I spend a lot of time staring into the eyes of dolls, looking for someone to stare back.
For a doll to star in these stories, you have to be able to imagine what she what’s going on her head. I talked about it the start to Rosie’s adventure – when Rosie looks in the mirror, what does she see?
You can almost imagine, right? That’s how a doll passes the test. Either there’s something like a soul glimmering through, or there isn’t. 99% of the time (based on my rough calculations), there isn’t.
I can’t really put my finger on what makes the difference, but look at these two 14″ dolls
The China doll is emoting like mad, but the BB girl is largely silent. In fact, the China doll is emoting so strongly that I’ve left her with the little Pullip doll who she seems so protective of. The BB girl would not notice if I took her stuffed animals away.
Even with exactly the same face, some dolls pass the test better than others.
In my opinion, the doll with the brown hair has lots of character, but the two other dolls with exactly the same face, do not.
I’m actually a little puzzled why putting character into a doll’s face is so hard. I’d think it would be the other way around – stripping character out of a human-like face ought to be difficult.
Which is all a long way of saying that it took some time to find the right doll to play Daisy’s mysterious stranger. I didn’t want a friendly-looking doll, but I also didn’t want a doll who seemed incapable of warmth. You’ll see why towards the end of the story when we go back in time to see how the stranger entered the tale.
I ended up using a Cate Blanchett sculpt from Cinderella
She’s edgy enough to pull off the wrist-grab scene, but not so edgy that she seems one-dimensional. She’ll be back later in the story (or, earlier, since it’s a flashback). Next week, we return to Lily’s adventure with the lost doll.