Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Queen of Hearts

A great back view of this hearty Queen drawn by Frank Thomas. Wonderful pose, as she anticipates a croquet kick with a flamingo. Look at the dimensional quality in the drawing.
Frank handled most of her footage in the film Alice in Wonderland, Eric Larson also drew a few scenes. She is brilliantly voiced by Verna Felton, and as a comic villain, who is bad tempered and abrasive she is a pure delight to watch. The way Frank animated her constant mood swings is just sensational.

I don't know who portrayed the Queen for live action reference, but these photo stats just crack me up. 

A concept sketch by David Hall.

Mary Blair's ideas for color and staging of the Trial Sequence.

An Eric Larson animation rough.

The final clean up model sheet shows moments from Frank's rich personality animation. The heart theme sure is dominant in her design, pretty darn clever!


  1. All of these images are so wonderful. :D

  2. Andreas, your blog is a constant inspiration! As a student of animation, it's nice to have a place where I can rekindle my love for the medium!
    Just wanted to say thanks!

  3. Great post! I love all the juicy things going on within the Queen drawing in particular how much tension there is, and how everything relates to the main action of her pulling back. So much strength in the lines. I see some of Frank Thomas in your work as well. Beautiful.

  4. Heh, King and Queen actors are so perfect when compared to final animation characters. Must be great reference for animators. Jsst watched this movie and also noticed that there was lot of hearts on Queen. Like mouth was shaped on some frame as heart when she was talking. Great movie.

  5. Am I correct in assuming that Frank Thomas also came up with the original design of the Queen? I remember him mentioning that he came up with the model of her while playing piano nightclub.Just curious.

  6. I think she, The Queen of Hearts, is my all-time favorite. I watched or read something about Frank Thomas explaining how he came up with her character. He was playing in the Dixieland Band Firehouse Five Plus Two and a women in the audience inspired her. I wish I could remember the reference I got that from. I created a paper sculpture of her and her three card soldiers that sold a while back. Thank you for sharing, Andreas.