Alice Davis, a Disney Company costume designer who created the outfits worn by the animatronic figures in two of the company’s most enduring and popular rides, It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean, died on Nov. 3 at She resides in Los Angeles. She was 93.
On the Walt, she was declared dead. Disney Company’s website.
Ms. Davis was a designer of lingerie and other garments. for Walt lived several years before he was born. Disney In 1963, he asked her if she would like to work on the costumes. for It’s a Small World.
She leapt at It’s possible.
“I could hardly wait to get there for the first day,” In 2014, she spoke out to The Los Angeles Times.
It’s a Small World, a 10-minute boat trip through a land populated by singing and dancing robotic children representing dozens of countries while the attraction’s titular earworm song plays, was to make its debut at the World’s Fair in New York in 1964 as a tribute to UNICEF sponsored by Pepsi. It was a big hit.
It was crucial to have clothing that accurately represented the international theme. Working with the internationally renowned Disney artist Mary Blair, Ms. Davis designed more than 150 costumes while researching the relevant nations to ensure the garments’ authenticity.
One wrinkle occurred, Ms. Davis said, when she noticed the panties on the ride’s animatronic French cancan dancers repeatedly falling apart and the fabric “skin” They were constantly tearing at their knees. She solved the problem by wearing full-length pantaloons.
When Mr. Disney Ms. Davis said that he saw the modification right before the ride opened in New York.
“You told me you wanted a family show,” She replied.
The accuracy of Ms. Davis’s designs was confirmed in New York, she told the Disney fan site Laughing Place Interview conducted in 2001
“When the U.N. people came through the day before the show opened, we didn’t get a single complaint on any of the costumes,” She spoke.
It’s a Small World later moved to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and Ms. Davis quickly shifted to the second signature project of her Disney Career: Designing the costumes for Pirates of the Caribbean was a popular ride that later became the basis of the entire film. for A blockbuster movie franchise. (It is possible to have both versions. at Walt Disney The World in Orlando, Fla. at the company’s international parks.)
Ms. Davis joked often that she was a direct graduate of making costumes for “sweet little children” To make them for “dirty old men.”
Alice May Estes was the fourth child in a family of five. She was born March 26, 1929 in Escalon. Bishop Estes, her father, was a high-school principal. He later sold life insurance, and took on other jobs during the Depression. Naomi (McGrew) Estes is her mother. She was an artist and also taught sewing, weaving, and other crafts.
Alice’s mother encouraged her interest in art and unwittingly guaranteed the first notable recognition of her talent by telling a fib.
“She went back to work, and lied about my age so she could sign me up at the grammar school for kindergarten and she could get a job,” Ms. Davis — who was 5 at the time, not 6 as required — said in a 2016 interview with D23The official Disney Fan club. “That’s when I won the all-city painting competition for children in the Los Angeles school system.”
When Alice At the age of 12, her family moved back to Long Beach, Calif. and she graduated in 1947. In 1947, she was awarded a scholarship by a local arts group. The scholarship allowed her to attend the Chouinard Arts Institute, Los Angeles (now the California Institute of the Arts). Disney.
Since seeing animation, she was fascinated by it. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” She was 8 when she died.“I just about vibrated out of my seat,” She stated that she would like to make the form her career.
She arrived, however. at Nelbert Chouinard was the founder of the institute. He told her that animation classes were only open to men.
“I said, ‘I can’t understand that,’” Ms. Davis recalls the D23 interview. “‘I was raised to understand that if you were capable of doing a job, it didn’t matter whether you were male or female.’”
While she was initially steered towards costume design, Ms. Chouinard suggested that her take an animation drawing course with a new instructor. at Marc Davis was one of the core group of animators Mr. Disney Referred to as his “nine old men.”
She graduated in 1950. She married Mr. Davis, who died in 2000. There are no immediate survivors.
Ms. Davis’s other Disney Work included setting up costuming guidelines and quality-control processes for The company and setting standards for Other rides and shows feature three-dimensional characters.
2012 Disney recognized Ms. Davis as its most famous costume designer with a tribute that is among the company’s highest honors: a commemorative window installed on a storefront on Disneyland’s Main Street. It’s located next to a similar window honoring her husband.