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Check Out The Real And Animated Inspirations Behind Animated Disney Movies

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.

Snow White

Snow White

In many cases, old animated Disney characters were modeled after actors in real life.

Snow White and Dopey

Snow White and Dopey

(Okay, this seems like cheating.)

Cinderella and her Wicked Stepmother

Cinderella and her Wicked Stepmother

Maleficent and Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty

Maleficent and Prince Phillip from <em>Sleeping Beauty</em>

Aurora dancing in Sleeping Beauty

Aurora dancing in <em>Sleeping Beauty</em>

Peter Pan and Wendy

Peter Pan and Wendy

Tinker Bell from Peter Pan

Tinker Bell from <em>Peter Pan</em>

The mermaids from Peter Pan

The mermaids from <em>Peter Pan</em>

Peter Pan and Wendy “flying”

Peter Pan and Wendy

Tinker Bell stuck in the keyhole

Tinker Bell stuck in the keyhole

The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland

The Mad Hatter from <em>Alice in Wonderland</em>

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

<em>Snow White</em> and <em>Robin Hood</em>

Cinderella and Robin Hood

<em>Cinderella</em> and <em>Robin Hood</em>

Aristocats and Robin Hood

<em>Aristocats</em> and <em>Robin Hood</em>

(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.