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Remember the story of Persephone, Disney’s forgotten princess

See what narrative introduced Persephone to her, and how the forgotten character is important to Disney history

In 1934, Disney released the film that would take an important step towards one of the studio’s most profitable franchises, Disney Princess, — and no, we’re not talking about ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, since the film of the princess poisoned by an apple given to her by her stepmother, the Evil Queen, appeared shortly afterwards, in 1937.

The forgotten princess

The production in question is “The Goddess of Spring”, a short film that belongs to the Silly Symphonies series, and was responsible for presenting the first Disney princess, as well as the first human character ever created by the studio: Persephone.

In the story, based on an ancient myth from Ancient Greece, entitled “Abduction of Persephone”, the protagonist, daughter of Zeus, the king of the gods and lord of Olympus, with Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility, is presented as the beautiful goddess of spring who ends up kidnapped by Hades, god of the world of the dead, who wants to make her his wife.

Taken to the underworld, where she lives under the custody of Hades, Persephone observes that a long winter sets in, requiring her to return to the surface so that the sun can shine again, the animals can come out of their holes and the flowers can begin to bloom. In this way, Hades and Persephone come to an agreement: the goddess will spend six months in each of the worlds.

At the time it was developed, Perséphone was designed to test the technological movement and expression resources that would be used to create the company’s first feature film and the first title to belong to the Disney Princess franchise: ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ ‘.

This is because the animation that presents Snow White had a huge investment from the studio and could not, in any way, go wrong. In this way, Persephone, animated mainly by Ham Luske It is Les Clarkhad his movements modeled after his wife Luske, Frankieand so, the animators discovered what was needed for a female human character to act more realistically.

Although Persephone was too elastic to be realistic, the animators learned a lot about what worked and what needed to be changed in the movements of Snow White and other human characters they would produce for feature films,” explained the former film coordinator. studio at the Walt Disney Family Museum, Alyssa Carnahan, in a report for the official Disney website.

More than that, it was from “The Goddess of Spring” that Disney animators began to use Character Design Sheets, which are sheets that show characters in different angles, poses and expressions, and are used as a guide for build characters in an animation, without them losing their proportions and characteristics in different frames.

Why isn’t Persephone an official Disney princess?

Although she could be considered the studio’s first official princess, the title goes to Snow White for a single detail: Persephone’s plot was not commercially distributed.

It turns out that, to belong to the Disney Princess franchise, you need to follow 5 rules: you need to be part of an animation; be human or at least half human; being born a princess, marrying royalty or committing a heroic act; be the protagonist of your own film, as long as it is not a sequel; and bring a good economic return to the studios.

Thus, Persephone’s narrative does not fit the last rule established by Disney by never having the chance to be commercialized. The plot is not found on the studio’s streaming platform, Disney+, and can be viewed for free on video platforms such as YouTube.

Source: Recreio

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