GloZell shows why cultural representation is so important (x)
Nope. But the real story is better. Bolding mine:
The late Ruth Thompson, a cell painter on “Snow White” who later became a multiplane scene planner, recalled: “We tried everything - airbrush, drybrush, even lipstick and rouge, which is perhaps the basis for the legend because we did, in fact, try it. But nothing worked.”
The airbrush was difficult to control on such a small area; drybrush was too harsh; lipstick and rouge unwieldy and messy. Everything proved to be impractical and all hope seemed lost to give Snow White her little bit of color when the idea of using a dye was proposed.
Again Ms. Thompson: “Someone suggested a red dye because the blue day we added to give Donald Duck his distinctive sailor-blue never really could be washed off the cell without leaving a bluish stain where the paint had been applied.”
Ever since the mid 30’s when color became the norm for all the cartoons, not just the “Silly Symphonies,” all paints and inks were made at the studio. During this period as well cells were routinely reused for economic reasons, thus the need to wash them off. Apparently Donald’s special blue color was made with a dye added to the usual powdered pigments. “So we tried that.” As the women gathered around in what must have seemed just another dead-end effort, all eyes became fixed on the red dot which soon became a small glow with no perceptible edge. The hushed silence soon gave way to sighs of relief. The method had finally been found. Now the application.
Among the studio’s many inkers (an extremely demanding profession), was one young lady whose training and skill was unique: Helen Ogger. Just being an inker placed one within the elite confines of this most “holy of holies” area of the Nunnery, as the Ink and Paint Department was so called (Walt had strict and quite Victorian views that the sexes not mingle at the workplace, allowing no male personnel save the “gofer” boy and the paymaster “Mr.” Keener to enter this domain of mostly unmarried women ). But Helen was in addition a very fine cartoonist and one of the few women at Disney’s or anywhere else, who could animate.
Such a seemingly insignificant detail (as the cheek colors) might be thought not worthy of special mention (she, as well as the other inkers and painters, was given no screen credit). But when one adds up the number of footage required to be tinted freehand on each individual cell, the hours suddenly turn into weeks and months. In fact, such a treatment was never attempted again on such a scale and even today, the publicity stills from “Snow White,” most of which do not have the added blush, bear witness to how that little touch of extra care adds to the vitality we see on the screen.
The work was done on all close-ups, most medium shots, and even on some long shots. The Queen was also similarly tinted. Hundreds of hours were needed to complete this task, arduous, repetitive and, of course, hard on the eyes. Ultimately a handful of other girls were needed to assist Helen as the clocked ticked toward the deadline.
Helen had to place several cells together on an animation board, one atop the other, just like in the process of animation, in order to get the ‘registration’ right (the spot of red just right in relation to the preceding and following ones) - all of this without any guide. She would work out her own extremes and then ‘animate’ the blush in inbetweens. Her work deserves admiration and gratitude and it is unfortunate that her contribution has remained unknown and her anonymity unaltered during her lifetime. She was paid, as were the rest of the Inkers, $18 a week, which included a half-day on Saturday and the many, many hours of unpaid overtime “Snow White” would require - all given unstintingly, (by everyone involved, it should be added), to a project whose joy in participating was its own reward.
She eventually became head of Inking and Special Effects and even taught classes in animation at the studio. She left in 1941 (apparently part of the terrible strike that would leave the Disney Studio changed forever), taking her skills with her. She died in Glendale in February of 1980. Perhaps it is safe to say that her departure was critical to the abrupt demise of this now unique effect (it was also used, though on a much smaller scale in both “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia”). None of the other inkers or painters were animators and it is this fact, not just the factor of economy nor the changing tastes, which surely must be considered a reason why such details were never attempted again. The golden age was over.
Also, here’s an interesting article about female cel painters at Disney. I am now fascinated by the idea of writing something with a Depression-era cel painter as a protagonist.
Remember when Disney had a cute, deaf, poc mermaid?
Polly Pocket 1996 Disney The Lion King Playcase Compact, Nala & Simba Relief On The Lid
An endless list of favourite Disney screencaps - 6/∞
lmao like the only time i EVER see hard disney fans even mention ghibli and miyazaki in comparison to disney films is in light of disney’s own mistakes and laziness like damn y’all need to calm down
lemme teach you a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ about stylistic choices in animation and sheer laziness
STYLISTIC choices is about having the full capability of creating characters separate from the previous protagonists while at the same time tying them to the studio that produced them.
And that’s not even scratching the surface.
Considering that a good portion of Ghibli’s library consists of LEAD FEMALE PROTAGONISTS who are usually very young, they need to find a set balance between recognizable and unique.
Ghibli was founded on traditional art and the studio still holds many of those values with it. This is of course including hand-drawn animation in which there is no single model, only the same character drawn over and over again. Is this about CGI vs traditional? No, both can and have provided beautiful films and scenes but it’s not about which one deserves more recognition. It’s about the methods used and how the choices for each one vary. I only bring up the animation methods because it’s part of the reason as to WHY these characters are so simplistic in design.
Still though, they need each lead character to stick to the Ghibli/Miyazaki style to a certain extent. They need to share certain qualities to make them fall in line with the rest of Ghibli’s library.
I mean, they have their differences but they’re obviously Ghibli characters so okay they all have relatively small eyebrows (though considering that they are Japanese that ties in with their ethnicity but OKAY moving on), they all have the eye highlight thing going on, and they all have very non-pronounced noses. I suppose yeah those are all the same. They do shift but those characteristics are roughly the same.
Still though, that isn’t a problem nor is it blatant same-facing. All LAIKA characters have skewed noses, all Dreamworks characters have thin noses, and all Aardman characters have bulgy eyes. Does that mean they’re same-facing? No. It means they’re sticking to stylistic choices to keep themselves separate from the competition.
Don Bluth MADE the choice to stick to a style closely resembling Disney. You know what happened? A whole generation grew up thinking that Anastasia and Thumbelina were both DISNEY films, not Bluth and Fox animation.
There’s a reason why studios tend to go for their own set style.
But hey! Want even more evidence that it’s a stylistic choice?
Because THE VERY SAME CHOICES CAN BE SAID FOR THE DUDES
Save for Haku because he’s a fuckin’ dragon.
While gender is never really brought up in Ghibli films, masculinity and femininity are both neutral here, it’s safe to say that their designs and treatment are both equal. Ghibli isn’t out to make exclusively beautiful/handsome characters, they make them as simple as possible to keep them relatable and much more easier to manage.
The difference here is that Disney has always set out to make their MALES different while sticking their females to the same “doe eyed, small nose, thin lips” ideal. Yes, there is a set Disney style and it has always focused on those features and that necessarily isn’t a bad thing. It’s the Disney style. HOWEVER it seems to only apply to their females. Even worse is their marketing of said females.
GOTTA KEEP THEM GURLS PURTY
The Disney style has shifted from time to time and it shows evidence that it CAN include more diverse female designs. Both Kida and Calhoun are wonderful examples of this. It’s not as if Disney hasn’t evolved or changed their views on female characters to a certain extent. Unfortunately, said shifts haven’t always worked out in our favor or headed in the right direction. It wasn’t until Tangled that Disney came out with it’s true “get richer quicker” scheme with their female leads.
watch as i shift into MAXIMUM PUNZEL-DRIVE
As of late it’s Disney’s sheer laziness when it comes to female design and their own avarice that has caused SUUUUCH a dramatic shift in how fans are taking the Disney style now. When Ghibli audiences and fans never look at a new movie and go “oh it’s Chihiro but tiny” or “oh it’s Chihiro but on a broom.” That is the set style, not a lazy copy-paste.
But hey, let’s bring in OTHER females to see how this works out. I mean, the Ghibli style is prevalent to ALL of their characters so surely all the parents look exactly like their children.
Let’s look at these lovely lady leads and compare them to their parents.
Congrats, kids, you’re all adopted!
WEIRDLY ENOUGH all of the characters and their parents (if they have any) share same characteristics while at the same time remaining completely unique to each other. It’s almost as if they also take after their father and/or previous generations of their familly. Haha, genetics!
But okay, let’s be a little more fair with Disney.
Let’s look at two families with two daughters.
Mitosis or go home
There is having stylistic choices and there is being lazy.
There is creating a character with similarities to their parent and there is making a recolor of your lead character.
There is creating simple designs for a traditionally animated film and there is reusing the same model because it worked so well the first time.
There is being a small Tokyo-based studio with 300 employees and there is being a large American animation studio with 800+ employees.
THAT is why no one ever complains about Ghibli’s approach to character design and THAT is why Disney doesn’t even come close to Miyazaki.
Let’s finish this off with some MORE wonderful Ghibli characters (most of which being my personal favorites so they belong on here too.)
Now go watch more Ghibli.
Concept art for Maleficent (2014)
Animation is acting. Check out animation veteran, the insanely skilled homie,Jamaal Bradley's Scene progression display from Disney’s Tangled. Notice the traditional skills & research. :-)
Let there be music from regions beyond!
Tiana the waitress~