Music and dance contribute to early Disney animation

Dance · Film

In this clip from a talk at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival last summer, the amazing Marge Champion, 91, chats with the Pillow’s Director of Preservation, Norton Owen, about her participation in Walt Disney’s Snow White (1937).

The occasion was the publishing of Mindy Aloff’s super book, “Hippo in a Tutu: Dancing in Disney Animation.”

Mindy, a dance critic and Barnard College professor, describes how, under [Walt’s brother] Roy Disney’s influence, “dancing and music were given very high priority in terms of quality and in terms of refinement of technology” at Disney studios. Aloff then dons her severe dance critic’s hat, and notes that “Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse were both very good dancers.”

A separate CBS interview with Marge (please bear with the commercial), intimates how Disney artists extrapolated animation from Marge’s dancing:

Watch the full 34-minute “Pillow Talk” interview here.

The upcoming Turner Classic Film festival in Los Angeles will feature a tribute to Disney animation & music.

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