The Early Disney Classics Involved Real Actors Dressing Up And Acting Like Crazy People
The Walt Disney Company was often ahead of its time. In the 1930s, when every other animation studio was content with simply making shorts, they decided to start producing feature-length cartoons. And to help forge ahead in uncharted cinematic waters, early Disney productions would get actors to first act out "difficult to draw" scenes as a reference for the animators. This eventually led to "rotoscoping" -- meaning they'd literally trace over the live-action footage.
Not only did this advance the field, but more importantly, it means there are a bunch of crazy images of old-timey actors behaving like lunatics in familiar costumes.
We've mentioned how for some scenes in Sleeping Beauty, the live-action footage featured fully costumed actors and was staged in real sets. This allowed the animators to bring the evil Maleficent to life, or learn how to properly draw an awkward kiss devoid of any inkling of romance.
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Walt Disney StudiosThe only character who was allowed to be sensual was Clarabelle the Cow.
Other times, scenes were hilariously stripped down, with an enchanted woodland forest comprised of some discarded bits of lumber with signs reading "owl" and "tree," like a children's playground built by Lars von Trier.
Walt Disney StudiosWorst of all, they then paid her with a bunch of pieces of paper that just had different numbers on them.