Check Out the Real Life Muses Who Inspired the “Zero to Hero” Sequence in Hercules

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It’s always fun to take a look at what goes into making some classic movies, right? That probably goes doubly true for Disney animated features, which, in the past, have often gone out of their way to innovate and change the way animated movies are created. Take this side-by-side comparison between the “Zero to Hero” song sequence in Hercules. It shows the final product next to the animators’ process shots, which consists of a mix of both animatics and live-action film.

The use of live-action actors and actresses as reference for animation is something that Disney uses frequently, dating all the way back to Snow White. The process was also used for so many more classic animated movies, including Peter PanPinnochio, and more. It’s interesting to see how closely the animators “got it,” especially when it comes to tiny details like camera angle, fabric movement, and prop placement.

Major props to those ladies standing in for the Muses, too. They absolutely kill it with their expressions and acting, which is absolutely needed in an animated film.

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.