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Disney Princess Original Models

Updated on April 3, 2010

Snow White

Marge Champion

 Champion was born Marjorie Celeste Belcher in LA, California to Hollywood dance director Ernest Belcher and Gladys Lee Baskette.She began dancing while very young and became a ballet instructor at her father's studio at age twelve. She was hired as a teen by Disney as a dance model for their film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. They copied her movements to enhance the realism of Snow White's movement. She later modelled for the Blue Fairy in Pinnochio and the Dancing Hippo in Fantasia.

Champion as Snow White

Cinderella & Sleeping Beauty

Helene Stanley

Actress, dancer, and model Helene Stanley got her start in films singing in 1942's Girl's Town. She then danced for a time with the Jivin' Jacks and Jills in a few films. Around 1950, she became a live-action model for the Walt Disney-animated feature Cinderella. The movements and body type of Cinderella belong to Stanely. She went on to provide the model for the Disney Classic Sleeping Beauty. Also as seen in the picture to the right with the action model for Cruella De Vil (Mary Wickes) Helene was the model for the wife in 101 Dalmations.

Helene as Sleeping Beauty

Helene as Cinderella

Ariel & Belle

Sherri Stoner

Sherri Stoner is an American actress and writer. She was born July 16, 1965.  Stoner served as the body model for Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid and for Belle in Beauty and the Beast.  Ariel frequently bites her lower lip, and Belle often brushes hair away from her face. Both of these are mannerisms of Stoner's that animators adapted to the characters.

Tinker Bell

Margaret Kerry

 She was asked by the Disney studio to model for Tinker Bell, the spunky pixie of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, for a feature-length cartoon adaptation. Back then, modeling entailed a complete performance of the character's actions; this was photographed as reference for animators, who were also on hand to make sketches of poses.

Like Dopey and Dumbo before her, Tinker Bell was a character who never spoke. Thus, the actions were everything and Kerry's soundstage pantomime -- occasionally aided by giant props -- thoroughly mapped out the antics of the pint-sized pot mender who would win over hearts throughout the world.

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