Just another brief Masterpiece Monday because I am so so so close to finishing up my article on Tangled. Here we have a gorgeous sketch from Sleeping Beauty of Aurora/ Briar Rose and Prince Philip done by animator Marc Davis. It’s personally one of my absolute favorite drawings of the pair.
Marc Davis is probably one of the most famous of the Nine Old men who worked at Walt Disney Animation during the 1950s (I plan on doing a post on them at some point). For Sleeping Beauty he was the supervising animator for both Aurora and Maleficent as he was very skilled at animating human figures.Together with the film’s character stylist Tom Oreb they designed the look of the princess. They actually based much of her appearance on the actress Audrey Hepburn, who had just become famous for her role as a princess in Roman Holiday. You can see some of the influence of Hepburn in this sketch.
Although Marc Davis did not animate Prince Philip, he did often draw the two together to get an idea of how their personalities would interact with each other. One of my favourite things about those sketches was that he often looked towards classical ballet for inspiration for their poses, drawing them as if they were dancing a pas de duex. Sleeping Beauty was of course heavily influenced by classical ballet as it used the score from Tchaikovsky’s ballet of Sleeping Beauty. You can see the influence within this sketch, especially in Aurora’s tendu with her back foot. I’ve also always felt like Prince Phillips trousers basically look like tights in this sketch.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s Masterpiece Monday. You can expect the Tangled article very soon.