Before the Academy Awards expanded the number of Best Picture nominations a few years ago to include a wider range of films, and animated features like Toy Story 3 and Up were recognized for the big prize, there was Beauty and the Beast. It was one of five movies nominated for Best Picture of 1991, alongside iconic movies like Silence of the Lambs and JFK. It was the first animated film to be nominated in the category, and it was well earned. Disney‘s Beauty and the Beast was a beautiful, touching story, and the animation was equally as stunning.
Thanks to one of the film’s animators, Aaron Blaise, we can see just how much care and skill went into making it, with this video dissection of a single scene he drew.
Blaise shows us the rough drawings, entirely in red, for the scene where Beast leads Belle down the hallway after she has just come to live at his castle for the first time. He is letting her know the rules, telling her she can go anywhere she wants except for the West Wing.
Besides seeing some tricks of the trade he used to ensure he captured the timing of Beast’s walk so it would be authentic, he also shows how many renderings are needed to animate something a little quieter than a typical cartoon. “It’s not super broad animation, ” he said, “It’s very, very subtle.”
The fragile, 25-year-old drawings show Beast coming to life, and how much work is required for even a simple but elegant scene. Blaise’s credits include work on Aladdin, The Lion King, Mulan, and Pocahontas, and he said he’ll be sharing more looks back at his work, and we’ll be waiting. Hopefully he can help remind people of the need to never totally abandon 2D-animation.
What struck you the most about the work done here? Animate our comments section below with your thoughts.
Images: Aaron Blaise/YouTube