Advertisement

Behind the scenes: how the & # 39; Queens of Animation & # 39; Have transformed Disney

Must Read

LeBron James and Anthony Davis combine for 70 in Lakers & # 39; newest road route in Portland

For some teams, NBA road trips can create debilitating, hostile situations.For these Lakers they are usually fun and games.On...

Chayden Peery is about to take Sierra Sierra to the final

Before Sierra Canyon headed south to face La Mesa Helix in the Division 1-AA Southern California Regional playoff game,...

South Torrance rolls past Canoga Park for a state-scale bid

South Torrance's Kade Jones, a 5-foot-10 junior defensive back, continues to dare quarterbacks to throw football in his direction....

"Princesses were mostly absent in my childhood," writes Nathalia Holt in "The Queens of Animation," a new book about Disney & # 39; s early female artists. “Until I started writing this book, I saw the Disney princesses, with their downy dresses and vulnerable behaviors, wary, suspicious of having fallen into my life due to unknown misogynistic forces who were out for my daughters in boy-crazy to change women. "

While researching the book, Holt says she has found misogyny, both in the Disney studio and beyond, but also an inspiring sisterhood of female artists whose work has left an indelible influence on the great animated features of the mid-20th century and after that.

They were an extraordinary group. The author of "Rise of the Rocket Girls", Holt profiles Bianca Majolie, Grace Huntington, Sylvia Holland, Retta Scott, Mary Blair and other pioneering artists in "The Queens of Animation."

Readers meet Majolie, who went to high school with Walt Disney and came to work for the company in 1934, just as Disney was preparing to make "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". She had studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and was looking for work in fashion illustration before settling for cataloging for JC Penney.

Based on her side project, a comic about a working woman from the depression era, Disney hired Majolie to work in the story department – the previously entirely male group who created the story of all Disney productions.

Majolie tells that the story department was filled with men who did not try to hide their contempt for their first female colleague, who treated them to jokes and cats, "looking for any weakness they could find." In the scene that Holt opens with a lively opening, Majolie sees her drawings torn in two by Disney before a group of colleagues chase her down the hall to her office. Majolie's work on a popular short called "Elmer Elephant" would come in handy later in making the young lead role of "Dumbo".

Huntington, whose love of art was matched by her passion for airplanes, was the second woman to be hired as a writer in the story department. After she & # 39; Snow White & # 39; had worked, she left the company to pursue her dreams as an independent test pilot, setting elevation records on moving solo flights, but died just before the industry opened jobs for women.

The studio ID card from artist Grace Huntington from 1936, with a Mickey Mouse cartoon.

The studio ID card of artist Grace Huntington from 1936, shown in "The Queens of Animation".

(Small, brown)

Holland, who came to Disney as a young widower mother of two, became known for her tender drawings of love and loss. Scott & # 39; s talent in capturing the natural world made the audience yearn for her terrifying dogs in "Bambi", which debuted in 1942.

And Blair, who became a favorite of Disney, was a brilliant artist whose work varied decades of studio projects. She played a key role in designing the "It & # 39; s a Small World" ride at Disneyland, which opened in 1966.

In a workplace where fantasies about young female adventure and even (in the context of time) empowerment came true, female employees were usually sent to the Ink and Paint department, almost fully staffed by people under 25.

When the Holt profiles for women managed to reach higher-level jobs, they said they were still facing closed doors and limited opportunities. The author says that the Burbank studio where they worked in the late 30s and early 40s period had a fully male sanctuary on the top floor, known as the Penthouse Club, where the company's male artists could enjoy a bar, barber shop and steam bath – no women allowed.

The struggle of the artists to be seen, heard and respected will resonate with anyone who has been confronted with a hostile work or school environment. But not all the drama of the book comes from gender politics.

Artist Mary Blair painting in South America.

Artist Mary Blair painting in South America.

(Maggie Richardson)

Holt does indeed investigate multiple histories besides the story of women at Disney, especially how World War II opened up opportunities for women in the workplace and led to what the civil rights movement would become (early leaders oppose the whitewashed version of Disney & # 39; s plantation in Disney & # 39; Song of the South & # 39; from 1946).

One of the most radical changes she describes are those in technology – the inventions and advancements that have both promoted and sometimes threatened Disney & # 39; s animation. Because hand-drawn animation became too time-consuming and expensive, the studio focused on live action movies in the & # 39; 60 and & # 39; 70; technological progress brought a revival, starting with 1989 & # 39; The Little Mermaid & # 39;, while the once feminine ink and paint department was effectively killed.

A new era of animation films, many protagonists, followed. And Holt tells how the culture started to change. In & # 39; Frozen & # 39; in 2013, the film's co-directors organized a so-called & # 39; sister-top & # 39 ;, in which female staff from all departments came together to talk about their lives as women and sisters. Men were allowed to be present but not to speak.

And some stories just come in a circle, as in the case of animal observations in the heart of the original "Bambi" movie. Holt writes: & # 39; In the studio, the sweet smell of hay filled an entire soundstage, where two young fawns, by train, all the way from Maine to Hollywood, nestled on the floor. The deer, called Bambi and Faline, slept while more than a dozen artists were sketching on folding chairs and couches. & # 39;

The scene was repeated decades later, when the animators at & # 39; Frozen & # 39; gathered around a live reindeer model for their sketches of the film version, Sven. While on & # 39; Bambi & # 39; worked, Holt notes, & # 39; there was only one woman, Retta Scott, in the circle drawing the deer. A dozen female animators were now working on the film. "

The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Cinematic History

Nathalia Holt

Little, Brown: 401 pages & # 39; s; $ 29

Tuttle is a book critic whose work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

window.fbAsyncInit = function() {
FB.init({

appId : ‘119932621434123’,

xfbml : true,
version : ‘v2.9’
});
};

(function(d, s, id){
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)(0);
if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;}
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

LeBron James and Anthony Davis combine for 70 in Lakers & # 39; newest road route in Portland

For some teams, NBA road trips can create debilitating, hostile situations.For these Lakers they are usually fun and games.On...

Chayden Peery is about to take Sierra Sierra to the final

Before Sierra Canyon headed south to face La Mesa Helix in the Division 1-AA Southern California Regional playoff game, Trailblazers coach Jon Ellinghouse shared...

South Torrance rolls past Canoga Park for a state-scale bid

South Torrance's Kade Jones, a 5-foot-10 junior defensive back, continues to dare quarterbacks to throw football in his direction. It is really a fool.He...

Football: Southern California regional and Northern California regional results

PLAY CIF STATE FOOTBALLSECTION 1-AASouth: Sierra Canyon 38, La Mesa Helix 20North: Fresno Central 38, El Dorado Hills Oak Ridge 32 National Championship Bowl: Sierra...

Clippers are claimed in loss against Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their 14th consecutive victory, a route of 119-91 from the...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -