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From Storybrooke to Enchancia to Pixie Hollow: Ginnifer Goodwin on Finding Fawn’s Voice for the Neverbeast…

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Ginnifer Goodwin is a self-professed Disneyphile. “I don’t know if that’s a word, but it is now – this to me was the pinnacle,” she says after I asked her if she was familiar with the whole Disney Fairies lore upon taking on the role of Fawn in their latest cinematic adventure, TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST (out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Disney Movies Anywhere). “I just always wanted to voice animated features for Disney,” she added, noting that while she was familiar with the Fairies franchise, she hadn’t seen all of the films, and then “ripped through all of them” after she booked the role of the popular Animal Fairy. “I’m shocked that in the ‘States they go straight-to-video – I think they’re excellent. They appeal to all ages, and both genders and are just so well-done, with stories that are well-told. The characters are flawed – the morals are evolved – there’s messages I would want taught to my children, and while I was familiar with them before, now I’m a fan.” Though Goodwin was new to the world of Pixie Hollow, her nearly four-year journey to completing the film found the actress taking detours to other Disney locales – most notably Storybrooke and Enchancia.

Gizmo GwenMany viewers know Goodwin for her role as Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard on ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME (she actually married her Prince Charming, actor Josh Dallas), but here in our home (Rock Father HQ), the role that’s had the most impact is a one-off gig as Gizmo Gwen (pictured left) for an episode of SOFIA THE FIRST… that we’ve watched about 74 times. I’m not sure my daughters would understand that I was in the same room with Gizmo Gwen, and that Gwen is also Snow White… and Fawn. But that’s a conversation we’ll have when they’re a bit older. Navigating those somewhat confusing parenting waters is a place where Goodwin and Dallas also find themselves right now, raising a 9-month-old son while living in Vancouver for ONCE UPON A TIME filming.

“I have a little boy who has never seen a screen in his life,” she says. “He’s very young so I’m not sure if he would understand what a movie is, but he won’t be exposed to this medium until he’s a little bit older. He’s super, super, super imaginative and at 9 months old, he ‘reads’ books, and I’ve never heard of anything like it. He crawls over his toys to pull his books out of his bookshelf and gets on his elbows, and opens them, stares at pages and flips them. He has this thing for FINDING NEMO that blows my mind. He has no reference – it’s not like he’s relating to the movie. It’s that he has the book and he likes the colors. So he doesn’t let go of his Nemo Bath toy.”

When asked about the difference between doing live-action and voiceover, Goodwin pointed to her prior voice experience, which was largely comedic in doing characters for ROBOT CHICKEN (where she actually spoofed Snow White, Rapunzel and Mulan) and a guest-shot as a mermaid on SpongeBob SquarePants (her sister is an animator) alongside her SOFIA THE FIRST appearance as being prep – but not really pertaining to what she’d have to do to truly find Fawn for NEVERBEAST.

fawn 1“Oh my gosh, this was on the job training. I was completely unaware when I signed on that it was gonna be so completely different, because I didn’t realize until I was doing it how much I control myself when I’m doing on-camera work. You know, I can rely by the blink of an eye literally to express something especially if it’s gonna be on film – you know, my face is gonna be the size of a school bus. Suddenly, to have a project where I was relying solely on my voice, not having any idea what the animation was gonna look like, was really, really challenging. I had to liberate myself. I had to find a way to let go of everything physically and find a grounded, real connected place from which to be larger than life. There’s a lot of things about my own voice that I always thought were very overly-animated, but I found out when my voice was actually animated that I can seem a bit dull and monotone and and nasal. There’s all kinds of like harsh judgments I could give myself, but in redoing the first couple of passes that we made for the movie, I found that there was a way to find Fawn’s very expressive voice when I could let go of everything physically.”

Disney Press Group
Pictured: Ginnifer Goodwin and a whole crew of family-focused writers and bloggers at DisneyToon Studios.

Disney’s TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST is available on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere now.

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