Examining the legacy of Disney artist Mary Blair

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Stecher, Gabrielle
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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Few women working as illustrators, designers, and animators in the golden age of American animation are as memorable and recognisable as Mary Blair (1911–1978). Today, she is best remembered for her unique style and design work captured in the It’s a Small World park attraction, as well as her concept art for films including Cinderella (1950) and Alice in Wonderland (1951). While this article contextualises Blair’s artistic development and her contributions to various Disney projects, I primarily interrogate how Blair’s career and legacy have been narrativised, particularly in the decades following her death, by Disney-sanctioned writers and for readers of all ages. This paper invites us to consider why Mary Blair, more than any other woman active at Disney during the mid-twentieth century, has achieved more fame and fan recognition since her death than she did in life. The answer, I argue, lies in how Blair is positioned in writing.
Mary Blair , Disney , Women animators
Stecher, G. (2024) 'Examining the legacy of Disney artist Mary Blair', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 27, pp. 9–23. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.27.02
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