Glen Keane Live Animates The Little Mermaid's Ariel in 3D

Using Google's Tilt Brush, he brings the beloved Disney princess to life on The Late Late Show With James Corden

By Zach Johnson Dec 08, 2017 2:15 PMTags

It's not often that animators are invited to appear on late-night TV.

But, of course, Glen Keane is no ordinary animator. The 63-year-old has designed dozens of iconic Disney characters over the years, including Beast, Pocahontas and Tarzan. James Corden invited him to appear on CBS' The Late Late Show Thursday, where Keane revealed his favorite character of all is Ariel, from 1989's The Little Mermaid. "I love characters that believe the impossible is possible. I mean, nobody represents that better than Ariel. She's a mermaid; she's got fins; she falls in love with a guy with legs. This isn't going to work," Keane said. "But it does."

He then demonstrated how he uses virtual reality to create 3D animations, sketching Ariel with Google's Tilt Brush. As Keane drew the princess, "Part of Your World" played in the background.

Terence Patrick/CBS

In less than four minutes, Keane drew Ariel holding a "dinglehopper." By the time it was completed, he brought the 3D rendering to life, eliciting "oohs" and "ahhs" from the audience.

The visual was, in a word, magical.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Glen Keane!" Corden said afterward. "It was so beautiful!"