Morning GIF: Celebrity caricatures by Disney’s William Reiss

Disney exec William Reiss's celebrity animations—he's got Gaga, Zooey, and Mama June from "Honey Boo Boo"—are unironic mash notes to the world of glamour and fabulousness.


Lorraine Murphy


Published Nov 26, 2012   Updated Mar 3, 2020, 12:25 am CST

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

L.A. is not an easy town. Most of the time you’re either the shark or the meat. So when you’re a high-powered executive producer with a momentary break in his schedule, money in the bank, and a hot new series, what recreational activities would you be expected to turn to?

Coke. Hookers. Booze. Otherwise known as the Charlie Sheen package.

“Making animated GIFs” would not be one of the top guesses, no matter how you slanted the survey. That is, however, exactly what William Reiss does, and he does it beautifully.

Then again, he works for Disney.

Snapshotting iconic moments of celebrities’ public lives from performances and photo-ops, his celebrity caricatures are unironic mash notes to the world of glamour and fabulousness. Favorite subjects include Lana Del Rey, arguably a celebrity caricature herself, and Lady Gaga, who Liked one of his GIFs of her. Still a fan at heart, Reiss immortalized the Like on his own site under “Fun Things.” 

Another person who loves celebrity culture is Truman Capote’s delightful little bonbon of self-creation, Holly Golightly. Turning her back on the past, occluded as it is by a husband and children back at the olde homesteade, she looks to the future, and into her mirror, but never, never over her shoulder. Just keep walking, keep your chin high, and remember: If they buy the premise, they’ll buy the bit. 

It’s interesting to imagine how Breakfast at Tiffany’s would have been different had it starred Capote’s choice, Marilyn Monroe. He didn’t think Audrey Hepburn, the little Swiss ballerina, was tarnished or tragic enough. Nonetheless, Hepburn’s portrayal immortalized and elevated the character, making her appealing to a world that wasn’t quite ready to deal with a good-time girl as tragic heroine. 

This GIF shows Golightly in that most New York of locations, the back of a cab, looking in her mirror to apply lipstick, making sure the armor of her glamour is uncracked. Behind her, rain-washed streets disappear in the distance, but she is oblivious to them: She of all people would never look in the rear-view mirror.

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*First Published: Nov 26, 2012, 10:19 am CST