Disney Apparently Has A “Really, Really Difficult” Time Animating Female Characters’ Emotions

Apparently animating female characters that look different is hard?

1. Disney’s newest musical Frozen comes out in November. It stars Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel as the film’s only lead female characters.


2. Recently, Fan Voice’s Jenna Busch wrote about the production of the film, quoting Lino Disalvo, head of animation for the film:

Historically speaking, animating female characters are really, really difficult, ‘cause they have to go through these range of emotions, but they’re very, very — you have to keep them pretty and they’re very sensitive to — you can get them off a model very quickly. So, having a film with two hero female characters was really tough, and having them both in the scene and look very different if they’re echoing the same expression; that Elsa looking angry looks different from Anna (Kristen Bell) being angry.

3. Here are the two leads of Frozen next to Rapunzel from Disney’s last film, Tangled. Notice anything kind of similar?





4. One very observant Tumblr user made a handy GIF explaining why Disney might have a “really, really difficult” time animating female characters that look different:

5. Or as the blog post puts it:

So that’s their (blatantly misogynistic) excuse for scrapping all but two of the female characters; that they’re too hard to animate? Those emotional female characters, they’re all the same, right? Here’s a hint: their “femaleness” isn’t what’s making them indistinguishable.

6. UPDATE: A Disney spokesperson clarified Lino Disalvo’s quote.

Animation is an intricate and complex art form. These comments were recklessly taken out of context. As part of a roundtable discussion the binaries was describing some technical aspects of CG animation and not making a general comment on animations females versus males or other characters.

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