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Friday, December 15, 2017

Original Production Animation Cel of Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse On A Courvoisier Background from "Dumbo," 1941


Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cel of Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse over a Courvoisier air brush background from "Dumbo," 1941, Walt Disney Studios; WDP stamp lower right; With original Courvoisier Galleries label and stamped Copyright Walt Disney Productions verso; Size - Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse: 4 1/2 x 5 1/4", Image 7 1/2 x 9", Frame 18 x 19"; Framed with gold wood frame, linen mat, gold wood fillet, and plexiglass.

To purchase this cel or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE!

"Dumbo the Great! Uh-oh. The great what? Ya know, Dumbo, we gotta get an idea. Not just any idea. Something colossal, like, uh--" - Timothy Q. Mouse

The Walt Disney full length feature film "Dumbo," released in 1940, introduced to the world one of the greatest characters in the Disney pantheon, Dumbo the flying elephant! Dumbo was the only character in the film who never uttered a single word, and yet he is one of the most remembered Disney stars. All of his feelings were conveyed through body movements and facial expressions. The extraordinary animation skill needed in order to do this with a human, but in this case a baby elephant, can not be underestimated.

The Disney Studio animation artists were still fairly new to feature animation, having only started in 1937 with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The film prior to "Dumbo" was "Fantasia," with one of the most successful sequences being "Night on Bald Mountain." Here again, the main character Chernabog, a huge winged devil, sitting on top of a mountain, commanding the undead below, and never uttering a single word; made a huge impression on the viewing public.

The Disney animator Vladimir "Bill" Tytla created the devil-giant for "Fantasia's" "Night on Bald Mountain," and for the next film he was given the task of animated the film's star, Dumbo. He said: 

"I gave him everything I thought he should have," said Tytla. "It just happened. I don't know a damn thing about elephants. It wasn't that. I was thinking in terms of humans, and I saw a chance to do a chracter without using any cheap theatrics. Most of the expressions and mannerisms I got from my own kid. There's nothing theatrical about a two-year-old kid. They're real and sincere- like when they damn near wet their pants from excitement when you come home at night. I've bawled my kid out for pestering me when I'm reading or something, and he doesn't know what to make of it. He'll just stand there and maybe grab my hand and cry... I tried to put all those things in Dumbo."


Close up of the WDP stamp.

Certainly the greatest theme of "Dumbo" was the wonderful friendship between the mute baby elephant Dumbo and his unlikely friend, a mouse name Timothy. Various Disney animators were involved with the creation and animation of Timothy Q. Mouse including Fred Moore, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Ward Kimball. Edward S. Brophy was an American character actor, voice artist, and comedian; and he provided the voice for Timothy Mouse even though he was not credited in the film for the role.


Back of the Courvoisier cel setup of Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse.


Original Courvoisier Galleries label.


Close up of the stamp Copyright Walt Disney Productions.


Framed Courvoisier cel setup of Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse. 

This cel is from the scene when Timothy Mouse tries to lift the spirits of a very sad Dumbo. Timothy wants to create an act for Dumbo for the circus; but not just any act, something that is truly amazing! He says to Dumbo, "Dumbo the Great! Uh-oh. The great what? Ya know, Dumbo, we gotta get an idea. Not just any idea. Something colossal, like, uh--" This is an exceptional image of the two main characters, Dumbo and his best friend Timothy Q. Mouse. Both are full figure, eyes open, and Dumbo has a big smile. This is a rare Courvoisier cel setup and would make a wonderful addition to any animation collection!

Original Production Animation Cel of Mr. Stork and Mrs. Jumbo On A Courvoisier Background from "Dumbo," 1941


Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cel of Mr. Stork and Mrs. Jumbo over a Courvoisier air brush background from "Dumbo," 1941, Walt Disney Studios; WDP stamp lower right; Stamped twice Copyright Walt Disney Productions verso; Size - Mr. Stork: 4 3/4 x 3 3/4", Mrs. Jumbo: 4 1/2 x 6", Image 8 1/4 x 11"; Unframed.

To purchase this cel or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE!

"Ah, Happy Birthday to you. Ah, Happy Birthday, dear; ah, dear Dear me. What's his name?" - Mr. Stork

The Walt Disney full length feature film "Dumbo," released in 1940, introduced to the world one of the greatest characters in the Disney pantheon, Dumbo the flying elephant! Dumbo was the only character in the film who never uttered a single word, and yet he is one of the most remembered Disney stars. All of his feelings were conveyed through body movements and facial expressions. The extraordinary animation skill needed in order to do this with a human, but in this case a baby elephant, can not be underestimated.

The Disney Studio animation artists were still fairly new to feature animation, having only started in 1937 with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The film prior to "Dumbo" was "Fantasia," with one of the most successful sequences being "Night on Bald Mountain." Here again, the main character Chernabog, a huge winged devil, sitting on top of a mountain, commanding the undead below, and never uttering a single word; made a huge impression on the viewing public.

The Disney animator Vladimir "Bill" Tytla created the devil-giant for "Fantasia's" "Night on Bald Mountain," and for the next film he was given the task of animated the film's star, Dumbo. He said: 

"I gave him everything I thought he should have," said Tytla. "It just happened. I don't know a damn thing about elephants. It wasn't that. I was thinking in terms of humans, and I saw a chance to do a chracter without using any cheap theatrics. Most of the expressions and mannerisms I got from my own kid. There's nothing theatrical about a two-year-old kid. They're real and sincere- like when they damn near wet their pants from excitement when you come home at night. I've bawled my kid out for pestering me when I'm reading or something, and he doesn't know what to make of it. He'll just stand there and maybe grab my hand and cry... I tried to put all those things in Dumbo."


Close up of the WDP stamp.

Mr. Stork was animated by Art Babbitt and voiced by Sterling Holloway, who would later provide the voice for Winnie The Pooh. Mr. Stork was the last of his group of flying storks to deliver his baby. Confused, Mr. Stork stops on a cloud with his bundle of joy in order to check his map. He hears the sounds of the circus train Casey Jr. below and eventually finds his way to the elephant car, where he locates the expecting Mrs. Jumbo. Mr. Stork sings "Happy Birthday" to the baby, but needs to stop the song and ask for the baby elephant's name, "Ah, Happy Birthday to you. Ah, Happy Birthday, dear; ah, dear Dear me. What's his name?"

Mrs. Jumbo, Dumbo's mother, was voiced by Verna Felton; but she only utters a single line in the film "Jumbo. Junior." Felton was also the voice for the Elephant Matriarch in "Dumbo" and also voiced Flora and The Queen in "Sleeping Beauty," Fairy Godmother in "Cinderella," Queen of Hearts in "Alice In Wonderland," Aunt Sarah in "Lady and the Tramp," and Winifred the elephant in "The Jungle Book." There is no credit for Mrs. Jumbo's singing voice, but is thought to be that of Betty Noyes. Joe Grant and Dick Huemer changed Dumbo's mother's name from "Mother Ella" in the book to Mrs. Jumbo, as a reference to the famed Barnum & Bailey Circus elephant.


Back of the Courvoisier cel setup of Mr. Stork and Mrs. Jumbo.


Close up of the stamp Copyright Walt Disney Productions.

This cel is from the scene when Mr. Stork has delivered Dumbo (Jumbo Junior) to the expecting Mrs. Jumbo and sings "Happy Birthday." A wonderful addition to any animation collection. The dialog for the scene is below:

Mr. Stork: "Ah, Happy Birthday to you. Ah, Happy Birthday, dear; ah, dear Dear me. What's his name?"
Mrs. Jumbo: "Jumbo. Junior."
Mr. Stork: "Oh. Jumbo Junior, huh? Ahem. Jumbo Junior. Happy Birthday, dear Jumbo Junior, Happy Birthday To-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo You."

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Original Production Animation Cels of Peter Pan & Tinker Bell from "Peter Pan," 1953


Original hand inked and hand painted production animation cels of 1) Peter Pan 2) Tinker Bell 3) Matching Wings from "Peter Pan," 1953; Walt Disney Studios; Set over a lithographic background; Peter Pan cel numbered 19 lower right; Tinker Bell cel numbered A-18 lower right; Tinker Bell Wings cel numbered W-A-18 lower right; Size - Peter Pan & Tinker Bell: 8 x 4 1/2", Image 9 3/4 x 14 1/2"; Unframed.

To purchase this cel or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE!

The author J. M. Barrie first used Peter Pan as a character in a section of the adult novel "The Little White Bird" in 1902. He returned to that character with his stage play entitled "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up," which premiered in London on December 27, 1904. The play ran until 1913, and it was later adapted by Walt Disney for the animated feature film entitled, "Peter Pan," in 1953.

The main character of Peter Pan was animated by Milt Kahl and Eric Larson. Kahl did the majority of the animation sequences with Larson working mainly on the flying to London sequence, as well as some animation work on both Wendy Darling and Captain Hook.

Milt Kahl was not very excited about his assignment for Peter Pan. He had to animate both Peter Pan and Wendy Darling; two characters that had to be handled like real human beings and therefore would be a great challenge. “Peter was interesting in that you had to make him fly but after that was over he became a chore,” said Kahl. "Peter Pan's" supervising animator, Ron Clements, remembered that for years Milt Kahl resented the fact that animator Frank Thomas was assigned the character of Captain Hook instead of him. It is interesting to note that Peter Pan is one of the most interesting male protagonists of the early Walt Disney films because he is very heroic, opinionated, and has a zeal for life. Kahl’s animation of him totally embraces those characteristics as well as his great grace, expert timing, all combined with a very appealing artistic design.

Bobby Driscoll was the first actor Walt Disney ever put under contract, and was cast to play the lead character in the 1946 film "Song of the South." The film would introduce live action into an extensive animation based film. The film was very successful and turned Driscoll, and his co-star Luana Patten, into overnight child stars! The pair were even discussed for a special Academy Award as the best child actors of the year.

Driscoll went on to appear in a large number of specials and to star in some of The Walt Disney Company's most popular live-action pictures of that period, such as "So Dear to My Heart" in 1948, and in the role of Jim Hawkins in "Treasure Island" in 1950. This last role earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1953, he served as animation model and provided the voice for the title role in "Peter Pan," Driscoll's last major success. Driscoll was cast opposite Disney's "Little British Lady" Kathryn Beaumont, who was in the role of Wendy Darling. Driscoll was the model for all the close up Peter Pan scenes and the dancer and choreographer Roland Dupree was the model for the character's motion sequences. All the live action model scenes were played out on an almost empty sound stage with only the most essential props, and filmed for use by the animators.


Original production animation cels of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell without the background.

Tinker Bell was designed and animated by Walt Disney veteran animator, Marc Davis (who supervised the animation and contributed to the design of: Cinderella, Alice, Wendy, Tinker Bell, Aurora, Maleficent, and Cruella De Vil). Without the aid of a vocal performance, he relied on Tinker Bell's facial and body expressions for the animation; taking inspiration from previous pantomime characters such as Mickey Mouse's dog Pluto and Dopey from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Once "Peter Pan" was released, Tinker Bell received critical acclaim and would continue to be one of Disney's trademark characters. She has become one of the main spokes-characters for The Walt Disney Company and one of its most popular and iconic characters since her creation. Many people remember the opening to the TV show "The Wonderful World of Disney," as Tinker Bell would fly towards the center of the screen with a thin wand in her hand, waving it, and causing fairy dust to fly out towards the viewer!


Close up of the original production animation cels of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell without the background.

Close up of the production numbers.

From veteran Walt Disney animator Andreas Deja:
"To me Tinker Bell is perfection. Her character arc in the story is very strong. Because of her affection for Peter Pan she is jealous of Wendy, which gets her into trouble. But toward the end of the film she saves Peter's life as well as the other kids. Her animation throughout is flawless. Occasionally based on live action reference, Marc animated her beautifully. She always feels like a small figure, but the acting has great range and subtlety. Marc said he really enjoyed the challenge of a mute character, where pantomime is the name of the game."

Because of the public's love of the character, DisneyToon Studios decided to create a series of films staring Tinker Bell; and the movies were extremely popular and very well received. The voices of Mae Whitman, Raven-Symoné, Lucy Liu, America Ferrera, Kristin Chenoweth and Pamela Adlon are featured in the series of films. Each of the first four films is set around one of the four seasons: "Tinker Bell," 2008 centered around Spring, "Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure," 2009 around Autumn, "Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue," 2010 around Summer, and "Secret of the Wings," 2012 around Winter. A fifth title, "Pixie Hollow Games," 2011 was supposed to be based on all four seasons, but it was released before "Secret of the Wings" and the film was scaled down. A sixth film, entitled "The Pirate Fairy," was released on April 1, 2014, followed by the release of a seventh film "Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast" on March 3, 2015. The film series was a spin-off of and prequel to the animated feature film "Peter Pan" and to its sequel, "Return to Never Land."

This is an exceptionally rare original production animation cel setup of both Peter Pan and Tinker Bell; but making the work even more extraordinary, is that Tiker Bell also has her matching wings cel. Production artwork of Tinker Bell (much less with their matching wings) is rare to the market, and it is really amazing that even in this small scale, there is a separate hand painted Wings cel created! This allows for Tinker Bell's body and wings to move independently on screen. A wonderful piece that would be a highlight to any Walt Disney animation art collection!

Original Production Animation Cel of Wendy and Michael Darling from "Peter Pan," 1953


Original hand inked and hand painted production animation cel of Wendy and Michael Darling from "Peter Pan," 1953, Walt Disney Studios; Set over a lithographic background; Size - Wendy & Michael Darling: 6 3/4 x 6", Image 7 1/4 x 9"; Unframed.

To purchase this cel or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE!

“Well a mother, a real mother, is the most wonderful person in the world. She's the angel voice that bids you goodnight, kisses your cheek, whispers, "Sleep tight."” ―Wendy Darling

The author J. M. Barrie first used Peter Pan as a character in a section of the adult novel "The Little White Bird" in 1902. He returned to that character with his stage play entitled "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up," which premiered in London on December 27, 1904. The play ran until 1913, and it was later adapted by Walt Disney for the animated feature film entitled, "Peter Pan," in 1953.

The main characters of "Peter Pan" Peter and Wendy were animated by Milt Kahl and Eric Larson. Kahl did the majority of the animation sequences with Larson working mainly on the flying to London sequence, as well as some animation work on both Wendy Darling and Captain Hook.

Milt Kahl was not very excited about his assignment for "Peter Pan." He had to animate both Peter Pan and Wendy Darling; two characters that had to be handled like real human beings and therefore would be a great challenge. “Peter was interesting in that you had to make him fly but after that was over he became a chore,” said Kahl. "Peter Pan's" supervising animator, Ron Clements, remembered that for years Milt Kahl resented the fact that animator Frank Thomas was assigned the character of Captain Hook instead of him. It is interesting to note that Peter Pan is one of the most interesting male protagonists of the early Walt Disney films because he is very heroic, opinionated, and has a zeal for life. Kahl’s animation of him totally embraces those characteristics as well as his great grace, expert timing, all combined with a very appealing artistic design.

Bobby Driscoll was the first actor Walt Disney ever put under contract, and was cast to play the lead character in the 1946 film "Song of the South." The film would introduce live action into an extensive animation based film. The film was very successful and turned Driscoll, and his co-star Luana Patten, into overnight child stars! The pair were even discussed for a special Academy Award as the best child actors of the year. Driscoll went on to appear in a large number of specials and to star in some of The Walt Disney Company's most popular live-action pictures of that period, such as "So Dear to My Heart" in 1948, and in the role of Jim Hawkins in "Treasure Island" in 1950. This last role earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1953, he served as animation model and provided the voice for the title role in "Peter Pan," Driscoll's last major success. Driscoll was cast opposite Disney's "Little British Lady" Kathryn Beaumont, who was in the role of Wendy Darling.

Michael Darling is the youngest of the three Darling children and the brother of Wendy and John. Both Michael and John, having been told by Wendy, believe that Peter Pan is a real person; and they both act out make-believe battles between Peter Pan and his villain Captain Hook in the Darling nursery.

Michael was animated by master Walt Disney artist, Ward Kimball. The voice of Michael was provided by Walt Disney director Hamilton Luske's young son, Tommy. Tommy also provided the voice for a young pansy flower in "Alice In Wonderland." This cel occurs when Peter Pan offers to take Wendy to Never Land, but she wants Peter to take John and Michael as well. The dialog for the scene is below:


Original production animation cel of Wendy and Michael Darling without the background.

This is a very beautiful and expressive cel of both Wendy and Michael Darling. Both characters are eyes open and smiling. Michael sits in Wendy's lap in his pink pajamas, and still wearing his red Indian paint. The cel is from the scene when Wendy sings to Michael and the Lost Boys about a real mother, and creates a feeling of love and of being homesick. The song "Your Mother and Mine," was composed by Frank Churchill and Winston Hibler. An outstanding piece of vintage Walt Disney animation artwork that is perfect for any collection!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Original Production Animation Cel of Four Chipmunks, A Quail, and A Shoe Set A Courvoisier Background from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937


Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cel of Four Chipmunks, Quail, and a Shoe set over an airbrushed textured Courvoisier background from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937, Walt Disney Studios; Partial Courvoisier Label verso; Size - Chipmunks, Quail, & Shoe: 2 1/4 x 5", Image 5 x 6 1/4", Frame 14 3/4 x 16"; Framed with a gold wood frame, two linen mats, gold wood fillet, and plexiglass.


Development on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs began in early 1934, and by June Walt Disney announced to The New York Times the production of his first feature, to be released under Walt Disney Productions. Before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Disney studio had been primarily involved in the production of animated short subjects in the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. However, Disney hoped to expand his studio's prestige and revenues by moving into features, and he estimated that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs could be produced for a budget of $250,000 (this was ten times the budget of an average Silly Symphony).

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was to be the first full-length cel animated feature in motion picture history, and as such Walt Disney had to fight to get the film produced. Both his brother and business partner Roy Disney, as well as his wife Lillian attempted to talk him out of it.  The Hollywood movie industry mockingly referred to the film, while is was in production, as "Disney's Folly."  Disney ended up having to mortgage his house to help finance the film's production, which would eventually ran up to a total cost of $1,488,422.74; an absolutely massive sum for a feature film in 1937!

A large number of actresses auditioned for the voice of Snow White. Walt Disney listened to each audition in his office while the actress performed in another room, without any knowledge of the actress' appearance or reputation. This would insure that he would only judge based on the sound of the voice. According to later accounts, most of the voices Disney felt, did not sound young enough. Eventually, in September of 1935, Adriana Caselotti was chosen for the voice of Snow White. Caselotti was eighteen at the time and made her coloraturo soprano sound younger, knowing that the character was intended to be 14 years old. In recording sessions Caselotti found difficulty in the line, "Grumpy, I didn't know you cared"; instead of "didn't", Caselotti was only able to say "din". After rehearsing the line many times, Walt Disney eventually said "Oh, the heck with..." and "din'" remained in the final film.


Close up of the original Courvoisier labels.

Snow White's design was supervised by Grim Natwick, an animator who had previously developed and worked on Betty Boop at Fleischer Studios. It is interesting to note that early designs for the Snow White resemble Betty Boop, and some appear to be caricatures of famous actresses of the time. As development continued, Snow White became more and more lifelike. Another animator, Hamilton Luske's first designs for Snow White depicted her as a slightly awkward, gangly teenager. However, Walt Disney had a different idea in mind; he wanted Snow White to be older, and more realistic-looking. This was achieved by the use of live-action references for the animators. Also, in order for Snow White to better relate onscreen to the seven Dwarfs, it was decided that her head be slightly larger than normal. In addition, the women in the animation studio's ink and paint department felt that Snow White's black hair was too unnatural and harsh, so they drybrushed whisps of light grey over the top of each and every cel.


Framed original production animation cel of Four Chipmunks, Quail, and a Shoe.

This is an original cel setup as prepared by Courvoisier Galleries in conjunction with Walt Disney Animation Studios. The cels of four Chipmunks, a Quail, and a Shoe are placed over an airbrushed textured Courvoisier background. Courvoisier Galleries, the first to recognize the artistic value to the newly emerging animation art form, in the 1930s and 40s created the series to sell to the public. This Snow White Forest Animals setup is extremely beautiful and an absolutely spectacular piece of vintage Walt Disney artwork from the first animated feature film ever created; perfect for any animation art collection!

Original Production Animation Cel of Sleepy, A Squirrel, and A Chipmunk Set On A Courvoisier Background from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937


Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cel of Sleepy, a Squirrel, and a Chipmunk set over an airbrushed wood veneer Courvoisier background from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Sleepy: 4 3/4 x 4 1/4", Image 6 3/4 x 8 1/4", Frame 18 x 19 1/2"; Framed with a gold wood frame, two linen mats, gold wood fillet, and plexiglass.

To purchase this cel or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE!

"Maybe the old Queen's, uh, got Snow White." - Sleepy

Development on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs began in early 1934, and by June Walt Disney announced to The New York Times the production of his first feature, to be released under Walt Disney Productions.  Before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Disney studio had been primarily involved in the production of animated short subjects in the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series.  However, Disney hoped to expand his studio's prestige and revenues by moving into features, and he estimated that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs could be produced for a budget of $250,000 (this was ten times the budget of an average Silly Symphony).

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was to be the first full-length cel animated feature in motion picture history, and as such Walt Disney had to fight to get the film produced. Both his brother and business partner Roy Disney, as well as his wife Lillian attempted to talk him out of it.  The Hollywood movie industry mockingly referred to the film, while is was in production, as "Disney's Folly."  Disney ended up having to mortgage his house to help finance the film's production, which would eventually ran up to a total cost of $1,488,422.74; an absolutely massive sum for a feature film in 1937!


Framed original production animation cel of Sleepy.

Although the initial concept designing of the dwarfs was relatively easy for the Walt Disney animation department, the actual animating of them proved to be difficult. The animators, already finding human figures difficult to animate, now had to animate dwarfed human figures. The great Disney animator Vladimir Tytla noted that the dwarfs should walk with a swing to their hips, and Fred Moore commented that they had to move a little more quickly in order to keep up with the other human characters. In order to establish Sleepy's character during the march home in "Heigh Ho", the animation director Vernon Stallings noted that traits specific to Sleepy should be taken into account. An early drawing by Albert Hurter of Sleepy with his mouth wide open in a yawn inspired the lead animator for the character, Fred Moore to be more extreme in Sleepy's animation. Moore made sure that, on every animation drawing of Sleepy, one eye was larger than the other; or one eye was more squashed than the other; in order to suggest the dwarf's perpetual sleepiness. Sleepy was voiced by the great Walt Disney voice actor, Pinto Colvig.

These are absolutely wonderful original hand painted and hand inked production cels of Sleepy, a Squirrel, and a Chipmunk; all set over an airbrushed wood veneer Courvoisier background. Courvoisier Galleries, the first to recognize the artistic value to the newly emerging animation art form, in the 1930s and 40s created the series to sell to the public. This cel of Sleepy is from the scene in the film when the forest animals realize that the Old Hag (disguised Evil Queen) is trying to harm Snow White, and they race to alert the Dwarfs. As the animals try to pull and push at the Dwarfs in order to move them; the Dwarfs are confussed as to why the animals are acting so odd. Only Sleepy asks the question out loud, "Maybe the old Queen's, uh, got Snow White." All the Dwarfs finally realize what is happening and race from their Jewel Mine back to their Cottage to try to save Snow White. This is a great full figure, eyes and mouth open image of Sleepy; together with cels of two of the forest animals, a Squirrel and a Chipmunk. A beautiful piece of vintage Walt Disney history, and a wonderful addition to any animation art collection!

Original Production Animation Cels of Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's Reflection from "The Little Mermaid," 1989


Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's reflection all set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower right; Size - Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's Reflection: 6 x 9 1/4", Image 8 1/4 x 12"; Unframed.


"The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself." - Ursula The Sea Witch

"The Little Mermaid," is an American animated musical fantasy film and the 28th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures to theaters on November 17, 1989. The film was based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, which tells the story of a beautiful mermaid princess who dreams of becoming human. The film was written, directed, and produced by Ron Clements and John Musker; with music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. The voice cast includes: Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Samuel E. Wright, Jason Marin, Kenneth Mars, Buddy Hackett, and René Auberjonois.


Original production animation cels of Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's Reflection without the background.

There was more money and resources dedicated by the Walt Disney Studios to "The Little Mermaid" than any other Disney animated film in decades. Aside from its main animation facility in Glendale, California; Disney opened a satellite feature animation facility in Lake Buena Vista, Florida that was within the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park at Walt Disney World. Their first projects were to produce an entire Roger Rabbit cartoon short, "Roller Coaster Rabbit," and to contribute ink and paint support to "The Little Mermaid." Another first for Disney films of recent years, was the filming of live actors and actresses for motion reference material for the animators. Broadway actress Jodi Benson (who was predominantly a stage actress when she was cast) was chosen to play Ariel, and Sherri Lynn Stoner, a former member of Los Angeles' Groundlings improvisation comedy group, acted out Ariel's key scenes.


Close up of The Walt Disney Company seal.

The Little Mermaid's supervising animators included Glen Keane and Mark Henn on Ariel, Duncan Marjoribanks on Sebastian, Andreas Deja on King Triton, and Ruben Aquino on Ursula. Originally, Keane had been asked to work on Ursula, as he had established a reputation for drawing large powerful figures, such as the bear in "The Fox and the Hound," 1981 and Professor Ratigan in "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986. Keane however, was assigned as one of the two lead artists on the petite Ariel and oversaw the "Part of Your World" musical number. He jokingly stated that his wife looks exactly like Ariel "without the fins." The character's body type and personality were based upon that of Alyssa Milano, who was starring on TV's "Who's the Boss?". The effect of Ariel's hair underwater was based on footage of Sally Ride when she was in space; and scenes of Sherri Lynn Stoner in a swimming pool were used in animating Ariel's swimming. A challenge in animating Ariel were the colors required to show her in various changing environments, both under the sea and on land. By the end of the film, the animators required a total of 32-color models; not including costume changes. The sea-green color of her fin was a hue specially mixed by the Disney paint lab, and the color was named "Ariel" after the character.

"The Little Mermaid," 1989 was the final Disney film using hand painted animation cels. Disney Studios, specifically Ron Clements and John Musker, adapted the Hans Christian Anderson story to give the villain a much bigger role. The first choice to voice the character was Beatrice Arthur who turned down the part. It was eventually accepted by veteran stage actress Elaine Stritch; however she clashed with the music stylist. The voice was finally given to Pat Caroll who described the role as, "part Shakespearean actress, with all the flair, flamboyance and theatricality, and part used-car salesman with a touch of con artist." Although I would have loved to have heard Arthur and Stritch sing "Pour Unfortunate Souls," Ursula is the absolute embodiment of Caroll and I think she was the best choice!

The animation of the character was initially offered to Glen Keane, however after hearing Jodi Benson sing "Part of Your World" he wanted to animate Ariel instead and so Ursula ended up going to Disney animator, Ruben Aquino. Aquino credits Ursula as his favorite character in which he has ever worked and said, "When animating Ursula, I was inspired mainly by the voice and by the story sketches, but of course, I also worked very closely with the directors (John Musker and Ron Clements) to realize their vision. Given a great voice, the scenes almost animate themselves, and that definitely was the case with Pat Carroll's amazing vocal performance. I also did a lot of research on octopus locomotion to make sure Ursula's movements were convincing."

This is an outstanding three cel setup of Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's Reflection that occurs when Ursula, looking in her mirror at Ariel's reflection, says one of her most famous lines "The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself." This and two more lines of dialogue occur just prior to Ursula's performance of the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls," one of the true highlights of the entire film! The complete dialogue for this scene is below:

Ursula: "The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself."
Ariel:   "Can you do that?"
Ursula: "My dear sweet child. That's what I do, it's what I live for. To help unfortunate merfolk like yourself. Poor souls with no one else to turn to."