Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ollie's Three Fairies

Frank and Ollie animated most of the personality scenes with the Three Fairies in "Sleeping Beauty".
Ollie said that originally Walt wanted them to have the same personality, like Donald Duck's nephews. 
"That wouldn't have been too much fun", Ollie remembered, "so Frank and I suggested they'd have different personalities". 
And the picture is much richer because of the contrast between the three. But it goes to show you that Walt took his top animators suggestions seriously.

Here are three rough animation set ups, it's just that these beautiful drawings by Ollie aren't that rough. But then again everybody drew a bit cleaner on "Sleeping Beauty" in order to control the sophisticated design concepts.

The first image, which was drawn on there different levels, shows them reacting to Maleficent in the opening sequence of the movie.
In the second one Flora and Fauna push Merryweather forward and encourage her to grant her wish for the princess, which might counter Maleficent's spell. They are on one level here.
In the third set up, drawn on there sheets, we see the fairies in a sorrowful mood after Aurora left in frustration, when told "she is never to see that young man again".

Even though the designs are graphic, I see a great sense for perspective and depth here. When dealing with three characters in one scene clear staging and composition is so important.
Ollie loved animating these three ladies, and it shows in his drawings and in his animation.


  1. I confess, I have a really hard time imagining the three faeries being anything other than what they turned out to be.

  2. Merrywether suddenly circled the web here in The Netherlands very recently because of an incident with our Queen Beatrix. The Queen on a visit to a mosque in Oman had worn a headscarf over her hat (which caused quite a stir among the more xenophobic of our politicians)
    The resemblance was striking! ... judge for yourself: http://www.showvandaag.nl/wp-content/uploads/Afbeelding-35.png

    1. Peter,
      I am still laughing, thanks for sending the link.
      That being said, I am very fond of Queen Beatrix.

    2. HAHAHA that was wonderful! :D Thanks!

  3. Amazing! I've always loved their designs. With these three range of personality, it's hard to imagine them differently.

  4. Love the drawings. It's neat hearing the "behind the scenes" stuff, so thank you!

  5. Fantastic drawings, and gestures. True legends.

  6. Neat drawings,he must enjoy while drawing this..!!

  7. What are those number markings on the right side of the first drawing?

  8. I love those three fairies (grumpy little Merryweather has always been my favorite!) And their personalities balance and match each other perfectly! I absolutely adore the second picture – the motion and emotion of Flora and Fauna nudging Merryweather forward is captured so well. I'm pretty sure I seen it before; perhaps I've seen you Andreas show and comment on it in an interview?

    On another note, can someone please explain to me the "charts" on the sides of animation drawings? I'm guessing they're notes for the number of drawings in between the major ones (I've heard "how many" and "favoring" the previous drawing?) but I have no idea and would appreciate anyone satisfying my curiosity :D Thanks!

    It's so nice when a blog author updates so frequently... :D

  9. I used to call my mother-in-law "Mistress Merryweather." I thought it an apt comparison. She didn't like it so, I had to stop.

  10. Hi, Andreas

    How are you? I'm so glad to have found this blog.

    My name is Carol and I'm editor in chief of an on-line mag, called "a Lagarta", in Brasil. I'd love to interview you for our next issue and talk about your work at Disney and solo.

    Being a big fan myself, it would be an honor and I'm sure my readers would love it. The interview can by done by email.

    Here is the link: www.alagarta.com
    "a Lagarta" means "the caterpillar" in english. It is a mag about art, fashion, music and creation. Hope you like the idea.

    Here is my email for contact: contato@alagarta.com

    I'm sorry for leaving this comment here, but I didn't find any contact email.

    Carol :)