Can you recognise Disney movies by colour alone?

The Interactive Design Institute has created abstract, minimalist artwork based on the colours of famous Disney films. But which movies are they?

The Disney Corporation has worked hard to ensure that their product’s appeal is virtually universal - most of us will remember our favourite Disney movies with a mixture of wonder, fondness and delight. We each have a treasured memory of these iconic films which can involve anything from a much loved song, an amusing piece of dialogue or a favourite character. Coupled with this, our minds work through a process of visual association to create what we believe to be accurate representations of these films; but how accurate are our perceptions?

Nostalgic patterns

Walt Disney & Hue is a creative project from the Interactive Design Institute. The project celebrates our favourite Disney films by organising their nostalgic colour palettes into a series of abstract digital artworks.

When considered alone, simply as a series of images, viewers can enjoy the challenge of pairing each one to the title of the appropriate Disney film and then judge the accuracy of their sense of visual association. So why not try it yourself? And don't phone - it's just for fun!

Disney and Hue 1

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01. Aladdin

This poster's colour scheme consists of the complimentary purple and gold hues of the Kingdom of Agrabah, orange tigers and street rats which are in turn contrasted with the cyan and sky blue of the genie and princess.

Disney and Hue 2

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02. Alice in Wonderland

Disney's 'Wonderland' is a vibrant, voluminous collection of vivid colours, but most recognisable from this film is the gold and sky blue of the title character Alice, along with the fuchsia, purple, and magenta of one mischievous Cheshire cat.

Disney and Hue 3

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03. Beauty and the Beast

Royal blue, amber, and gold dominate our memories when we recall the grandeur of Belle and Beast's ballroom dance, accompanied by the classic Disney tune, 'Tale as Old as Time'.

Disney and Hue 4

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04. Mulan

Mulan is Disney's vision of the Chinese Han Dynasty. It is suggested by the fiery and sassy red used for the dragon Mushu, featuring vivid orange-reds and yellow-golds which are offset by the dark grey which permeates the scenes of the battlefield and within the soldiers' encampment.

Disney and Hue 5

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05. Snow White

Yellow, red, royal blue and black characterise Disney's primary-coloured princess Snow White in what was the very first feature length film in this classic, animated series.

Disney and Hue 6

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06. The Jungle Book

Deep jungle greens, ebony, and olive are reminiscent of the dark Indian jungle which Mowgli comes to inhabit along with characters such as the charcoal Bageera and the cool-grey Baloo.

Disney and Hue 7

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07. The Lion King

Rusty browns, sienna, ochre, and gold suggest the dusty African plains, wild lions and their manes, and all the other animals that inhabit the Pride Lands in Disney's epic musical drama.

Disney and Hue 8

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08. The Little Mermaid

The firebrick red, scarlet and crimson of Disney's most infamous redhead are perfectly paired with the electric blues, cyan, and teals of Ariel's aquatic life under the sea.

So, how did you score?

Words and illustrations: Jessica Stoddard

The Interactive Design Institute is the UK’s leading online provider of degree qualifications in art and design/graphic design, and collaborative partner of the University of Hertfordshire.

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