Sunday, October 23, 2011

Google Doodle Celebrates Artist Mary Blair

You may not know Mary Blair, the artist celebrated on Friday's Google Doodle, by name but you more than likely know her work. Mary was the creative force behind Disney World's It's a Small World Ride and had a substantial impact on early Disney animated movies. This is the Doodle that was up Friday, which would have been her 100th birthday:
Mary Blair's 100th Birthday

Mary and her husband started working for Disney in 1940, at a time when it was difficult (and in some places impossible) for women to work outside the home, particularly if she was married. Mary's work in the early days of the studio laid the groundwork for how Disney movies even today are styled.
"She influenced the tone of the picture with her use of color and design," Michael Giaimo told the Los Angeles Times' King. The art director on Disney's 1995 "Pocahontas" and visual development artist on 2004's "Home on the Range" said: "So many design elements that were more finessed by the time the stories reached the screen, all had a genesis in her designs."
My original intent in highlighting Mary has three parts. For one, the Google Doodle is very cool. It capture's Mary's art style perfectly. For two, I am an unapologetic lover of all things Disney. And for three, Mary was an incredibly talented and accomplished woman who had amazing success at a time when most women couldn't even work. 

But then my partner John got me the game Epic Mickey for my birthday (yes this birthday; I know I'm a little late to the party), and I played it with my mouth hanging open when I saw how much of the art was inspired by Mary's legacy.

On top of being a hell of a lot of fun, Epic Mickey is just one of the latest Disney creations to pay homage to an amazing woman. 

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