With Halloween only two days away, I’d like to commemorate Mary Blair’s centennial with an analysis of the color styling of Disney’s retelling of “Sleepy Hollow” in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949).
DVD*, in this case).
Autumn colors are used as accents rather than overwhelming whole forests like a tourist magazine would have them. This is once again a good reminder that the impact of a color is mostly based on the relation to its neighboring colors.
|Introductory pan as recreated by Hans Bacher|
|left: strongest leave colors (introductory pan, above); right: muted autumn colors (closer pan, below) with violett hills and tree trunks.|
Magenta and Green
Although among painters it is common to call red and green complementary colors, physically speaking green and magenta are opposite on the color wheel and therefore complementary colors that provide a strong contrast. They also work well together considered that mixed traditionally both violet and green contain blue and are therefore already closely related. This particular color contrast (and art deco pastel colors in general) was rather popular around 1950 as can be seen in many illustrations and color films of the era.
|Ichabod himself is many times seen against even more muted backgrounds (cold and warm).|
|Ichabod dreaming about Katrina (his bright shirt is visible in the end)...|
|...and about her father's money.|
The dancers are all either green/turquoise or violet/magenta/purple that leans towards pumpkin color.
|First, it's opposites...|
|...then close matches...|
|... dancing together...|
|...and back again.|
The second part of this analysis will focus on the following scary portion of the film, so stay tuned.
|By the way, even the depicted food is red/purple and green more often than not.|