The Colors of Disney: an interview with Anna Tantillo

Anna Tantillo, a 2017 graduate of University of St Andrews, recently started her own creative Instagram account, @disneycolorpalettes, and all while studying for her master’s degree! I got the chance to interview her on why she chose to start this account and received some tips on how we could start our own too.


  1. What have you been up to since graduating in 2017?I moved back home to America after graduation, and since September I have been working on my master’s degree in Cinema Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

  1. Could you explain a little bit about what your Instagram page is?It’s a page totally dedicated to posting stills images from Disney animated movies with a color palette along the bottom that showcases the prominent hues of each shot.


  1. What inspired you to create this Instagram?I had seen a few other Instagram pages that do a similar thing—with live-action films, or everyday objects—and one day I checked around for any that used Disney content and couldn’t find one! As a lover of all things Disney and an avid Instagram user, this was something I wanted to see on my own feed, so I figured maybe other people would enjoy it too.


  1. Did you make this page for a fun side project, or for another reason?It definitely started as just a fun project! Though, since then I keep trying to find ways to incorporate it into some of my cinema studies research about how films use color to influence our perception.

  1. Why did you choose to start it on Instagram and not another social media platform?Instagram is such a visual platform, which makes it ideal for something like this—where the point is just one single image in each post. I do include captions and credits, but the point is the image. Instagram also has a vast community of Disney fans and social media influencers, so it’s a good place to target that audience.


  1. How do you market your Instagram to gain more followers?#HASHTAGS. I include so many hashtags related to Disney, film, and design content and tag heavily trafficked Disney accounts on each post so it shows up in multiple places. I scroll through the same related tags and accounts, liking photos, commenting, and following people whose accounts imply that they might be interested in mine. It feels a little silly sometimes, but it’s just what you have to do to grow your audience.


  1. Disney is typically seen as a platform for children, and you chose to mix it with something ‘more adult’, why?I think the adult Disney audience, particularly the millennial audience, are engaging with the brand now more than ever! And especially through social media. The Disney ethos is so much about keeping childlike wonder and magic even in adulthood, and I love being able to contribute to that in my own little way. Plus, from a film and animation perspective, what Disney does is art and should be acknowledged and celebrated!

  1. How do you choose what screengrabs/films to create a color palette for?So far it has been a balance of iconic and easily recognizable shots, aesthetically beautiful shots, and some personal favorite moments. I make a lot of them far in advance, so I post them based on what will look best together on the page feed. I recently posted a few around Easter weekend that all had flowers in them, and I want to continue to somewhat theme them to the time of year. I tend not to choose shots that have too many different colors, since they tend to look better with more shades of one color than multiple color blocks.


  1. What do you see for the future of your page?I would love for it to grow to have a big following, for sure, but as long as I’m having fun with it and a few other people are enjoying it too then that’s all I need. I would love to eventually get it enough attention that someone from one of the Disney teams notices the page. It’s my ultimate goal to work for the Disney company, so to gain enough of a following to get noticed would be awesome.


  1. Do you have any words of advice for someone who wants to create their own start up?Be patient and make the work enjoyable! It takes a lot of time to create and curate and gain followers. You have to make sure you like and care about what you’re creating. I could scroll through Disney screenshots for hours and never get sick of them, so it makes the whole process much easier.

Check out @disneycolorpalettes on Instagram to see more of Anna’s work, and make sure to give her a follow!