Watch A Legendary Disney Artist Animate The Little Mermaid In 3D Using Virtual Reality

It's simply magical

Glen Keane has animated some of the most iconic Disney characters in the studio's history — from Beast in Beauty and the Beast to Rapunzel in Tangled — but for Keane, there's one character whose wide-eyed optimism and passion for collecting thingamabobs stands (er, swims?) above the rest: Ariel.

Perhaps the studio's most iconic princess, Ariel has captured the hearts and imaginations of children all over the world since the release of The Little Mermaid in 1989. "I love characters that believe the impossible is possible," Keane told host James Corden during an appearance on The Late Late Show to promote his animated short with basketball legend Kobe Bryant. "Nobody represents that better than Ariel."

Then, in a stunning display of talent and the power of technology, Keane sketches — in real-time! — a colorful 3D version of Ariel using a virtual reality headset and the Google painting app Tilt Brush. Oh, and did I mention he does this while "Part of Your World" plays in the background for the live studio audience? It's magical.

Not only is it cool to see an artist bring such an iconic character to life before our very eyes, but it's also nice to see an animator get some recognition on such a public platform like late-night TV. These princesses just don't create themselves, you know.