Q2 2020

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61 S U M M E R Q 2 I S S U E B O O K R E V I E W By Betsy A. McLane C inderella, Snow White, Ariel, Mulan, and Belle may be Dis- ney's star princesses, but the q u e e n s b e h i n d t h e i r a n i m a t i o n a re real-life women. Grace Huntington, Sylvia Holland, Bianca Majolie, Retta Scott, Gyo Fujikawa, and Mary Blair are not likely to be associated with the suc- cesses of Disney Studios, but Nathalia Holt's "The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Trans- formed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History" changes that. In this absorbing book, these and other women take their place alongside the most famous Disney writers and anima- tors, including the group referred to by Walt as his "Nine Old Men." Holt gives readers an overdue revision of accepted Disney history, bringing to light infor- mation and insight that changes the accepted history of animation. It is well known that Disney employed many women in the Ink and Paint De- partment. Beginning in 1923 and into the 1960s, up to 100 young women at a time worked long hours to outline and color animators' original line drawings. They used paints uniquely formulated in the studio's labs to make Disney's iconic characters sparkle in the way Walt envisioned. Thousands upon thousands of individual cells show the results of their delicate, white-gloved artistry. Women were not, however, welcomed in major creative departments. A studio form letter once mailed to any woman who applied for a job stated: "The only work open to women consists of tracing the characters on clear celluloid sheets with India ink and filling in the tracings on the reverse side with paint according to directions." A NEW BOOK TELLS THE STORY OF WOMEN IN EARLY ANIMATION Hidden Figures

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