MARGE CHAMPIONย  ๐ŸŒน SEPTEMBER 2, 1919 - OCTOBER 21, 2020

The production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs signaled the beginning of a new art-form that called for believability, as had never been seen before. After viewing theย โ€œrubber-hose animationโ€ in The Goddess of Spring, Walt Disney sought a live action reference model for the titular character in his upcoming film. The result was Marge Champion.ย 
โ€œThey used me just as a guide for their action and because, none of them had ever been a young girl and knew how a dress would do this, or that, or the other thing. Most of the animators took the characters, even the animals and birds, out of themselves. But they couldnโ€™t take a young girl out of themselves.โ€
The art directors showed Walt various versions of their Snow White interpretations, but the proportions were dubbed too cartoonish. One animator even insisted on Marge wearing a football helmet during recording to maintain the oversized head-to-body proportions of a regular cartoon girl at the time. Others begged Walt to let themย โ€œmake Snow White more beautifulโ€ by taking in her waist and adding to her curves. Walt resisted the attempts to glamourize, insisting on maintaining the characterโ€™s innocence and sympathetic personality as tantamount to her sex-appeal and physical beauty. To this day, Snow Whiteโ€™s body remains among the most realistically depicted and animated in the Disney canon.

According to Champion, the motions and mannerisms she modeled for Snow White felt inherent to her โ€” a feeling the crew picked up on as it studied her movements for key dance scenes in the film. โ€œThere was no choreography: I was making it up as we went along and showing them how to dance,โ€ she said. โ€œThey were looking for the feelings that Snow White had when she was dancing with the dwarves. I was told to call them the dwarfs. Anyway, we called them the little men. They really used the motion that I invented when I was dancing with them.โ€