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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fidget the bat original production cel from "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986


Original hand painted production cel of Fidget The Bat from "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986; Numbered 73 and Disney seal lower right; Double Matted; Size - Fidget: 8" x 8 1/4", Mat 16 1/4" x 19 3/4".


Fidget the bat is the right hand henchman to the main villain of the film "The Great Mouse Detective," Professor Ratigan. Fidget the peg legged and one wing crippled bat was a character created by Eve Titus in a series of stories about Basil of Baker Street; a mouse that lived next door to Sherlock Holmes and who shared many of his skills and traits.  Ratigan was a takeoff of Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes nemesis, and the character was brought to life by veteran Disney animator Glen Keane.  Keane was also responsible for the character design for Ratigan's sidekick, Fidget.

Fidget was voiced by Candy Candido, the veteran radio performer who also had a long career at Walt Disney Studios.  He portrayed the Indian Chief in Peter Pan, one of Maleficent's goons in Sleeping Beauty, the Alligator Captain of the Guard in Robin Hood, Brutus and Nero in The Rescuers, the deep voiced escaped convict (Gus) in the Haunted Mansion attraction, and of course Fidget the peg-legged bat that would be his final role before his death.  Since Candido normally has a deep, croaky voice; his voice track had to be digitally sped up in order for Fidget to sound high-pitched.


Close-up of Fidget cel.

This is a wonderful very large, eyes and mouth open full figure original production cel of Fidget the bat and it is the nicest cel that I have ever seen of the character measuring an impressive " x " The cel is from the scene where Ratigan asks Fidget if he had forgotten anything on his list, and then Fidget realizes that he had forgotten something; the list!  The dialog from the scene where this cel is taken is below:

Ratigan: Ah, the uniforms! Oh, Fidget, I knew I could rely on you. Now, you didn't forget anything?
Fidget: No problem. I took care of everything. Everything on the list...
[tries to display the list but, to his amazement, the list is gone]


Double matted Fidget cel.

To see the cel in the film, just click on this short video below:

video

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Original production cel of Professor Ratigan from "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986



Original hand painted production cel of Professor Ratigan set on a lithographic copy of a non-production watercolor background that matches the scene from "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986; Numbered 7 and Disney seal lower right; Size - Ratigan: 6 3/4" x 6 1/2"; Image: 11" x 15".


It took Disney way too long to finally cast veteran actor Vincent Price, known for his roles in horror films, in the role of the villain Ratigan.  Price had such a distinctive voice that had been used for so many horror and thrilling roles, so the casting just seemed to be overdue.  Ratigan was a character created by Eve Titus in a series of stories about Basil of Baker Street; a mouse that lived next door to Sherlock Holmes and who shared many of his skills and traits.  Ratigan was a takeoff of Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes nemesis, and the character was brought to life by veteran Disney animator Glen Keane.


Close-up of Ratigan cel without the background.

This is a wonderful very large, eyes open full figure original production cel of Professor Ratigan from the 1986 full length animated Walt Disney feature film "The Great Mouse Detective."  The evil Professor Ratigan is clutching his hands together and he has a very evil smile.  He is getting ready to reveal to Hiram Flaversham his kidnapped daughter, Olivia who has just been kidnapped by his bat henchman Fidget.  "Allow me to present your charming daughter," Ratigan says.  He measures an incredible 6 3/4" x 6 1/2", and is placed over a lithographic copy of a painted watercolor background that matches the scene from the film.


Full Ratigan cel showing reinforced peg holes, Walt Disney seal, and production number.

To see the cel in the film, just click on this short video below:

video

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Prince John Production Drawing from "Robin Hood," 1973


Original production drawing of Prince John in graphite and blue pencils from "Robin Hood," 1973; Numbered 95 lower right; Size - Prince John 7 x 8 1/2", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2", Unframed.


Prince John is a spoiled King who will resort to any underhanded trick so that he can maintain the crown and throne of Nottingham.  He was voiced by the great and deep voiced Peter Ustinov, Sir Hiss (Prince John's snake advisor) was voiced by Terry-Thomas (who's hissing speech was masterful); and both were animated by Ollie Johnston.  The on-screen presence of the two villains together is just wonderful and Johnston's animation skills, at this point, are top notch!  This is a very rare production drawing of Prince John by Ollie Johnston's hand.  Drawings of Prince John are much rarer than the cels and this one is quite nice.  He is seen sitting on this throne, both eyes are open, and his mouth has a wonderfully wicked smile!  He is wearing his crown, and the details of which would be added at a later part of the animation process.  The drawing is accomplished in graphite and blue pencils and measures an impressive 7" x 8 1/2".


Close up of the Prince John production drawing

Friday, March 13, 2015

Original matching production drawings of Captain Hook and Mr. Smee from "Peter Pan," 1953


Original matching production drawings of Captain Hook (graphite, red, and purple pencils on peg hole paper, numbered 41 with production numbers lower left) and Mr. Smee (graphite and red pencil on peg hole paper, numbered 241 with production numbers lower left) from "Peter Pan," 1953; Size - Captain Hook: 6 1/5 x 5 1/4",  Smee: 4 1/4 x 2 3/4"; Both Sheets 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.


Captain Hook was animated by legendary Frank Thomas and voiced by Hans Conried.  Conried was also the voice of George Darling, which is consistent with the roles of "Peter Pan" for the stage.  I remember seeing Conried acting on "I Love Lucy" where he played an English tutor as well as playing the character Wrongway Feldman on "Gilligan's Island."  His voice was so distinctive and so memorable that he was perfect for the role of Captain Hook; as he had a wonderful way of conveying both the rough gruff pirate role as well and the sly calculating villain.



Photograph showing the entire Captain Hook animation sheet with left production numbers and right animation ladder.

Frank Thomas's first sketches of Captain Hook were much more menacing than the final product.  Walt Disney felt the character was going to be too frightening for children and so Thomas toned down his drawings.  The result is a wonderful villain and I would say that he is my favorite male villain in the Disney film world.  


Photograph showing the entire Mr. Smee animation sheet with left production numbers and right animation ladder.

Mr. Smee was animated by Ollie Johnston and voiced by Bill Thompson.  Smee was a wonderful pirate henchman sidekick for Captain Hook and the remarkable friendship that existed between Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, which is well documented; may account for why the villainous pair seemed to work so well together.  Of course the voice talent of Bill Thompson was also a fantastic addition.  Thompson was well known already at MGM for his voice of Droopy and of Droopy's nemesis Spike.  At Walt Disney studios he would have a long career as the voice of the White Rabbit and the Dodo in Alice in Wonderland, of course Mr. Smee (and some of the other pirates) in Peter Pan and King Hubert in Sleeping Beauty.  Bill Thompson's largest showcase for his voice skills was in Lady and the Tramp (1955), where he performed five different dialect parts, as Jock the Scottish Terrier, Bull the Cockney bulldog, Dachsie the German dachshund, Joe the Italian cook, and the Irish policeman in the zoo.

This drawing pair is quite extraordinary, as this is a key matched set of drawings of both Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.  Captain Hook has a fantastic expression; both eyes and his mouth are open, as well as his eye brows raised as he looks at and speaks to Mr. Smee.  As Smee helps Captain Hook get his overcoat on, the following dialog occurs:

Captain Hook: "We've got him this time, Mr Smee."
Mr. Smee: "That we have, Captain."

To view the scene which these drawings were used to create, click on the short video below:

video

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mad Madam Mim & Wart As A Bird Cel From "The Sword In The Stone," 1963


Original hand painted production cel of Mad Madam Mim and Wart as a bird, from "The Sword In The Stone," 1963.  Numbered 92 lower right and set on a lithographic background; Triple matted; Size - Madam Mim and Wart as a Bird: 6 3/4" x 7 1/2", Image 11 1/4" x 15 1/4", Mat 14 3/4 x 17"; Matted.


Madam Mim was the villain in the Walt Disney 1963 film "The Sword In The Stone," based on T. H. White's novel by the same name.  Mim was voiced by Martha Wentworth a veteran actress with a long radio history dating back to the 1920's.  She was the voice of several Disney characters in "101 Dalmatians" including Nanny; and Mim was her final credited role.  Madam Mim was animated by two of Disney's greatest animators Milt Kahl (who also designed the character, refining storyboard sketches from animator Bill Peet), and Frank Thomas.  Kahl animated her first appearance in the film, her initial interaction with Arthur; while Frank Thomas oversaw her famous "Wizards' Duel" with Merlin.


Photograph showing the entire cel and the number 92 lower right.

This cel is from the first appearance of Mim, animated by Kahl; and occurs when Wart (soon to be King Arthur, but at the moment having been transformed into a bird by Merlin), accidentally falls down Mim's chimney.  In order to impress Wart and prove she is more powerful a wizard than Merlin, Mim sings the "Mad Madame Mim Song."  After her song Mim realizes the if Merlin had become involved with this bird it must be good, which in Mim's book is bad.  Mim transforms into a cat and chases Wart around the room and finally catches him.  Once caught, she sits down and transforms back into herself. This cel is when she says, "Why you devil, you!"  This is a wonderful cel of Mim, she is full figure with her eyes and mouth open; as well as a great image of Wart transformed into a Sparrow, with his right eye open as well as his beak!


Close up of the Mim and Wart Cel.

To view the scene which this cel was used to create, click on the short video below:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chernabog Production Drawing from "Fantasia: Night On Bald Mountain, 1940"


Original production animation drawing of Chernabog in graphite, green, and red pencil, numbered 383 lower right, and used during the production of the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence of "Fantasia," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Double Matted; Size - Chernabog: 8 1/2 x 10 3/4", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2", Mat 15 1/4 x 18"; Matted.


In 1940 Walt Disney took a huge risk with his third full length feature film "Fantasia."  The film consisted of eight animated segments each set to the soundtrack of a different classical music piece, but with no dialog.  The soundtrack was recorded using multiple audio channels and reproduced with, what Disney called Fantasound; a pioneering sound reproduction system that made "Fantasia" the first commercial film shown in stereophonic sound.  The development of Fantasound led to what is now known as surround sound.  This drawing for sale is from the famed, Night on Bald Mountain sequence.

From Disneyvillains.wikia:
"The idea for Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria's Devil was conceived by German artist Heinrich Kley who once sketched a pen and ink drawing of a gigantic demon forcing workers out of a factory by blocking the chimney. Albert Hurter, inspired by this drawing and others like it by Kley, drew various sketches of a huge, winged devil tossing handfuls of souls into a volcano. Hurter's sketches also included studies of Chernabog's hands as his flailing minions attempt to clamber onto his fingers for safety; this imagery is used in a scene in the final film.  After Hurter's initial sketches, Kay Nielsen established the final appearance of Chernabog and his world in a series of detailled pastel illustrations, as well as a model sheet for the character.   Chernabog was then created as a real model, to be used as reference by (animator Vladimir) Tytla during animation.  For live-action reference, Wilfred Jackson, the director of Night on Bald Mountain, shot footage of actor Bela Lugosi (famous for his portrayal of Universal's Dracula), to be studied by Tytla.  However, Tytla was not satisfied with Lugosi's performance, finding it not to be the way he felt the character would move.  As a result, after Lugosi left, Tytla shot live-action footage of Jackson (a skinny man), directing his movements according to his intentions for the character. Jackson later recalled that his hands were also filmed in close-up as reference for Chernabog's hands as he manipulated the flames."


Close up of the Chernabog drawing

Tytla would also draw in total darkness, except for the fluorescent light under his animator's light box which lit his face in a spooky and shadowy way.  The great Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston have said, "No one but Tytla could have given Chernabog the odious, predominantly animal mentality which made him so fearsome."  In his 1983 book "Walt Disney's Fantasia," author John Culhane wrote of Night on Bald Mountain: "The great strength of this segment is that its personification of evil in Vladimir Tytla's animation of Chernabog, the Black God or Satan, was and remains today the highest point yet achieved in the art of animation."

Chernabog has always been included in the pantheon of great Disney villains.  He is the best representation of pure evil; and most agree the he is also animator Vladimir Tytla's greatest triumph!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mad Madam Mim In Beautiful Woman Form Cel from "The Sword In The Stone," 1963


Original hand painted production cel of Mad Madam Mim as a Beautiful Woman from "The Sword In The Stone," 1963; Numbered 55 lower right and set on a lithographic background; Size - Madam Mim: 8" x 3 3/4", Image 11 1/4" x 15 1/4"; Unframed.


Madam Mim was the villain in the Walt Disney 1963 film "The Sword In The Stone," based on T. H. White's novel by the same name.  Mim was voiced by Martha Wentworth a veteran actress with a long radio history dating back to the 1920's.  She was the voice of several Disney characters in "101 Dalmatians" including Nanny; and Mim was her final credited role.  Madam Mim was animated by two of Disney's greatest animators Milt Kahl (who also designed the character, refining storyboard sketches from animator Bill Peet), and Frank Thomas.  Kahl animated her first appearance in the film, her initial interaction with Arthur; while Frank Thomas oversaw her famous "Wizards' Duel" with Merlin.


Photograph showing the entire cel and the number 55 lower right.

This cel is from the first appearance of Mim, animated by Kahl; and occurs when Wart (soon to be King Arthur, but at the moment having been transformed into a bird by Merlin), accidentally falls down Mim's chimney.  In order to impress Wart and prove she is more powerful a wizard than Merlin, Mim sings the "Mad Madame Mim Song."  This cel is from the part of the song when she transforms into a beautiful woman and sings the following lyrics:

"I can be beautiful, lovely and fair
Silvery voice, long purple hair
La la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la la la
But it's only skin deep
For Zim zaberim zim
I'm an ugly old creep
The magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!"


Close up of the Mim Cel.

To view the scene which this cel was used to create, click on the short video below:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Very Large Drawing of Maleficent as the Dragon from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959


Original production drawing of Maleficent as Dragon in graphite pencil from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959; Numbered "23" upper right and center; Size - Maleficent/Dragon 12 1/4 x 19 1/2", Sheet 12 1/2 x 30"; Unframed.


“Now you shall deal with me, o prince, and all the powers of HELL!”
―Maleficent before transforming into the Dragon

Wolfgang Reitherman (known as Woolie) began working for Walt Disney in 1934, and is credited in films from Pinocchio, 1940 (Monstro the Whale) to The Fox and the Hound, 1981 (co-producer).  His masterful animation work includes the climatic dinosaur fight in Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in Fantasia, the Headless Horseman chase in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow section in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, the Crocodile in Peter Pan, and of course Maleficent as a dragon in Sleeping Beauty.  An interesting side note is that all three of Reitherman's sons; Bruce, Richard, and Robert  provided voices for Disney characters, Mowgli in The Jungle Book, Christopher Robin in the Winnie the Pooh films, and Wart in The Sword in the Stone.

The climatic ending of Sleeping Beauty is the transformation of The Mistress of all Evil - Maleficent into a massive black and purple Dragon capable of breathing green fire.  Children were absolutely terrified of the Dragon, with her large teeth, powerful claws, and expansive wing span.  The success of the Dragon is owed to Reitherman's remarkable drawing and animation skills.  In this very large and powerful drawing, Maleficent as the Dragon is shown in full glory!  Her mouth is open and she is laughing and staring down at, a very small Prince Phillip.  This is an absolutely beautiful drawing with both of her outstretched wings extended, her mouth and eyes open, and it is from one of the best sequences in the finale of the film!


Close up of Maleficent As A Dragon.

To view the scene which this drawing was used to create, click on the short video below:

video

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Original production cel of Ursula from "The Little Mermaid," 1989 from "Poor Unfortunate Souls"


Original production drawing of Ursula in graphite and blue pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989; Numbered 111 upper and lower right on peg hole animation paper; Size: Ursula 8 1/2 x 7 3/4", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed.


Ursula is one of the greatest of the last of the Disney Villains in which to collect.  "The Little Mermaid," 1989 was the final Disney film using hand painted animation cels; so my animation collecting goes from the Evil Queen/Witch to Ursula the Sea Witch.  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!


Photograph showing the entire cel and the background.

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."


Close-up of the Ursula production cel.

This full figure, eyes and mouth open cel is from Ursula's famous song "Poor Unfortunate Souls," one of the true highlights of the entire film!  The lyrics that she is singing from this cel scene are:

"The men up there don't like a lot of blabber
They think a girl who gossips is a bore!"

To view this cel in the film, click on the short video below:

video