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animation

Flynn Rider is a Disney fan favorite.

Disney princesses have become such an ingrained part of our collective conscious that most of us can rattle off the names Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Belle, Tiana, Ariel, Moana, Mulan, Rapunzel and so on without having to think too hard about it. Disney princes, however, are another story. There's the classic Prince Charming, of course. Aladdin is hard to forget, since the story is literally named after him. Beast doesn't have a name, and beyond that, most Disney princes just don't stick in people's minds.

Flynn Rider from "Tangled," however, might be the exception.

There's something about Flynn Rider that has made him a Disney fan favorite, and a behind-the-scenes video explains one possible reason why: He was designed by a room full of women.


First, here's a reminder of Flynn's character for those who haven't seen "Tangled" in a while:

"Tangled" directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno shared in a Q & A what they were thinking in the process of creating Flynn.

“Flynn’s character, from the get-go, had to be a charmer,” Howard said. “He had to be this charming kind of swashbuckling, amazing action guy who you had to love from square one…We always kind of compare him to characters like Indiana Jones, who have confidence about them but they’re human at the same time. Because you have to relate to these guys. They can’t just be Superman.”

Greno added that Flynn is one of the funniest characters Disney has created. “He’s this really smart, witty guy. He’s an action hero, he’s also very handsome."

Flynn's handsomeness ended up being highly curated. Howard and Greno shared that after the animators had come up with hundreds of mockups of potential Flynns, they invited the women from around the animation studios to come and weigh in on the sketches, as well as images of leading Hollywood men over the years, to determine what features would make Flynn the most attractive.

This "hot man meeting" yielded a lot of strong opinions, which Howard said was "tough."

"The hot man meeting was hard to go to, for us," said Greno, "because everyone had opinions on what works and what doesn't work. And occasionally things would come up that don't work, and those were things that, you know, we have."

Watch the women in action:

@ashley_tropea

Never forget The Hot Man Meeting #disney #tangled #flynnrider #animation #menwrittenbywomen #disneytangled #disneytiktok

Designing a male hero based on what women actually find attractive vs. what men think women find attractive turned out to be a solid approach. It may be worth imagining what would happen if the idea were reversed—a group of men in a "hot woman meeting" to piece together the ideal woman would likely be received a bit differently—but the consensus in the comments was that the meeting achieved its intended goal.

"This makes so much sense. Flynn Rider is elite."

"And in the end, they nailed it."

"My girls KNEW what they were talkin about."

"And they did a FANTASTIC job."

"Those women did amazing bc that man is FINEEEE."

"THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE! I always felt like he was such a female gaze character I was surprised they nailed it…now I get why."

Several commenters also wondered if that meeting was the genesis of the WANTED posters and Flynn's "They just can't get my nose right!" line in the film.

Of course, as much love as Flynn got in the comments, some people disagreed that he was for sure the most attractive prince. There was a lot of appreciation for Prince Naveen from "The Princess and the Frog" (that voice), Li Shang from "Mulan" and Eric from "The Little Mermaid" in the comments.

Thousands agreed, however, that Disney should have used an approach like this to create Beast when he turns into human form because that reveal left a lot to be desired.

Ultimately, asking women what they actually find attractive instead of assuming or guessing led to the creation of one of the most beloved princes in the Disney lineup. If the goal is to have the female audience swooning over a character, it's definitely something for creators to consider when designing a leading man.

Scenes from "The Lion King," "Toy Story 3" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

When we talk about beautiful images from the history of cinema, people often bring up the groundbreaking cinematography in Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane,” the spectacle of David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” or the majesty of Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon.” But unfortunately, animated films are often overlooked in the conversation.

A YouTube creator named Sugar decided to give animated films their due, so they edited together what they consider to be the “Some of the Most Beautiful Shots in Animation History” and set them perfectly to Chopin's "Fantaisie Impromptu, Op. 66."

Chopin’s piece was composed in 1834 but only became known after the composer died in 1849.


The clips in the video are all breathtaking, but they take on a greater significance because of how Sugar synced them up to the music. The classical music mixed with the fantastical animated images makes it feel like Walt Disney’s 1940 classic, “Fantasia.”

Sugar clearly has excellent taste and a broad knowledge of animation because the compilation contains clips from mainstream films such as “Kung Fu Panda,” “Mulan” and "Ratatouille,” but it also includes shots from lesser-known films such as “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and “Millennium Actress.”

The piece is a lovely celebration of animation and a great introduction to animated moves that people may want to learn about. Sugar provided a list of the clips they used so people could find the movies they hadn’t seen and give them a look.

Here are the movies in order:

"The Lion King" 0:00

"Treasure Planet" 0:09

"Spirited Away" 0:19

"The Wind Rises" 0:23

"Ratatouille" 0:26

"Hercules" 0:34

"Tarzan" 0:39

"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 0:48

"Toy Story 3" 0:53

"Mulan" 0:59

"The End of Evangelion" 1:04

"Grave of the Fireflies" 1:08

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" 1:12

"Kung Fu Panda" 1:25

"The Road to El Dorado" 1:38

"Dragon Trainer 2" 1:42

"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" 1:48

"Isle of Dogs" 1:58

"Princess Mononoke" 2:03

"Howl's Moving Castle" 2:09

"Monsters, Inc." 2:12

"Spirited Away" 2:22

"The Wind Rises" 2:29

"The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" 2:40

"The Iron Giant" 2:50

"Millennium Actress" 2:57

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" 3:00

"Cowboy Bebop" 3:05

"WALL•E" 3:12

"Redline" 3:18

"The Thief and the Cobbler" 3:27

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" 3:35

"Dumbo" 3:41

"Alice in Wonderland" 3:47

"Atlantis" 3:51

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" 3:57

"Akira" 4:04

"Toy Story 2" got deleted and backups weren't working. Whoops.

A newborn baby saving an entire animated film production from unprecedented disaster? Sounds a bit like the plot of a Pixar short, doesn't it?

Something (sort of) like that actually did happen during the making of "Toy Story 2." (There are a several retellings of the story out there, from an in-depth interview on The Next Web to the simplified, animated version in the "Toy Story 2" extras shown below.)

Here's a basic rundown of what happened:

The film was well underway when an unnamed Pixar employee who was trying to delete unneeded files accidentally applied the "remove" command to the root files of the film. Suddenly, things started disappearing. Woody's hat. Then his boots. Then Woody himself.

Pixar folks watched characters and sequences disappear in front of their eyes. Obviously, this was … not good.

Oren Jacob, the associate technical director of the film, got on the horn to the systems crew with a panicked "Pull the plug!" They did. Were they able to stop the bleed? Nope, 90% of the movie was gone. Surely there was a backup system, though, right?


Yes! But unfortunately, no one had been checking to make sure the backups were actually working. Oopsie. And as luck would have it, the backups were not working, and hadn't been for a month. Nearly all of "Toy Story 2" had gone bye-bye. Big honking oops.

Jacob called the film's supervising technical director, Galyn Susman, to deliver the bad news. Imagine making that phone call. No, thank you.

But this is where the story gets good.

Susman just happened to have been working from home because she'd recently had a baby. (That's right, she was directing one of the most iconic animated films to date while also creating and birthing human life. Respect.) And it just so happened that she had backed up the film on her home computer so she could work on it while taking care of her newborn, Eli.

"As a mother who wanted to see her children, I needed to have a computer at home," Susman says in the animated recreation of the mishap. "And so I would copy the entire film onto my computer."

Jacob and Susman wrapped the computer in blankets to protect it, seatbelted it in to the backseat of Susman's Volvo and drove it to the Pixar studios. (Remember, this was 1998—clearly this process would look much different today.)

"Eight people met us with a plywood sheet out in the parking lot and, like a sedan carrying the Pharaoh, walked it into the machine room," Jacob told The Next Web.

It worked. The film was recovered. (The simplified version makes it sound like this was an instant fix; however, the in-depth version clarifies that there were tens of thousands of technical files that employees had to pore through one by one in a lengthy, arduous process. But still, their bacon was saved.)

Babies and work-from-home moms for the win, am I right?

How Toy Story 2 Almost Got Deleted: Stories From Pixar Animation: ENTVwww.youtube.com

However, this story has a perfectly ironic ending, as the version of the film recovered from Susman's computer ended up being almost completely scrapped anyway. When the Pixar bigwigs took a look at the movie, they decided it simply wasn't good. The film ended up being rewritten and remade into the delightful movie we know and love today.

Bless the Pixar people for their dedication to greatness—and for learning their lesson about routinely checking backups the hard way.

Have you ever been watching a Disney movie and had a bit of deja vu? Not just that "Oh, this movie has that familiar Disney look and feel" feeling, but more like, "I swear I've literally seen this exact scene before in another movie"?

If you've watched a lot of Disney films, you actually have seen the same scenes repeated in different movies. People have been pointing out parallel sequences on social media and it's got some folks super freaked out.

Check it out:


Watching that "Jungle Book" and "Winnie the Pooh" sequence, there's no denying it's exactly the same animation template, just with different backgrounds and characters. But how? And why?

Disney has actually been recycling its animation for various movie scenes since it created Dumbo in 1941. Floyd Norman, a veteran Disney animator who has worked on Disney films as far back as Sleeping Beauty in 1959 and as recently as Mulan and Toy Story 2, weighed in on the reason for reusing animation sequences, saying:

"It was done probably to save time, save money. Although I don't think it saved much time and I don't think it saved much money because it was much more of a hassle to go dig this old footage out of the archive. It would've been easier to just sit down and animate a new scene than to go back and try to retrofit all this old stuff to something new. We're looking back to the 1960s and 70s when people weren't thinking how films would change, how media would change, and how people would be able to look at these various films and compare one film against another."

This video by Cartoon Hangovers shares various recycled Disney scenes and explains why they were reused, showing how it all began with animators tracing over live footage of real actors to create more realistic animation in Disney's first full-length feature film, "Snow White."

Every Recycled Disney Shot & Why - Snow White, Frozen, Toy Story, Moana and More - Cartoon Hangoveryoutu.be

Despite the eventual mega-success of the Disney empire, the company's beginnings were not so rosy. "Snow White" was a surprise box office hit, but follow-up films "Pinocchio," "Bambi," and "Fantasia" went way over budget and were considered losses for the studio. "Dumbo" was a success, but then WWII hit. That's when Disney really got started with resuing animation.

The main reason was purportedly to save time and money. According to Floyd Norman, Walt Disney himself probably never even knew or noticed that animators were recycling scenes. He was focused more on the big picture and not so concerned with the technical processes of the animators.

The practice of reusing scenes continued, with "The Sword in the Stone" and "The Jungle Book" in particular snagging lots of scenes from previous Disney projects. But there are lots of well-known examples, including "The Aristocats" reusing scenes from "101 Dalmations," and "Robin Hood" stealing scenes—and even parallel characters—from "The Jungle Book" (Ever notice how similar Little John and Baloo are?) and other Disney films.

These Disney films from the 60s, 70s, and 80s can trace their recycled animation primarily back to one director–Woolie Reitherman. He's not the only one to utilize the reuse of animation, but he's best known for it. He basically didn't see a reason to reinvent the wheel.

However, the practice didn't necessarily save time or money. Floyd Norman has pointed out that it's a lot of work to go through old footage, find what you want, and remake it into a new animation. In some ways, it would be easier just to animate from scratch.

Even newer Disney movies have reused scenes, though more often not, those serve as an homage to the original films that made the newer films possible. Such is the case with the dancing scene at the end of "Beauty and the Beast," which mirrors the one at the end of "Sleeping Beauty."

So no, it's not your imagination—there is no shortage of Disney scenes that are repeated in different Disney films. No one is complaining, of course, with Disney having made dozens of beloved productions enjoyed by billions of people. Perhaps recycling scenes is even part of what gives us a sense of familiarity when we watch a Disney movie.

At the end of the day, animators are magicians. Whatever tools they use to make the magic happen, so be it.