Dun dun dun!
Although Disney has been animating cartoons and feature films for almost a hundred years, creating some of the most innovative (and gorgeous) animation of all time, it appears that Disney might not be your perfect little fairytale world after all. This is because a new video has cast some doubt on the originality of a few of your favorite childhood films.
The description of the video is as follows:
Disney animators frequently used to recycle footage from older animated films. They would draw over existing animation cells to make new scenes with characters with similar designs, characteristics, and movements. This is also known as rotoscoping.
The style of animation (rotoscoping) was first used to help animators capture scenes with movement, like Sleeping Beauty dancing or Alice in Wonderland talking to a doorknob. Animators would trace or draw their scenes from live-action footage of similar movements.
This technique might explain why Cinderella, Belle, and Sleeping Beauty all have very similar ballroom dancing styles, and dress-shapes, and why Baloo the bear’s dance in Jungle Book is step-by-step the same as Little John’s shimmy in Robin Hood.
But the technique was also used to help stay within budgetary constraints on later features: Cartoonists would refer to an earlier movie’s characters to create new ones, often with nearly identical results.
The mashup below contains clips from “Sleeping Beauty”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Robin Hood”, and “The Aristocats”.
And that’s not all. There’s also a part 2 to the video, which contains a lot more movie scenes e.g. “Bambi”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Fox and the Hound”, “The Sword in the Stone”, “101 Dalmatians”, “Cinderella”, “The AristoCats”, “Pinocchio”, “The Jungle Book”, and “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”.
Disney appears to have done this quite a lot, and there’s an entire cache of recycled animation stills here.
It’s not a huge secret that Disney has reused animation in the past to save costs, and a similar 2009 video pointed out a lot of the “Robin Hood” similarities. And hey, at least they’re plagiarising their own work, eh?