Hercules was released in the United States 19 years ago on June 27. Disney celebrated by releasing some never-before-seen footage of how the “Zero to Hero” musical sequence came to life.
The video shows real-life models performing the choreography for “Zero To Hero.” The women were used as real-life references for the characters in the scene. The animators used these live models to accurately depict how a person’s body moves. The video also shows the initial drawings that the animators created for the storyboard.
The animation technique of referencing real-life models was originally used to make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In the 1937 film, dancer Marge Champion was hired to act out the role of Snow White. She danced while in costume so the animators could make the character look and move as convincing as possible. Disney has continued with this tradition for most of their films.
In Oh My Disney’s interview with co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker, Ron said:
It was the most elaborate video shoot we’ve ever done and I think has ever been done for animation. We do shoot live-action reference, that’s not all that uncommon on all the films we’ve done. But this went beyond.
Ron then explains how the “Zero To Hero” scene goes back to the Snow White animation tradition but on a “much crazier scale.”
It is amazing to see a glimpse of the work that goes on behind-the-scenes! Happy 19th anniversary to Hercules!
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