Animated Disney Characters Who Were Based on Real Actors

Photo by: Walt Disney/Everett Collection
Snow White/Marge Champion
In addition to modeling the lead in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Champion also worked on "Pinocchio" (1940) and "Fantasia" ... more 
Photo by: Walt Disney/Everett Collection
Snow White/Marge Champion
In addition to modeling the lead in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Champion also worked on "Pinocchio" (1940) and "Fantasia" (1940). less 
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Wed, Mar 27, 2013 3:00 PM EDT

We picture movie animators hunched over their drafting tables translating the whimsical contents of their imaginations onto paper (or today, tablets and monitors), but some of the most memorable characters from Disney's classic films were based on real models acting out the roles. Even animals got into the act: while developing the streetwise male dog from "Lady and the Tramp" (1955) artist Ed Penner encountered a scruffy stray who was the perfect canine model. Although the dog turned out to be a female, Tramp will go down in history as one of Hollywood's most romantic leading "men." Walt Disney pushed his company to be at the leading edge of technology and the making of "Snow White" in 1937 was an early precursor to the way live action movies are made today. Dancer Margaret Champion acted the entire role in costume with props to accurately guide the animators.- by Sarah B. Weir, Yahoo blogger

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