Do You Recognize This Young Girl? You Should - She's A Disney Legend!
September 30, 2015
This is Kathryn Beaumont, the real-life actress for Alice in Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" in 1951.
At 10 years-old, Kathryn was the reference Disney animators used to draw Alice.
Many people do not know this, but Disney uses real-life references for nearly all their animated films.
The main use of references are for animators to study when animating. Live action reference is very helpful in understanding motion, physicality, timing, and subtleties of expression.
And not just people! The Lion King had animals (lions, meerkats, warthogs, etc.) brought in to provide reference for animators too.
These actors are what made Disney who they are today, creating their unique and distinctive style.
Kathryn also voiced Alice!
Below is a very rare clip of Kathryn acting out the tea party scene:
Here is another clip of Kathryn acting out the scene of Alice and the talking door knob:
After Alice in Wonderland, Kathryn went on to voice Wendy in Peter Pan.
But after the release of Peter Pan in 1953, Kathryn resumed regular schooling and enrolled at the University of Southern California, where she earned a degree and teaching credentials. She continued to work for Disney each summer during college. On the completion of her studies, and for the next 30 years, Kathryn devoted her time and energy to being a teacher in a local elementary school, a move she has never regretted.
Kathryn in 2015 via Deja View
She explained simply, "Teaching gave me satisfaction, and I stayed."
Kathryn, now 77, says playing the role of Alice was one of the highlights of her career - and her life.
Kathryn was named a "Disney Legend" by the Walt Disney Company in 1998.
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