Classic Disney films are pretty well ingrained in our cultural identity. One doesn”t even need to see the films to instantly recognize each princess, prince, and evil villain from the iconic archives.
What might surprise you, though, is how Disney was able to make these early films so artfully fleshed out. These behind-the-scenes photos show the real-life inspiration for some of the most famous cartoon faces.
In many cases, old animated Disney characters were modeled after actors in real life.
Snow White and Dopey
(Okay, this seems like cheating.)
Cinderella and her Wicked Stepmother
Maleficent and Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty
Aurora dancing in Sleeping Beauty
Tinker Bell from Peter Pan
The mermaids from Peter Pan
Peter Pan and Wendy “flying”
Tinker Bell stuck in the keyhole
The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland
Before modern technology, Disney animators would use actors to create their iconic characters and scenes. By copying their body movements in animated form, they were able to ensure natural movement. But that”s not the only way they created their incredible cartoons. Occasionally, they would reference their own films in future features, like with these scenes from Robin Hood. This “reference” happened when they used the same character model to create an entirely new story or scene.
Snow White and Robin Hood
Cinderella and Robin Hood
Aristocats and Robin Hood
(via Messy Nessy Chic.)
It”s common for voice actors today to have an input in the final result, but they don”t make them quite like this anymore. With the technology used for modern Pixar films, you have to wonder what they use for character references since they don”t draw them by hand anymore. Regardless, I want to go home and watch Cinderella right now.