Walt Disney released the first wildly successful feature-length animated movie (Snow White), and he did so by utilizing and popularizing animation techniques that made creating these films easier, the most important of which is rotoscoping. Rotoscoping is when animators trace the frames of live action film footage to make realistic animations. Disney's studio used rotoscoping to expertly mimic the movement of real people and bring our favorite Disney movies to life. Here are photos that compare the live-action footage to the final animated product.

Kathryn Beamount as Alice in Wonderland

Beamount started working with Disney animation studios when she was 13. First, she voiced Alice and served as the character's live model in 1951's Alice in Wonderland. Then, she did the same for Wendy in Peter Pan in 1953. Here are photos of the crazy things she had to act out while playing Alice.

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6. This sequence of photos show how the animators used the footage

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via disney.wikia and michaelbaisdennow



Helene Stanley

Similar to Beaumont, actress Helene Stanley didn't just serve as the live model for one Disney princess but two: Aurora and Cinderella. She also played the non-princess Disney heroine Anita from 101 Dalmations.


7. Helene Stanley as Sleeping Beauty and Ed Kemmer as Prince Philip

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8. Helene Stanley as Cinderella and Claire Du Brey as her Fairy Godmother

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Sherri Stoner

In 1989, 30 year old actress Sherri Stone played Ariel's live model, meaning she got to do fun stuff like comb her hair with a fork and hang out with a stuffed crab. Two years later, she got to be the live model of Belle for Beauty and the Beast.


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via The Little Mermaid DVD and scurviesdisneyblog



Combination of animation and rotoscope footage

Imgur user jamieleto combined the live-action footage and the corresponding animated stills to create these fascinating photos and to show how the live models helped shape the final product.


13. Helene Stanley as Cinderella and Eleanor Audley as Lady Tremaine

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14. Ed Wynn as The Mad Hatter

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15. Kathryn Beaumont as Wendy and Roland Dupree as Peter Pan

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16. Helen Stanley as Aurora

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17. Margie Champion as Snow White

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18. Margaret Kerry as Tinkerbell

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