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Classic hand-drawn animations were impressive enough, but in the topsy-turvy world of Disney classic Alice in Wonderland, it’s hard to imagine how the animators could accurately portray such a bizarre and spellbinding universe. That’s where Kathryn Beaumont, the actor who voiced Alice, comes in.
Kathryn Beaumont, the actress for Alice in Disney’s "Alice in Wonderland", doing live-action reference for Disney animators.
Beaumont brought Alice to life not only through voice but also through modeling. As you can see from the behind-the-scenes photos, the 10-year-old model was hung upside down for the scene when Alice falls down the rabbit hole, placed in a giant bottle for when Alice shrinks, and hoisted on a pole to model when Alice is trying to golf with a flamingo.
The voice actors of many of the characters in Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" (Ed Wynn, Kathryn Beaumont, Richard Haydn, Jerry Colona)... also served as live-action models for the animators back in 1951
To see Beaumont in action--and see how well she put life into the character--check out the gifs below that show her acting out the scene with the tiny door. Side by side with the animated version, it’s clear why she was hand-selected by Walt Disney to play the precocious Alice.
Alice In Wonderland - Small Door Scene