The only piece of Gilkyson’s work which survived to the final film was his upbeat tune ‘The Bare Necessities’, which was liked by the rest of the film crew. Walt Disney asked the Shermans to ‘find scary places and write fun songs’ for their compositions, and frequently brought them to storyline sessions.

In the original book, the vultures are grim and evil characters who feast on the dead. Disney lightened it up by having the vultures bearing a physical and vocal resemblance to The Beatles, including the signature mop-top haircut. It was also planned to have the members of the band to both voice the characters and sing their song, ‘That’s What Friends Are For’. However, the Beatles member John Lennon’s refusal to work on animated films in that period led to the idea being discarded. The casting of the vultures still brought a British Invasion musician, Chad Stuart of the duo Chad & Jeremy.

The Jungle Book was released in October 1967, just 10 months after Walt’s death. Produced on a budget of $4 million, the film was a massive success, finishing 1967 as the fourth highest-grossing movie of the year. The Jungle Book received positive reviews upon release, undoubtedly influenced by a nostalgic reaction to the death of Disney. Life magazine referred to it as “the best thing of its kind since Dumbo, another short, bright, unscary and blessedly uncultivated cartoon.’ The song ‘The Bare Necessities’ was nominated for Best Song at the 40th Academy Awards, losing to ‘Talk to the Animals’ from Doctor Dolittle. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Gregory Peck lobbied extensively for this film to be nominated for Best Picture, but was unsuccessful.

According to Elsie Kipling Baimbridge, Rudyard Kipling’s daughter, ‘Mowgli’ is pronounced ‘MAU-glee’ (first syllable rhymes with cow), not ‘MOH-glee’ (first syllable rhymes with go). She reportedly never forgave Walt Disney for the gaffe.

After a studio screening of the finished film Walt Disney’s personal nurse Hazel George came up to animator Ollie Johnston with tears in her eyes and told him that the final shot where Bagheera and Baloo walk off into the sunset was perfect and that it was ‘just the way that Walt had gone out.’”

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FIRST POSTED: 5/15/17

7

John Favreau’s The Jungle Book- Shere Khan, the Bengal Tiger

The Jungle Book was released in 2016 by Walt Disney Pictures, the noted creators of the classic 1967 animated feature film. Part live-action, part-CGI, the film was hailed as a benchmark for computer-generated realism in animation in regards to both rendering and motion-capture with the various animals and their associated actors. The tale follows Mowgli, an orphaned boy living in a jungle with several animal guardians. He must avoid the tiger Shere Khan and seek to find his place in a world where many feel he does not belong.

Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba, is a scarred Bengal tiger, the largest of the jungle cats. He is a feared predator, although his many wounds come from his interqactions with humans. Thusly, he rules much of the jungle through fear, but himself fears and hates humans. He is hell-bent on killing Mowgli, as he establishes no human may live in the jungle. 

8

Pinocchio

12 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Feb. 7th, 1940
Country: USA
Director: Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske, etc.

Pinocchio was intended to be Disney’s third film, after Bambi. However due to difficulties with Bambi, it was put on hold and Pinocchio was moved ahead in production.

The plot of the film involves an old wood-carver named Geppetto who carves a puppet named Pinocchio. The puppet is brought to life by a blue fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be ‘brave, truthful, and unselfish’. Pinocchio’s efforts to become a real boy involve encounters with a host of unsavory characters.

Early scenes animated by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston show that Pinocchio’s design was exactly like that of a real wooden puppet. Animator Milt Kahl felt that Thomas, Johnston and Moore were 'rather obsessed with the idea of this boy being a wooden puppet’ and felt that they should 'forget that he was a puppet and get a cute little boy; you can always draw the wooden joints and make him a wooden puppet afterwards.' Despite the iconic nature of the scene in which Pinocchio’s nose grows, it only happens once in the film.

Disney urged the writers to evolve Pinocchio into a more innocent, naïve personality that reflected this design. However, Disney found that the new Pinocchio was too helpless. Therefore, in the summer of 1938 Disney and his story team established the character of the cricket. Originally the cricket was only a minor character that Pinocchio killed by squashing him with a mallet and that later returned as a ghost.

Pinocchio marked the first time an animated film used celebrities as voice actors. Disney cast popular singer Cliff Edwards, also known as 'Ukelele Ike,’ as Jiminy Cricket. Another voice actor recruited was Mel Blanc, most famous for voicing many of the characters in the Looney Tunes cartoons from Warner Bros. Blanc was hired to perform the voice of Gideon the Cat. However, it was decided that Gideon would be mute, so all of Blanc’s recorded dialogue was deleted except for a solitary hiccup.

Pinocchio went into release accompanied by generally positive reviews. Although it became the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award – winning two for Best Music, Original Score and for Best Music, Original Song for 'When You Wish Upon A Star’ – it was initially a box office disaster. It eventually made a profit in its 1945 reissue.

Pinocchio was a groundbreaking achievement in the area of effects animation, giving realistic movement to vehicles, machinery and natural elements such as rain, lightning, snow, smoke, shadows and water. Many film historians consider this to be the film that most closely approaches technical perfection of all the Disney animated features.”

 

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6

John Favreau’s The Jungle Book- Bagheera the Black Panther

The Jungle Book was released in 2016 by Walt Disney Pictures, the noted creators of the classic 1967 animated feature film. Part live-action, part-CGI, the film was hailed as a benchmark for computer-generated realism in animation in regards to both rendering and motion-capture with the various animals and their associated actors. The tale follows Mowgli, an orphaned boy living in a jungle with several animal guardians. He must avoid the tiger Shere Khan and seek to find his place in a world where many feel he does not belong.

Bagheera, voiced by Ben Kingsley, is Mowgli’s teacher, and acts as the compassionate, patient contrast to Shere Khan’s fearsome demeanor. He is fiercely protective of Mowgli, and the reason the boy survives as a child after he finds him abandoned in the jungle.  

10

The Sword in the Stone

103 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Dec. 25th, 1963
Country: USA
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

“The Sword in the Stone is the 18th Disney animated feature film, and it the final animated film to be released before Walt Disney’s death. The songs in the film were written and composed by the Sherman Brothers, who later wrote music for other Disney films like Mary Poppins (1964), The Jungle Book (1967), The Aristocats (1970), and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971).

After years of warring, England can’t agree on a new ruler. A mysterious sword appears, which claims that whoever can pull the sword from its stone will become king. After no one can do it, the test is forgotten. Many years later, Arthur––a measly servant knave known as Wart––dreams of becoming a knight, but is barely certain he may act as squire to castle lord Sir Ector’s son Kay; then, the sorcerer Merlin and his grumpy, talking owl Archimedes invite themselves to the castle and move into its dilapidated north tower. Merlin, who can magically access the future, intends to give Wart a proper education. They transform themselves into animals, face dangerous situations, and battle the Mad Madam Mim. In the end, Arthur accidentally finds the forgotten sword in the stone and becomes king.

The film is based on the novel of the same name, which was first published in 1938 as a single novel. It was later republished in 1958 as the first book of T. H. White’s tetralogy The Once and Future King.

Walt Disney first obtained the film rights to The Sword in the Stone in 1939, and the initial storyboards were produced in 1949. When work on One Hundred and One Dalmatians was completed in 1960, two projects were in development, which were Chanticleer and The Sword in the Stone. The former was developed by Ken Anderson and Marc Davis who aimed to produce a feature animated film in a more contemporary setting. Both of them had visited the Disney archives, and decided to adapt the satirical tale into production upon glancing at earlier conceptions dating back to the 1940s. Anderson, Davis, Milt Kahl, and director Wolfgang Reitherman spent months preparing elaborate storyboards for Chanticleer. When the time came to approve one of the two projects, Walt replied to Anderson’s pitch with ‘Just one word—shit!’

Meanwhile, work on The Sword in the Stone were solely done by veteran story artist Bill Peet. After Disney had seen the 1960 Broadway production of Camelot, he approved the project to enter production. Peet recalled ‘how humiliated [the other team was] to accept defeat and give in to The Sword in the Stone…They never understood that I wasn’t trying to compete with them, just trying to do what I wanted to work. I was the midst of all this competition, and with Walt to please, too.’

This was the first Disney animated feature made under a single director. Previous features were directed by either three or four directors, or by a team of sequence directors under a supervising director. The man hired for the job was veteran animator Wolfgang Reitherman, who would direct all of the Disney features up until the 1980’s.

Although Disney never knew it, he himself was Bill Peet’s model for Merlin. Peet saw them both as argumentative, cantankerous, but playful and very intelligent. Peet also gave Merlin Walt’s nose. This was the second instance in which Walt unknowingly served as model for a wizard, the first being the wizard Yensid from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia (1940). 

For the voice of Merlin, director Wolfgang Reitherman estimated that seventy actors read for the part, but “none evidenced that note of eccentricity that we were seeking. We wanted Merlin to be eccentric but not hokey.” At the same time, Karl Swenson was initially cast for Archimedes, but the filmmakers decided to cast him instead as Merlin. Rickie Sorensen, who had voiced young Arthur, entered puberty during production, which forced the older Reitherman to cast his sons, Richard and Robert, to replace him.

The Sword in the Stone was a financial success at the box office and became the sixth highest-grossing film of 1963. However, it received mixed reviews from critics, who thought it had too much humor and a ‘thin narrative.’”

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FIRST POSTED: 9/6/16

5

John Favreau’s The Jungle Book- Kaa, the Indian Python

The Jungle Book was released in 2016 by Walt Disney Pictures, the noted creators of the classic 1967 animated feature film. Part live-action, part-CGI, the film was hailed as a benchmark for computer-generated realism in animation in regards to both rendering and motion-capture with the various animals and their associated actors. The tale follows Mowgli, an orphaned boy living in a jungle with several animal guardians. He must avoid the tiger Shere Khan and seek to find his place in a world where many feel he does not belong.

Kaa, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, is a 100-foot Indian Python, intent on devouring Mowgli. She hypnotizes Mowgli in an attempt to swallow him, but is stopped by the combined efforts of Baloo and Bagheera. 

10

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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4

John Favreau’s The Jungle Book- Akela and Raksha, the Indian Wolves

The Jungle Book was released in 2016 by Walt Disney Pictures, the noted creators of the classic 1967 animated feature film. Part live-action, part-CGI, the film was hailed as a benchmark for computer-generated realism in animation in regards to both rendering and motion-capture with the various animals and their associated actors. The tale follows Mowgli, an orphaned boy living in a jungle with several animal guardians. He must avoid the tiger Shere Khan and seek to find his place in a world where many feel he does not belong.

Raksha, voiced by Lupita Nyong'o, is Mowgli’s adoptive mother, who raises him after he is left with the wolf pack as an infant. She is fiercely protective of all of her cubs, adoptive or otherwise, and shelters them from Shere Khan. Akela, voiced by Giancarlo Esposito, is the leader of the pack, a sly and honorable elder wolf.