Guess who was very busy again!!!!! Here’s a two-for!!! :D
Week 16: Sleeping Beauty
- The film debuted on January 29, 1959
- The film was in fact based off of two stories: 1) La Belle au bois Dormant by Charles Perrault. 2) Little Briar Rose by The Brothers Grimm. In Perrault’s tale, the princess’s daughter is named Aurora, and her alias for sixteen years is based of the Grimm Brothers tale.
- This is the last film that Walt Disney supervised that was based off of a fairy tale. (The studios finally returned to the genre with The Little Mermaid in 1989). This was primarily due to the disappointing first few weeks in the box office along with a series of mixed reviews.
- On that note, Aurora is the 3rd coronated princess in the Disney Princess Court, and the last for about 30 years to come. (Ariel is the 4th (1989).)
- This is the first animated feature to be photographed with Super Technirama 70, which is another ultra-widescreen production technique. This is the second full-length animated feature to be created in a widescreen format, with Lady and the Tramp being the first. The only other Disney film to be produced with Technirama is The Black Cauldron (1959). This is the only Disney fairy tale to be filmed in ultra-wide screen (…that is until Frozen released 55 years later.)
- The film’s score and music, performed by the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, are arrangements from Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty (1890).
- Aurora’s long, thin, willowy body shape was inspired by Audrey Hepburn.
- Aurora has the shortest number of lines for a Disney title character all throughout the studio’s history at 18 lines (and only appears for 18 minutes). Well, technically she’s second, since Dumbo has no lines.
- The quarrel between Flora and Merryweather on deciding what color Aurora’s dress should be was in fact inspired by a debate between animators as to what color her dress should be. (Gotta love animation
struggles jokes being thrown into films.)
- In order to create an authentic fire sound for Maleficent’s dragon form, a flamethrower was used! Castanets were also used for the snapping jaws.
- Despite the initial lack of success at the box office, the film grossed over $51 million, after a budget at $6 million, making it the most expensive film at the time.
- Sequence 8, aka the scene where Briar Rose and Phillip meet, had to be completed 4 times due to Walt’s aim for perfection. This almost brought the budget down to bankruptcy.
- For the first time, one man, Eyvind Earle, was in charge of color styling, background design, and the overall look of the film. He was very inspired by medieval artwork, but also took a modern approach with bold colors. He in fact painted most of the backgrounds himself, which took almost a day per each background.
- Let’s play a name game! Maleficent means “evil-doer”. Prince Phillip was named after Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. Aurora was derived from both the ballet and the original french tale, where Briar Rose is from Grimm Brother’s tale. While unmentioned, the raven’s name is Diablo, and The Queen’s name is Leah.
- Walt originally planned to have seven fairies that all looked alike, but the animators saw no fun in that and made them all unique. :)
- Time for some love for the mistress of all evil: Early designed to be an old hag, Earle decided that she were to have a regal and elegant look. Eleanor Audley almost turned down the role since she was fighting tuberculosis. Her wicked designed was inspired by flames for the tips of her robes, her collar the wings of a bat, and the horned headdress the devil.
- This is the last film to be made with hand-inked cels, before the cleaned up pencil drawings and xerox techniques are used in 101 Dalmatians.
- HIDDEN MICKEY: When the fairies discuss how to help the king and queen, Merryweather makes cookies shaped like Mickey!
Week 17: One Hundred and One Dalmatians
- This film debuted on January 25, 1961.
- This story was based from Dodie Smith’s novel of the same name.
- As previously mentioned in the Sleeping Beauty notes, this is the first film to use Xerox for the cels, after the pencil drawings were cleaned up. This is what gives the film, and many of the ones to follow, its more sketchy and rustic charm.
- This ultimately helped save money due to buying less expensive ink and reducing animation staff from 500 to less than 100.
- And this also helped animating spots, being able to follow a “constellation-like” pattern for each cel.
- Sleeping Beauty’s graphic and angular style was transferred to this film and many others beyond. However, unfortunately, with the sufficiency of Xerox, Walt Disney was disappointed and upset with the lack of luster from the hand-created cels, saying it lost its fantasy element. He eventually forgave art director Ken Anderson on his final trip to the studio in 1966.
- Unlike many of the films before, only 3 songs were in the film, with only one of them truly being prominent, “Cruella de Vil”. The other two were the Kanine Krunchies Jingle, and Dalmation Plantation, two lines that are sung by Roger at the end of the film.
- Clarence Nash, known for voicing Donald Duck, did all the barks for the film.
- This film was the highest grossing of 1961, making a total of over $215 million after a $4 million budget.
- Some of the dogs from Lady and the Tramp made some cameos. During Twilight Back we see Jock, we see Peg and Bull in the pet shop, and you can find both Lady and Tramp towards the end of the film.
- The cartoons the puppies were watching was Springtime (1929).
- Cruella’s car was based off a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
- Lisa Davis only provided about a third of Perdita’s voice. After getting married and moving to NY, Cate Bauer finished up her role.
- Cruella De Vil was inspired by flamboyant actress Tallulah Bankhead.
- The newspaper that the Badbuns are holding while on the phone with Cruella helps us date when the movie is taking place, for Carlsen’s ship really did sink in the Atlantic in 1952.
- This was the last film for animator Marc Davis, for he then transferred to WED to work on designing rides in Disneyland like The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Pongo has 72 spots, Perdita 68, and each pup 32.
- Someone actually took the time to count all the spots in the film: 6,469,952. (Props to whoever took the time for that!)
- HIDDEN MICKEY: …there’s just about one on every dalmatian. (I don’t think you really have to look THAT hard.)
If you are interested in participating in the marathon, please view my original post with a list of what films to watch when here: [x]
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