REAL LIFE PHOTO REFERENCES FOR
FAMOUS DISNEY CHARACTERS

Drawing someone from memory is tough and so, when it's time to make a human animated character, the folks at Disney do things the old-fashioned way.  Come meet the flesh and blood people behind the famous ink and paint creations!

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Kathryn Beaumont as Alice.  Beaumont recorded all of her dialogue for Alice in Wonderland on a set in costume with mockups and props for her to manipulate.  As a matter of fact, much of the animation in the movie is an almost frame by frame recreation of her mostly unknown work.  She went on to voice Wendy in Peter Pan.

Eleanor Audley - Maleficent
Eleanor Audley as Maleficent.  Audley also voiced the character.  She was also the voice of Madam Leota in Disney's Haunted Mansion ride!


This unknown actor is providing live action reference for Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty as he fights the dragon.

BabbitBlog / Disney
Marge Champion as Snow White.  Although Champion did not voice the character, she was used a a face and movement model for her and went on to be used as a reference for The Blue Fairy in Pinocchio and a Hippo in Fantasia.


Jerry Colonna as The March Hare.  Colonna also narrated Casey at the Bat.


Bela Lugosi as Chernabog.  Legosi, famous for playing Dracula, has to share credit for this monstrous character with an animator named Wilfred Jackson who filmed additional reference scenes.


You may not recognize her, but Helene Stanley has been used as a model reference for Cinderella and one of her stepsisters, Sleeping Beauty, Anita in 101 Dalmatians, and also played Davey Crockett's wife.


Although it's been long rumored that Tinkerbelle was based on Marilyn Monroe, the truth is that she was based on a reference model named Margaret Kerry who worked with oversized props to give the animators a sense of scale for the tiny character.


Hans Conried as Captain Hook.  Not only did he provide the voice for the good Captain Codfish, but also sported a similar costume for animators to study.


Sherri Stoner as Belle.  Stoner mouthed Belle's lines and pantomimed to the dialogue and even swam around in a water tank for the animators.


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