Snow from these layers even whilst filming;

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a massively innovative film for its time from a technological and artistic perspective as well as being possibly the most influential full-feature animation film in cinematic history. In this report I aim to explore and discover why Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had such a defining and pivotal place in the history of animation.The production of Snow White used a lot of innovative and experimental technology and methods in approaching its design. Of course, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a 2D animation, however this didn’t stop Disney from wanting to create a sense of realism by adding 3D aspects to the film, especially when creating depth. The traditional was of creating animation of its kind was through use of multi-layered images, to physically create depth by having the images showing the character, the foreground and the background spaced separately above one another. However in 1926 the German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger invented the multiplane camera, which laid the ground works for the horizontal version of the same camera in 1935. Its designer Ub Iwerks created a version that could hold four different layers of drawings, the lens could move independently from these layers even whilst filming; allowing it to focus on different levels of drawings and creating and illusion of visual depth. Walt Disney experimented with this camera in the short animation The Old Mill before using it in Snow White. Disney became especially fond of using this camera for slow zoom-ins to the settings his animations would start as an establishing shot. Its art direction can be seen influencing films almost immediately after its release; not only in Disney itself but in other works, including live action films. “The art of Disney was a growing force in animation (D.Field, 1944) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was no exception to that”. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was made during a time when cinematic animation was still rather new and was lacking in experimentation, especially when it came to the characters portrayed. The most well-known and seen figures of early animation were highly stylised and often anthropomorphised. Not many animators had any kind of experience attempting to create a realistic interpretation of a human being within animation. In order to get around this obstacle, Disney used a live reference to make Snow White as real and believable as possible. The model was Dancer, Marjorie Belcher who danced and walked as Snow White all the while in costume. Though it was a simple solution it marked the clear incorporation of realism into animation and showed that the two things were not mutually exclusive. Disney also had to create three more realistic human characters in the film, them being; the Prince, the Witch and the Queen (Lasseter and Daly, 1996).Not only did Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs massively help animation become the powerhouse cinematic genre worldwide that it is today, but it probably the most important point in Disney’s history as a studio and “that Disney legacy owes its very existence to a little princess” (The making of Snow White, Narrated by Angela Lansbury).

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