She was so incredibly graceful.
When it comes to our favorite cartoons it can be easy to think that they simply aren’t real. But, for feature length Disney cartoons, this isn’t the case at all. In order to get the most natural movements and subtleties captured on screen, the animators used live models, in full costume and makeup. Contrary to popular assumption these models did not voice the characters. These scenes were usually filmed so that they could be viewed multiple times or in slow motion for the prefect animation. Actress and dancer, Helene Stanley, was one such model who worked with Disney for years.
In addition to her live action roles in film and television, Stanley was the muse for both Cinderella (1950) and Sleeping Beauty (1959). Her graceful movements weren’t the only things that the animators recorded in the drawings – notice the resemblance in the face between Stanley and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. Stanley would later go on to appear on the Disney TV programs The Mickey Mouse Showand The Magical World of Disney, before modeling for her last Disney movie, 101 Dalmatians in 1961, as Anita.
Have a look at footage from Sleeping Beauty being made in the video below.