Monday, 24 October 2011

Inspiration #2 - Penny from "The Rescuers"

   Disney's 1977 film "The Rescuers" features a little orphan girl named Penny, who is the source of my inspiration for my own character, Mollie.

   The first scene where we meet Penny for the first time is a very powerful and cleverly directed moment in the film. It is one that Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston talk about in detail in their book; "The Illusion of Life". When we first meet Penny, she is sitting alone in a large bedroom, with only the back of her head visible. Her head is facing downwards, which perfectly shows the mood of the character. She is sad and upset. Vance Gerry, who's list of Disney films he's worked on is by no means short, created many drawings to get to this moment. He worked with Frank and Ollie extensively to create the perfect angle to show Penny's thoughts instantly. The whole scene is beautifully done, and establishes Penny as a "real girl" who is sweet and innocent, but very unhappy.

This scene will help me with the process of developing my own character, Mollie, for my final film. I want the audience to empathize with her, and like her. She has to come across as shy, unconfident and unhappy. The notes on this scene from "The Illusion of Life" have helped me with the thought process behind creating an atmosphere for Mollie's character to be portrayed, and ideas of composition and direction.


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