The goal of this blog series is to factually prove or disprove rumors and myths in the Disney-verse. Tonight on TMSM Mythbusters we are once again taking on more reader suggestions.
This is one of those fun myths that I love to discuss because I don’t need to cite the source for it’s info, because I actually KNOW the real answer thanks to D23. This fall I had the privilege of attending D23’s Fanniversary Celebration in DC and Orlando. One of the things the show’s Disney Historian covered was the 55th Anniversary of the Matterhorn and this awesome topic came up. As many of you know, for a long time the Matterhorn had mountain climbers on it (they are back now by the way!) and these gentleman needed a place to go during breaks. Inside the mountain in a large empty space, there is a basketball hoop and small court for the climbers to use, but it is not a full size regulation court so don’t expect to see the Matterhorn Abominable Snowmen taking on the Gracey Manor Hitchhikers in a title match inside the mountain anytime soon!
I honestly don’t know how or why this myth started. Yes Tinkerbell is a cute little blonde bombshell, and so was Marilyn Monroe. But any true Disney fan knows that Disney Animation, especially in it’s early days, used human models for their animated characters to better understand movements, reactions and expressions. Peter Pan began production in 1947 and was released in 1953. Marylin didn’t become well known until her 1950 roll in All About Eve as Miss Casswell*. Sadly because All About Eve’s release made Marylin famous it’s release prior to Peter Pan “an urban legend immediately sprung up attributing the role to her. ”
The actual model for Tink was the amazing Margaret Kerry. Ms. Kerry who was an actress at the time (later in life she would work in radio) interviewed for Marc Davis, and thanks to her pantomime skills she won “the role” and spent 6 months on a sound stage helping Disney animators bring Tink to life. Margaret was also the voice of the red headed mermaid in Peter Pan.
To this day Ms. Kerry does quite a lot to promote Disney Magic while she makes personal appearances. She also has a very active social media account that allows this amazing lady to directly interact with her fans from her across her entire career interact with this 85-year young Disney Legend. She is also working on her autobiography “Tinker Bell Talks: Tales of a Pixie-Dusted Life!” So my friends, as Margaret Kerry, not Marylin Monroe was the model for Tink, this myth is busted!!
(*On a side bar All About Eve has always been interesting to me because the plot has the lead character Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) rising to fame and outshining Margo Channing (Bette Davis). In real life during filming it seems Bette Davis was incredibly horrible to Marylin on the set, and later in real life Marylin would outshine Davis the way Harrington did Channing.)
Matterhorn Graphic courtesy of OC Register
Tink photos and fact verification courtesy of IMDB, Snopes and www.tinkerbelltalks.com