Why is it that as Disney fans, we can relate or love a character the way we do? Everyone has their favorite character for one reason or another. The way they look, the way they speak, the way they appear. We all pretty much have our favorite hero and or favorite villain. As fans, we even look at animated characters the same way we view a live action character. The one thing about Disney live action figures, they don’t take on the persona of the actor or actress, but rather become the character. Look at Johnny Depp as Captain Jack or the Mad Hatter. Neither character reflecst on the other, yet the same actor plays both.
What about Helena Bonham Carter, she became the Queen of Hearts and really in my opinion stole the show.
It’s the attention to every detail that goes into the character. When Disney sits down to create a character, they take parts of other characters or people and put the best of everything into one.
When the writers create the characters, they have ideas of how they want the character to act, appear, walk, talk, etc. But then just like every character, Disney creates a character that will last a lifetime. Never knowing how the fans will react, they have to do their best to create a character that can be like able. Even the villains, we like for one reason or another.
I read a story in regards to how one of my favorite Disney characters was created, Flynn Rider. Here a synopsis about Flynn Rider and his part in Tangled. Flynn is a thief looking for the one last, big scores that will allow him to finally live the life he’s always dreamed of. He’s never been closer to having it all when he meets Rapunzel, an odd girl with ridiculously long hair. An unlikely alliance with this girl from the tower sends Flynn on the adventure of a lifetime. “He’s a dashing bandit,” says Zachary Levi, who provides Flynn’s voice, “but I like how they turned it on its head—he’s a selfish thief while at the same time being a very charming dude. Comedy plays a huge part in this film, which is so much fun.”
So when Disney decided to sit down and create a look for Flynn, Disney invited all the ladies of the studio to a “Hot Man Meeting,” where the Tangled animation team collected pictures of their favorite handsome men—from the Internet, books, and right from the women’s wallets—as inspiration for the character.
So they basically took parts from all the different ladies likes of the ideal man and created Flynn. Without Flynn or the way Zachary Levi portrayed the character, would Tangled have been as good of a movie? In the classic Disney Princess and Prince movies, was there ever a Prince like Flynn? Sarcastic, quick witted, funny, caring, and a nose that can’t be duplicated.
Character development can make or break a film or short. Every time we go to see a new Disney movie, I always wonder who is going to be the character that people absolutely love. Look at how big Elsa and Anna have become from Frozen. So big in fact that families are waiting 4 hours to meet them in the parks. Look at all the pictures and things people have done with Olaf. From baking to building actual snowmen that look like him. These characters become a part of our pop culture and they live on. Disney characters don’t seem to come and go, they stay around. If you aren’t sure what I mean, think about the different toys and things over time. How they are the biggest most popular thing when they first come out, but after 6 months or so you don’t see them anymore. Yet Mickey, Disney Princesses, Star Wars characters can be found in any toy store and pretty much have always been there.
No other studio creates a character like the Disney studios. They are so well created, so much detail, and a back story to go along that, we may never even hear the background of the character in the film. Disney pays the same attention to the rides and attractions in the parks. Walt’s plan he set out with years and years ago was to make his characters loved by the fans. He wanted people to care about characters the way they do about friends and families. That still continues today with character creation and will as long as they keep that philosophy at the forefront of the company.