Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tinker Bell

Here is a little gallery of Tinker Bell roughs by Marc Davis. A few scans are from originals, others from photographic reproductions. 
I really enjoy studying some of these doodle sheets, where Marc is figuring out the character's structure and is dealing with drawing issues. Then again some of the scribbles look more like telephone doodles. 
He is definitely establishing that the top of Tink's head is a straight line and the back of her head is a curve. The combination of those two helps to make the drawing look solid.
To me Tinker Bell is perfection. Her character arc in the story is very strong. Because of her affection for Peter Pan she is jealous of Wendy, which gets her into trouble. But toward the end of the film she saves Peter's life as well as the other kids.
Her animation throughout is flawless. Occasionally based on live action reference,
Marc animated her beautifully. She always feels like a small figure, but the acting has great range and subtlety.
Marc said he really enjoyed the challenge of a mute character, where pantomime 
is the name of the game.


  1. Absolutely amazing. Marc Davis was my favorite of the Nine Old Men. What a phenomenal animator, as well as Imagineer! I don't think anyone drew a woman for Disney more beautifully than Marc.

  2. Was mich am meisten an dieser Figur fasziniert, ist, mit wie wenig Strichen ein so ausdrucksstarkes Gesicht entsteht. Statur, Kopf - das grenzt nicht nur an Perfektion, das IST Perfektion. Und zwar in einem Maße, dass kein zweiter je erreichen könnte.

  3. This...is so beautiful and graceful! Thank you so much for sharing! I follow your blog for a little while now, and as a animation student and huge Disney fan, I find it so instructive! Thanks again :)

  4. I know Mark Henn animated most of the recent heroines, I wonder if he had to study Davis's work.

  5. Wonderful Tinker Bell, for us in Italy "Trilli"!
    I love her!

  6. Thank you for posting this. I never noticed the straight and curve in the design of Tink's head. I know that in figure drawing, "straights" help the eye "travel" across the figure without the eye being slowed down by reading contours. Do you think Marc designed her head with this in mind??

  7. I never realized about the straight vs curve lines making her head until you mentioned it and now I see how strong it makes the form.

    Thanks for posting!!!

  8. Impossible to TINKER with such design perfection!

  9. A Great Master of Classical Animation.