Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Huntsman

Albert Hurter drew these charming sketches showing the Hunter after he couldn't bring himself to kill Snow White. He begs her to run far away and hide.
That makes him a good guy, who disobeys the Evil Queen's orders. During the sequence preceding this moment though he is portrayed as a killer who will go through with murdering the princess.
With his scary expression and body movements everyone who sees the film for the first time believes he is going to do it.
To achieve this kind of horrific depiction some live action reference was used to help with the realism required for this type of character.

An actual photostat with the corresponding animation drawing, which is likely a clean up study, since it is drawn in red and not in black pencil.

It's astonishing to me how far Disney went with the portrayal of villains from the early features.
The Queen, the Witch, even the Spirit of the Magic Mirror must have scared the popcorn out of kids way back. But Disney insisted on strong contrast between good versus evil, and that needed to be clear in the characters' design as well as their acting.

Even the 1938 comic strip based on the film maintained the frightening anxiety of the moment.


  1. It's kind of interesting how that cleanup drawing isn't very clean, like they were leaving a lot of responsibility to the cel inkers. It looks like the sheet is pretty small too?

  2. The elements of real evil and danger (untempered by humor) are what makes Disney's early features so much more powerful than what has been produced since then. I remember being scared witless by the evil Queen/Hag when I first saw Snow White in 1954 (at the age of 4).

  3. Any idea who the artist of the comic strip was?

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