What We Learned from Disney Insider: “Making a Masterpiece, Dressing Minnie, Disney Heroes”

Disney Insider returned with a fourth episode on April 24th called “Making a Masterpiece, Dressing Minnie, Disney Heroes.” This time around, we see how Disney’s Ink & Paint Department recreates a special moment from Cinderella for collectors to celebrate the film’s 70th anniversary. Then we visit Disney California Adventure Park where a couture designer from China has created outfits for Mickey and Minnie Mouse during the park’s Lunar New Year Celebration. Lastly, we find Imagineer Joe Rhode helping a Disney Conservation Hero with a special research and photography project in the hills of Burbank, CA.

Ink & Paint

The Walt Disney Studios may have stopped using Ink & Paint departments in animation after The Little Mermaid, but a small team of artists keep the artform alive for the collector’s market. In celebration of the 70th anniversary of Cinderella, we meet two artists, a lab technician, and the operation’s manager as they review original pieces from Disney’s Animation Research Library to match colors and recreate the moment where Cinderella looks at her ballgown after the Fairy Godmother transforms it. From floating the paint on the cel to airbrushing magic details, it offers a modern peek into how the artists made the film look so magical. Also, the color of Cinderella’s dress is “Gray 4,” proving once and for all that it’s gray and not blue.

The Minnie Adventures of Guo Pei

The Disneyland Resort hosted their annual Lunar New Year Celebration from January 17th through February 9th this year at Disney California Adventure. We get a look into the new Year of the Mouse costumes for Mickey and Minnie with Trevor Rush from Disneyland Costuming and Guo Pei, a Chinese couture designer famous for her embroidery. She takes viewers through all of the detailed elements of the costumes and the symbolism behind each one. We see her reveal the costumes for the first time to the media and our own Mike Celestino was on hand at the event.

Debut at press event. Click here for our coverage.

A Hero in the Wild

Imagineer Joe Rohde keeps the message of Disney’s Animal Kingdom alive by assisting a Disney Conservation Hero named Johanna Turner. She has been researching, photographing, and educating residents near the Verdugo Mountains of Burbank about the mountain lion population and their needs to live safely in close proximity to humans. We get to see some of the amazing photographs she has captured in addition to a conversation about not allowing construction to close off their habitat. Since the Disney Conservation Fund began, the program has distributed over $100 million to conservation programs.

Best Moment of the Episode

The immaculate details of Mickey and Minnie’s Lunar New Year costumes was fun to see and Joe Rohde’s conservation efforts are very uplifting, but the Disney fan in me was most impressed with the craftsmanship of the Ink & Paint department. It reminded me of old episodes of scenes from The Reluctant Dragon that show how cels are painted. It makes me so happy to know that there’s a dedicated team keeping the artform alive, even if only for collector’s to own a recreation of a magic moment from a cherished film.

What was your favorite moment of this week’s Disney Insider?

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).