The fairy tale maker – Once upon a time Walt Disney

Peter Pan, Cinderella or Mowgli: There are childhood memories of heroes, magic worlds and feel that everything seems possible. Walt Disney has always stood for this magic Anything that makes it special each film. The film starts "The Pirate Fairy" (June 12) we ventured an exclusive look behind the scenes to the spirit of Walt Disney nachzuspüren.Es is quiet here. Not dead silent, not uncomfortable. No. It's more that rest, as we know from museums. Somehow reverently, respectfully. Something is in the air, which brings you automatically to whisper. And although the words are just breathed, they are clearly understood: "We preserve here about 6.5 million individual drawings. The oldest of them are already over 90 years old. " Fox Carney smiles proudly as he points to a select few pencil drawings. His whole person radiates the same calmness as the entire building where he works: the Animation Research Library (ARL) of Walt Disney.

The library is the heart of the Walt Disney Company and Fox Carney his guardian. Here all drawings are kept, the since the beginning of the Disney Studios were drawn. Alice in Wonderland, about Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book and Peter Pan: they are all here, in alphabetical order and carefully laid sheet by sheet into small crates. The filing cabinets are well to tip filled two meters high and base with creativity from which ultimately the animated classic from Disney have emerged. Films that have also created heroes. One of these heroes is on the tray points to the Carney.

View of original Skiztzen in animation Research Library

In the Animation Research Library all original drawings of the Disney Company are kept. The earliest sketches are over 90 years old.

© Disney

It's Peter Pan. Peter Pan on a DIN A-4 sheet. Stroke for stroke, assembled into a simple sketch. In addition, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell course. If you look closer you'll notice, the annual figures: April 1949 sketches of 1950 and 51. The hands behind his back and for the better view is tilted forward, the breath interrupted momentarily. the piece of paper too valuable in his face, too delicate pencil strokes: also automatically as he throttled the voice, the body refuses to exhale. A number he could not name it all here was for the entire Walt Disney Company of too large, intangible primarily value. The Animation Research Library preserves the individuality, the uniqueness of every Disney character and, ultimately, its essence. And that is more than a mere image. The aim is to preserve the movement, facial expressions and gestures of each figure.

Time travel - back to the beginnings

"Also, we have therefore our work in the ARL started," said Peggy Holmes. She wrote the story for latest adventure Tinkerbell "Tinkerbell and pirate fairy". For this, the animation and production team ventured a special step. For the very first time they wanted in the period before the first Disney Movies to travel. To be precise, in a time in which did not exist Peter Pan, but rather Captain Hook and Tinkerbell - just a younger version. Making a young James Hook; a great responsibility, the looked the whole team a little awe. "We all know what great artists there were before us and what they have created. To meet this demand, was a big challenge, "explains Raymond Shenusay by the animation team.

Original sketch by Captain Hoock

Original sketch by Captain Hook

© Disney

And yet, exhaust the limits between what you can change in Hook and must not change that was one for him, above all, great fun. He grins cheekily. In this grin you can imagine only too well what a joy it has actually given him, to be able to change an icon like Hook. The care but not remained on the track. Movement, gestures and facial expressions of the old Hook were closely studied in the ARL and transferred to his younger self. But somehow it is mainly the nose. The nose and chin. They make Hooks features unique and give viewers an idea who is actually behind the young and charming James.

It is this inkling, which runs through the whole movie, provoking curiosity loudly. The skull rocks, the pirate ship and this one pirate with the distinctive nose: Somehow one before the unknown. "It's the details. No one really realizes that they are there and yet you would miss them if they are missing, "sums up Jenni Magee-Cook to the point. She is the producer of "The Pirate Fairy" and helped Peggy Holmes in the implementation of their ideas. Of which there were many. The young Hook was one of them. Holmes created for the film a further new character: Zarina. Zarina should be quite different. They should be different from all the other fairies. More than that, it should even question the whole world of fairies. "It was clear that Zarina should be a misunderstood, talented and curious fairy who has somehow never found its place in the valley of the fairies," said Holmes. And so she let discover a whole new world Zarina, the world of pirates. And makes the fairy even summarily to captain.
"The first designs were too cute"

Where we would be back in the details. After all, a fairy who does not fit to the other fairies, of course, needs a different design. Holmes sat long together with the designer Ritsuko Notani and feilten to Zarinas figure. "The first designs were too cute. Zarina had to have a stronger, "more athletic and less fragile, says Notani. But still it must not lose Loving values. The balancing act between pirate and fairy was doing probably the most difficult. Notani: "If we had Zarina too cute made, it would have been implausible that she alone runs away from home. but it must remain a character, which one wants anything bad. " Holmes has therefore kept its animation team, without a doubt on their toes and asked the world of fairies on the head.

Sketches of Zarina in different poses

Zarina from head to toe: the work of character designer Ritsuko Natoni

© Disney

So put a little Zarina in Peggy? Or at least a bit in Peggy Zarina? When you see the petite little woman with perky look that could convince a whole team of them, to bring order in the Disney universe mess, it is probably still the latter. "I love Peter Pan. All we have changed our history, based on love and respect for it, "says Holmes. The responsibility that we have for the film, everyone is so aware of here. Maybe because Walt Disney is more to be done in the movies as a company. working tales makers here.
The world of fairy tales makers

Kind of like magicians, they create magical worlds. Take worlds that inspire children's hearts, caught and usually last a lifetime. It is this magical "Something", which makes up the fascination. But therein lies a special duty for the fairy tale makers. On the one hand the fantastic world is to be retained by Disney with every film, on the other hand - and this is even more important - transported each film also values: true love, true friendship, compassion, loyalty and courage. Properties that can believe in the good. "The world just to see how it is, sometimes can be quite depressing. Therefore must allow children to believe. Believe that dreams can come true and nothing is impossible "seems Corney says emphatically. This spirit of Disney to maintain that it was simply important to him. And, it seems, only the one who is of the same opinion, he granted the inlet sanctuaries which he guards.


We were visiting in DisneyToon Studios and the makers of "The Pirate Fairy" met.

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