Much has been written about the prodigiously talented men who brought Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, and Dumbo to the screen. But if behind every good man stands a good woman, behind Walt Disney and his “boys”–the all-male assembly line–once stood 100. Walt was the impresario of a troop of young women, most under 25–a casting director’s dream of all-American acolytes–who made the screen light up, not with feathered swan dives or the perfect tip-tap of a patent-leather heel, but by making water shimmer or a tail wag just so. It was a job complicated by his unrelenting perfectionism–Jiminy Cricket required 27 different colors–but reducible to a simple imperative of the time: ever nimble but never showy, their job was to make what the men did look good.
I could not resist the opportunity to interview one other treasured behind-the-scenes woman, Marge Belcher Champion, famous as half of the dancing Champions of screen and stage, but known to Disney aficionados world wide as the real-live model for Snow White.
Champion was only 14 and still in school when she received $10 a day to act the part of Snow White for the Disney animators to use as their model. She later went on to partner with her husband Gower Champion in films like “Show Boat” and “Jupiter’s Darling.” But here she is helping the first Disney feature film come to life.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Fans of the first two "Night at the Museum" films will like this one because it is pretty much the same film. They go to another museum, this time the British Museum in London, and the exhibi
Listen to People's Lives: David Plotz's Working Podcast Former Slate editor David Plotz, now at Atlas Obscura, says that he is a big fan of Studs Terkel's classic book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. He has paid tribute to that great work in the best possible way, by updating it with his podcast seri
New Additions to the National Film Registry: 2014 The Library of Congress has announced this year's additions to the National Film Registry. 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant titles are added each year, under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes
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