Mark Henn – Giving Animation Beauty

“When will my reflection show who I am inside?”

– A girl who saved China

Disney is infamous for having plenty of young, beautiful heroines starring in their animated films, most of them being princesses. Of all the Disney animators that have existed, there is one who has made a career of animating several of Disney’s female leads is Mark Henn.

Also, he’s also animated some characters who could be thought of as cute.

He’s even animated his animated short based on the legend of John Henry.

It won an Annie Award for Best Animated Short Film

Unlike most Disney animators who worked in California, Henn was stationed in Disney’s other animation studio in Florida which opened in 1989 and closed in 2004.

It was later turned into another attraction in Disney World teaching people how to draw Disney characters

Being stationed in Florida, he would mostly work on characters that have have been designed and supervised by other animators in California.

That was the case with these two

However, things changed when Henn was assigned to design and supervise the animation for the female lead of Aladdin. Wanting a new look for this Disney princess, he decided to take inspiration from his real life.

He ended up designing the character based on his sister. Don’t read into it.

That gig most likely kickstarted Henn’s career of animating beautiful heroines for Disney.


I feel what makes the women Henn has animated so special, is that he makes each woman look and act special. You can’t confuse Jasmine for Mulan, or Tiana for Belle. Each one of these characters has their own look that makes them look pretty in their own way.

Although he’s worked on so many female characters, Henn finds a way to make each one unique and have their own personality.

Disney has made an enormous amount of money off of these female characters, and sometimes these characters get lost in the merchandise. That makes it important to remember who the original characters were, why they are loved, and who made us fall in love with them.

The person that deserves that credit is undoubtedly Mark Henn, and his work is something quite beautiful.


3 thoughts on “Mark Henn – Giving Animation Beauty

  1. I love this! I know very little about animation, so it was very interesting to read about it through the eyes of somehow who clearly has a strong interest in animation. I really like that you took the time to find all of the individual images and caption them. Mark Penn certainly sounds like he has had an interesting career, and has stayed true to what he believes each character should look like.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading this post. I will always love Disney movies no matter how old I get, and its interesting to read about the work and history behind it. I love all the photos you included because it brought back memories of all the different movies.

    Liked by 1 person

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