In Disney’s “Tangled,” the heroine Rapunzel has painted her fantasies on her tower’s walls. Those images came from thousands of drawings created over 6-plus years by one young artist, Claire Keane.
Though she’s the daughter of veteran animation supervisor Glen Keane, Claire admits, “I never wanted to be at Disney because I thought the only job was to be an animator.” Instead, she chose to study fashion design in Paris. “I soon realized I liked fashion illustration, not sewing,” laughs Keane. She pursued her passion for drawing, and — in a sign of things to come — her thesis project was a fairytale.
So Keane was primed for a visual development job on “Tangled.” “I definitely had an extensive portfolio,” she says. “But I spent a few months as a temp, just proving to the crew that I could do it.”
During the film’s long evolution, Keane took a few months’ break to design costumes for Amy Adams in Disney’s “Enchanted,” and she also illustrated the children’s book, “Rapunzel’s Amazing Hair.”
Keane plans to work next with directors John Musker
and Ron Clements on their follow-up to “The Princess and the Frog,” and to exhibit her art in a Paris gallery. But for now, her 19-month-old daughter is keeping her entangled with Rapunzel. “I have the movie trailer on my iPhone, and every time she sees my phone, she begs to watch it!”