Classic animation is a heavenly thing. Even with all the effort and patience it took, traditional animators were producing as much as 23 seconds of animation per week.
Anyone would think that with the technology we have today we would go faster, right? Think again. Today that number is low, and I mean, really low. Think 3-4 seconds per week.
With all the olden day art done in pencil and worn over time, it’s rare that today we can actually find any of the old work done by cartoonists back in the day.
These materials reveal that pencil tests of Alice weren’t just done freehand, but used 10-year-old Kathryn Beaumont – who voiced Alice in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland – as a model for the design of Alice.
The animators often took live action references of Kathryn to then draw over. So not only was she the voice of Alice, she literally is Alice!
You might think it’s not big deal, but if you think about it, it’s kind of like a very early version of the motion capture we use today for video games and animation.
As for Kathryn, while she is no longer playing characters in Disney movies, she is a lucky lady indeed – named a “Disney legend” by the The Walt Disney Company in 1998.
This is the first time this footage from deep in the Disney vaults has been seen in 50 years – something Kathryn herself was pretty excited about. It makes everything look more real and it’s been around for, like, forever.
Animators really knew what they were doing huh?