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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Original Production Animation Drawing of Briar Rose & Mock Prince From "Sleeping Beauty," 1959


Original production animation drawing of Briar Rose & Mock Prince in graphite pencil from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 48 lower right and with animation ladder lower right; Size - Briar Rose & Mock Prince: 7 3/4 x 6 3/4", Sheet 12 1/2 x 22"; Unframed.

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

"Sleeping Beauty," the 1959 Walt Disney full length motion picture, introduced two characters that would become universal favorites; Maleficent and Princess Aurora. Aurora, along with Snow White and Cinderella would be forever immortalized in the public's view as the three greatest Disney Princesses. The original design for Aurora and her peasant disguise Briar Rose was developed by Tom Oreb, who based the character on the famed Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn; known for her thin frame and a very graceful demeanor. Marc Davis, the head animator, would continue the development process by morphing her general appearance and the clothing of the heroine. The fine tuning of the character continued so that she could be combined with the very angular forms present in the Eyvind Earle hand painted backgrounds.


Close up of the original production animation drawing of Briar Rose and the Mock Prince.

As with other Disney films, an actress was hired as a live-action model (as a guide for the animators) for Princess Aurora/Briar Rose. Helene Stanley, who was also the model for Cinderella in 1950, became the model for the heroine. It is interesting to note that prior to marrying Marc Davis in 1956, Alice (Davis) designed some of costumes worn by Stanley in her acting role in "Sleeping Beauty."


Close up of the production number and animation ladder on the Briar Rose drawing.

In 1952, the professional opera singer Mary Costa, after meeting people at a party with her future husband director Frank Tashlin, auditioned for the part of Disney's Princess Aurora/Briar Rose. Walt Disney called her personally within hours of the audition to inform her that the part was hers. The success of the film "Sleeping Beauty," owes a chuck of those accolades to the voice of Mary Costa. Her songs were some of the most beautiful ever sung by a Disney Princess. In November 1999 Mary Costa received the Disney Legends Award, and her handprints are now a permanent part of the Disney Legends Plaza at the entrance to Walt Disney Studios.

Prince Phillip was animated by Milt Kahl and voiced Bill Shirley and Aurora was animated by Marc Davis (who was also lead animator for Maleficent) and voiced by Mary Costa. Both Bill and Mary would be live action models for Prince Phillip and Briar Rose/Princess Aurora for the animators, and their chemistry was magical on screen. In addition, their singing together was one of the many highlights of the film.

This drawing is from the section in the film when Prince Phillip is riding his horse in the forest when he suddenly hears a young girl's voice singing, and orders his horse Samson to take him there. But on the way, Samson goes too fast and accidentally knocks Phillip into a puddle of water. Phillip hangs his wet cape, hat, and boots on nearby tree limbs to dry. He suddenly turns around and notices that some of the forest animals have taken off with his clothes. The Mock Prince is a name given to the cape, hat, and boots that were taken and animated by the forest animals. There is rabbit in each boot, the owl is the head in the cape (that is supported by a bird at each of the ends of the caplet), and a squirrel animates the hat. Briar Rose begins to move and dance with the Mock Prince, all the while singing the song "Once Upon a Dream." The animated sequence is one of the most beautiful and memorable in the entire film.

This is wonderful original production animation drawing of Briar Rose and the Mock Prince dancing in the forest. Briar Rose is eyes and mouth open, and holding the ends of the caplet around her. An absolutely beautiful drawing of Briar Rose singing and dancing with the Mock Prince, from the last of the vintage Walt Disney feature films.

Original Production Animation Drawing of Maleficent and Diablo from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959


Original production animation drawing of Maleficent and Diablo from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, Walt Disney Studios; Graphite on peg hole paper; Numbered 153 and animation ladder lower right; Size - Maleficent & Diablo: 10 x 5 3/4", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.

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

"Let us leave our noble prince with these happy thoughts." - Maleficent

"Sleeping Beauty" is a Walt Disney animated full length feature film and was based on "The Sleeping Beauty" by Charles Perrault and "Little Briar Rose" by The Brothers Grimm. The film was the sixteenth in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and it was released to theaters on January 29, 1959 by Buena Vista Distribution. This was to be the last Disney adaptation of a fairy tale for many years, both because of its initial mixed critical reception, and because of it's under performance at the box office. The Walt Disney studio did not return to the fairy tale genre until 30 years later, with the release of "The Little Mermaid" in 1989.

"Sleeping Beauty" was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman, under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi. The story was written by Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, and Milt Banta. The film's musical score and songs, featuring the Graunke Symphony Orchestra, was under the direction of George Bruns. Arrangements and/or adaptations were derived from numbers from the 1890 "Sleeping Beauty Ballet" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In addition, Igor Stravinsky's music compositions were also adapted into the film. "Sleeping Beauty" was the first animated film to be photographed in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process, as well as the second full-length animated feature film to be filmed in anamorphic widescreen; following "Lady and the Tramp" four years earlier. In select first-run engagements, the film was presented in Super Technirama 70 and 6-channel stereophonic sound.


Close up of the original production animation drawing of Maleficent.

The style for "Sleeping Beauty" was based on the art of Eyvind Earle, who was known for his 'Pre-Renaissance' style; accomplished with strong vertical lines combined with Gothic elegance. Earle was involved with the design of all the characters in the film, and he designed and painted most of the backgrounds. The early sketches for Maleficent depicted a hag-like witch, however it was later decided that her final design should be more elegant; as it better suited Earle's backgrounds. The principal animator for Maleficent, Marc Davis, decided to make Maleficent a powerful fairy rather than an old crone that had been described in the original source material. A contributing factor for this decision may have been influenced by the choice of Eleanor Audley to be the voice of the character. Audley had previously worked for Disney by providing the voice for the cold and calculating Lady Tremaine (The Stepmother) in "Cinderella." It is known that Frank Thomas who animated Lady Tremaine and Marc Davis who animated Maleficent, incorporated the facials features of Eleanor into both characters. Audley was also the live-action model for Maleficent, and Marc Davis claimed that her movements and expressions were ultimately incorporated into the animation.


Close up of the production number and the animation ladder.

Marc Davis's design for Maleficent's costume was inspired by a book on Medieval art. One of the images featured was that of a religious figure with long robes, the ends of which resembled flames. Davis incorporated this into Maleficent's final design, and he based the sides of her headdress on the wings of a bat, and the top of her headdress on the horns of a devil. If you ask people to name their favorite Disney Villain, chances are you will one of three answers; The Evil Queen/Witch from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Cruella DeVil from "One hundred and One Dalmatians," or Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty." Two of the three, Cruella and Maleficent, were created and drawn by the great Walt Disney animator Marc Davis.

This is a very nice original production animation drawing of Maleficent and her pet raven Diablo in graphite pencil, on animation paper. She is holding her staff, petting Diablo, and has a very wicked smile. This drawing is from the very famous scene when Maleficent is tormenting the captured Prince Phillip, that she has chained in her dungeon. As she leaves she tells Diablo, "Let us leave our noble prince with these happy thoughts." This is an absolutely beautiful drawing of Maleficent, the Mistress of all evil; and her pet familiar Diablo. A great addition to any animation collection.

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

video

Original Production Animation Drawing of Cinderella from "Cinderella," 1950


Original production animation drawing of Cinderella in blue and graphite pencils from "Cinderella," 1950, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 119 in blue pencil lower right; Size - Cinderella 8 1/4 x 4 1/2", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.

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

The 1950 Walt Disney feature film "Cinderella" was based on the French version of the tale by Charles Perrault, entitled "Cinderella" and written in 1698. The film was the second in the series of great Princess films developed by Disney, the first being Snow White in 1937. The character of Cinderella is usually front and center in the pantheon of Disney Princess merchandise, perhaps because she is the only Princess not to be of a noble blood line who ended up marrying a Prince and becoming royalty.

Cinderella was animated by both Marc Davis and Eric Larson, however the two animators had different perceptions of the character, with Davis preferring elegance and Larson opting for simplicity. This actually worked in the film's favor, resulting in Cinderella being a much more complicated character than her predecessor Snow White. As with other Disney films, the studio hired actress Helene Stanley to perform the live-action reference for Cinderella. She would later return to the studio for the characters of Aurora in "Sleeping Beauty," 1959 and Anita Radcliffe in "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," 1961.


Close up of the original production animation drawing of Cinderella.

According to Christopher Finch, from his book "The Art of Walt Disney":
"Disney insisted that all scenes involving human characters should be shot first in live-action to determine that they would work before the expensive business of animation was permitted to start. The animators did not like this way of working, feeling it detracted from their ability to create character. The animators understood the necessity for this approach and in retrospect acknowledged that Disney had handled things with considerable subtlety."

About 400 women and girls auditioned for the voice role of Cinderella, but the role ended up going to Ilene Woods. Woods, who at the time worked on the radio and did not know anything about the audition, was asked one day by her colleagues Mack David and Jerry Livingston to sing a song from Cinderella. Without her knowledge, her recording was given by her friends to Disney Studios. After listening to the material Walt Disney immediately decided that he had found the voice with which to speak and sing the character of Cinderella and contacted Ilene.


Close up of the production number.

This is a wonderful and very delicate production drawing of Cinderella. She is masterfully rendered in graphite and blue pencils and would make a great addition to any animation art collection!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Original Production Animation Cel of Cinderella From "Cinderella," 1950


Original hand inked and hand painted production animation cel of Cinderella set on a lithographic background from "Cinderella," 1950, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 23 in ink bottom right; Size - Cinderella: 6 x 5 1/2", Cel 12 1/2 x 15 1/4", Image 9 x 12 3/4"; Unframed.

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

"High above
Oh, sing sweet nightingale
Sing sweet nightingale, high" - Cinderella

The 1950 Walt Disney feature film "Cinderella" was based on the French version of the tale by Charles Perrault, entitled "Cinderella" and written in 1698. The film was the second in the series of great Princess films developed by Disney, the first being Snow White in 1937. The character of Cinderella is usually front and center in the pantheon of Disney Princess merchandise, perhaps because she is the only Princess not to be of a noble blood line who ended up marrying a Prince and becoming royalty.


Close up of the original production animation cel of Cinderella.

Cinderella was animated by both Marc Davis and Eric Larson, however the two animators had different perceptions of the character, with Davis preferring elegance and Larson opting for simplicity. This actually worked in the film's favor, resulting in Cinderella being a much more complicated character than her predecessor Snow White. As with other Disney films, the studio hired actress Helene Stanley to perform the live-action reference for Cinderella. She would later return to the studio for the characters of Aurora in "Sleeping Beauty," 1959 and Anita Radcliffe in "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," 1961.


The entire original production animation cel of Cinderella.

According to Christopher Finch, from his book "The Art of Walt Disney":
"Disney insisted that all scenes involving human characters should be shot first in live-action to determine that they would work before the expensive business of animation was permitted to start. The animators did not like this way of working, feeling it detracted from their ability to create character. The animators understood the necessity for this approach and in retrospect acknowledged that Disney had handled things with considerable subtlety."


Production number on the original production animation cel of Cinderella..

About 400 women and girls auditioned for the voice role of Cinderella, but the role ended up going to Ilene Woods. Woods, who at the time worked on the radio and did not know anything about the audition, was asked one day by her colleagues Mack David and Jerry Livingston to sing a song from Cinderella. Without her knowledge, her recording was given by her friends to Disney Studios. After listening to the material Walt Disney immediately decided that he had found the voice with which to speak and sing the character of Cinderella and contacted Ilene.

The terrible singing of Drizella and Anastasia sends Lady Tremaine's wicked cat Lucifer scurrying from the upstairs music room to the downstairs entrance foyer, that is being scrubbed by Cinderella. As Lucifer plots to ruin the floor again, Cinderella begins to sing the song "Oh Sing Sweet Nightingale." This cel appears in the scene as Cinderella wrings our her cleaning rag over a backet of water and begins to sing. The song "Oh Sing Sweet Nightingale" was composed by Mack Davis, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman; and the animation sequence is one of the most beautiful in the film. A wonderful full figure, eyes open original production cel of Cinderella, and a great piece of animation artwork from the Walt Disney vintage classic feature film!

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

video

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Original Production Animation Cels of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather From "Sleeping Beauty," 1959


Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cels of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather set on a lithographic background from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Flora: 7" x 4 1/2", Fauna: 6 x 4", Merryweather: 4 x 4"; Image 8 x 13 1/4", Frame 21 1/4 x 26 1/2"; Framed with a gold wood frame, three linen mats, two gold fillets, and plexiglass.

To purchase these cels or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE

Flora: "Make it pink!"
Merryweather: "Make it blue!"
Fauna: "Oh, I just love happy endings."

"Sleeping Beauty," 1959 is an animated musical film produced by Walt Disney based on two stories: "The Sleeping Beauty" by Charles Perrault and "Little Briar Rose" by The Brothers Grimm. The film was released to theaters on January 29, 1959, by Buena Vista Distribution. This was the last Disney adaptation of a fairy tale for 30 years because of its initial mixed critical reception and because of under performance at the box office. The next Disney adaption of a fairy tale would not occur until 1989 with "The Little Mermaid."

"Sleeping Beauty" was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman; under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi. Additional story work was by Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, and Milt Banta. The film's musical score and songs, featuring the work of the Graunke Symphony Orchestra under the direction of George Bruns, are arrangements or adaptations of numbers from the 1890 "Sleeping Beauty Ballet" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. "Sleeping Beauty" was the first animated film to be photographed in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process, as well as the second full-length animated feature film to be filmed in anamorphic widescreen (following "Lady and the Tramp" four years earlier). The film was presented in Super Technirama 70 and 6-channel stereophonic sound in first-run engagements.

Flora, Fauna and Merryweather are Princess Aurora's Fairy Godmothers, who appear at baby Aurora's christening to present their gifts to her, as well as go on to become her guardians. The Fairies were voiced by Verna Felton (Flora), Barbara Jo Allen (Fauna), and Barbara Luddy (Merryweather). Verna Felton also voiced Queen Leah, Aurora's mother; and had prior roles as Dumbo's mother in "Dumbo," the Fairy Godmother in "Cinderella," the Queen of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland," and Aunt Sarah in "Lady in the Tramp." Barbara Luddy had previously voiced Lady in "Lady and the Tramp." The principle animator for the Three Fairies was Ollie Johnston and a little known fact is that one of the actresses who was one of the live action models for the Good Fairies was Frances Bavier, the future Aunt Bee on "The Andy Griffith Show."


Close up of the original production animation cel of Fauna.

Fauna is the middle Fairy and is dressed in a green gown, a green hat, and a green cape clipped with a green triangle. Her gift to Aurora is the gift of song.


Close up of the original production animation cel of Flora.

Flora is the tallest and oldest Fairy, dressed in a red gown (although she is obsessed with the color pink), a red hat, and a red cape clipped with a yellow square. She is the strongest-willed leader of the group, and her gift to Aurora is the gift of beauty. She also created for Prince Phillip the powerful Sword of Truth and the invulnerable Shield of Virtue, for his escape and battle with Maleficent.


Close up of the original production animation cel of Merryweather.

Merryweather is the shortest and youngest Fairy, dressed in a blue gown, a blue hat, and a blue cape clipped with a blue circle. She is the Fairy who is the most verbal and aggressive towards Maleficent, and she is much bolder than the other two Fairies. As Merryweather is about to give her gift, Maleficent makes her appearance and curses Aurora to die when she touches a spinning wheel's spindle before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. Merryweather's gift to Aurora is to weaken Maleficent's curse so that instead of death, Aurora will fall into a deep sleep until she is awakened by true love's kiss.


Framed Three Good Fairies original production cels.

This is a wonderful set of original hand painted and hand inked production animation cels of all three Good Fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from the Walt Disney masterpiece "Sleeping Beauty," 1959. All three Fairies are full figure, eyes open, and are large hand painted images; and would make a great addition to any animation collection!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Original Matching Production Animation Drawings of Briar Rose and The Mock Prince from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959


Original matching production animation drawings of Briar Rose and the Mock Prince in graphite pencil numbered 168 and 368 lower right from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Briar Rose & Mock Prince: 8 x 10 3/4", Owl & Squirrel: 3 1/4 x 4", Sheets 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.

To purchase these drawings or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE

"Sleeping Beauty," the 1959 Walt Disney full length motion picture, introduced two characters that would become universal favorites; Maleficent and Princess Aurora. Aurora, along with Snow White and Cinderella would be forever immortalized in the public's view as the three greatest Disney Princesses. The original design for Aurora and her peasant disguise Briar Rose was developed by Tom Oreb, who based the character on the famed Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn; known for her thin frame and a very graceful demeanor. Marc Davis, the head animator, would continue the development process by morphing her general appearance and the clothing of the heroine. The fine tuning of the character continued so that she could be combined with the very angular forms present in the Eyvind Earle hand painted backgrounds.


Original production animation drawing of Briar Rose.


Close up of the original production animation drawing of Briar Rose.

As with other Disney films, an actress was hired as a live-action model (as a guide for the animators) for Princess Aurora/Briar Rose. Helene Stanley, who was also the model for Cinderella in 1950, became the model for the heroine. It is interesting to note that prior to marrying Marc Davis in 1956, Alice (Davis) designed some of costumes worn by Stanley in her acting role in "Sleeping Beauty."


Close up of the production number on the Briar Rose drawing.

In 1952, the professional opera singer Mary Costa, after meeting people at a party with her future husband director Frank Tashlin, auditioned for the part of Disney's Princess Aurora/Briar Rose. Walt Disney called her personally within hours of the audition to inform her that the part was hers. The success of the film "Sleeping Beauty," owes a chuck of those accolades to the voice of Mary Costa. Her songs were some of the most beautiful ever sung by a Disney Princess. In November 1999 Mary Costa received the Disney Legends Award, and her handprints are now a permanent part of the Disney Legends Plaza at the entrance to Walt Disney Studios.

Prince Phillip was animated by Milt Kahl and voiced Bill Shirley and Aurora was animated by Marc Davis (who was also lead animator for Maleficent) and voiced by Mary Costa. Both Bill and Mary would be live action models for Prince Phillip and Briar Rose/Princess Aurora for the animators, and their chemistry was magical on screen. In addition, their singing together was one of the many highlights of the film.


Original production animation drawing of the Mock Prince.


Close up of the original production animation drawing of the Mock Prince.

This drawing is from the section in the film when Prince Phillip is riding his horse in the forest when he suddenly hears a young girl's voice singing, and orders his horse Samson to take him there. But on the way, Samson goes too fast and accidentally knocks Phillip into a puddle of water. Phillip hangs his wet cape, hat, and boots on nearby tree limbs to dry. He suddenly turns around and notices that some of the forest animals have taken off with his clothes. The Mock Prince is a name given to the cape, hat, and boots that were taken and animated by the forest animals. There is rabbit in each boot, the owl is the head in the cape (that is supported by a bird at each of the ends of the caplet), and a squirrel animates the hat. Briar Rose begins to move and dance with the Mock Prince, all the while singing the song "Once Upon a Dream." The animated sequence is one of the most beautiful and memorable in the entire film.


Close up of the production number on the drawing of the Mock Prince.

This is wonderful matching pair of original production animation drawings of Briar Rose and the Mock Prince dancing in the forest. Briar Rose is dancing and holding the ends of the caplet in front of her. The matching Mock Prince drawing has the owl with his head popping out of the top of Prince Phillip's cape and the squirrel's tail is seen poking out from behind the hat. A beautiful matched set of drawings of Briar Rose and the Mock Prince from the last of the vintage Walt Disney feature films.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Original Production Animation Drawing of Maleficent as Dragon from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959


 Original production animation drawing of Maleficent as Dragon in graphite pencil from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered D-17 lower right; Size - Maleficent/Dragon: 11 1/2 x 8", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.


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

"Sleeping Beauty," 1959 is an animated musical film produced by Walt Disney based on two stories: "The Sleeping Beauty" by Charles Perrault and "Little Briar Rose" by The Brothers Grimm. The film was released to theaters on January 29, 1959, by Buena Vista Distribution. This was the last Disney adaptation of a fairy tale for 30 years because of its initial mixed critical reception and because of under performance at the box office. The next Disney adaption of a fairy tale would not occur until 1989 with "The Little Mermaid."

"Sleeping Beauty" was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman; under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi. Additional story work was by Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, and Milt Banta. The film's musical score and songs, featuring the work of the Graunke Symphony Orchestra under the direction of George Bruns, are arrangements or adaptations of numbers from the 1890 "Sleeping Beauty Ballet" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. "Sleeping Beauty" was the first animated film to be photographed in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process, as well as the second full-length animated feature film to be filmed in anamorphic widescreen (following "Lady and the Tramp" four years earlier). The film was presented in Super Technirama 70 and 6-channel stereophonic sound in first-run engagements.

Initially Marc Davis, the animator for Maleficent, had wanted to use a black and red color scheme for the character however; Eyvind Earle, the background artist for the film, protested. Walt Disney had taken some criticism over his recent films for their lack of artistic achievement and so he had decided to put in charge an already accomplished Disney animation artist. Eyvind Earle had already been working at the Disney Animation Studios and was receiving acclaim for his artistic vision and technical skill and so he was chosen by Disney to supervise the styling, color, and backgrounds for "Sleeping Beauty." The film took six years to complete due to Earle's extreme attention to detail. Normal backgrounds for prior Disney films would take a day, however the Earle backgrounds could take up to ten days. In addition, Earle reworked not only the colors for Maleficent but the character design for Briar Rose so that she would work better with his pre-Renaissance Gothic vision for "Sleeping Beauty." "Sleeping Beauty," 1959 was the last of the Disney films that all the cels were both hand inked and hand painted, and many believe it to be one of the most beautiful and one of the greatest Disney films ever!


Close up of the Maleficent as Dragon original production drawing.

If you ask people to name their favorite Disney Villain, chances are you will one of three answers; The Evil Queen/Witch from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Cruella DeVil from "101 Dalmatians," or Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty." Two of the three, Cruella and Maleficent, were created/drawn by the great animator Marc Davis. Davis was part of what has been dubbed Disney's Nine Old Men; the core group of animators, some becoming directors, that created the finest animated films ranging from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", 1937 to "The Rescuers", 1977.

The voice of Maleficent was performed by Eleanor Audley. She had worked for Disney prior by also being the voice for the cold and calculating Lady Tremaine (The Stepmother) in "Cinderella." If is known that Frank Thomas for Lady Tremaine and Marc Davis for Maleficent, incorporated facials features of Eleanor into both characters.

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.


Close up of the production number.

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's Dragon form head and neck are beautifully rendered in graphite pencil. She is both eyes and mouth open, and her forked tongue can be seen poking out between her very sharp teeth. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of animation art, from one of the best sequences in the finale of the film!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Original Production Animation Drawing of Maleficent as Dragon from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959


Original production animation drawing of Maleficent as Dragon in blue pencil from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Maleficent/Dragon: 10 x 12 1/4", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.

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

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

"Sleeping Beauty," 1959 is an animated musical film produced by Walt Disney based on two stories: "The Sleeping Beauty" by Charles Perrault and "Little Briar Rose" by The Brothers Grimm. The film was released to theaters on January 29, 1959, by Buena Vista Distribution. This was the last Disney adaptation of a fairy tale for 30 years because of its initial mixed critical reception and because of under performance at the box office. The next Disney adaption of a fairy tale would not occur until 1989 with "The Little Mermaid."

"Sleeping Beauty" was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman; under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi. Additional story work was by Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, and Milt Banta. The film's musical score and songs, featuring the work of the Graunke Symphony Orchestra under the direction of George Bruns, are arrangements or adaptations of numbers from the 1890 "Sleeping Beauty Ballet" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. "Sleeping Beauty" was the first animated film to be photographed in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process, as well as the second full-length animated feature film to be filmed in anamorphic widescreen (following "Lady and the Tramp" four years earlier). The film was presented in Super Technirama 70 and 6-channel stereophonic sound in first-run engagements.

Initially Marc Davis, the animator for Maleficent, had wanted to use a black and red color scheme for the character however; Eyvind Earle, the background artist for the film, protested. Walt Disney had taken some criticism over his recent films for their lack of artistic achievement and so he had decided to put in charge an already accomplished Disney animation artist. Eyvind Earle had already been working at the Disney Animation Studios and was receiving acclaim for his artistic vision and technical skill and so he was chosen by Disney to supervise the styling, color, and backgrounds for "Sleeping Beauty." The film took six years to complete due to Earle's extreme attention to detail. Normal backgrounds for prior Disney films would take a day, however the Earle backgrounds could take up to ten days. In addition, Earle reworked not only the colors for Maleficent but the character design for Briar Rose so that she would work better with his pre-Renaissance Gothic vision for "Sleeping Beauty." "Sleeping Beauty," 1959 was the last of the Disney films that all the cels were both hand inked and hand painted, and many believe it to be one of the most beautiful and one of the greatest Disney films ever!


Close up of the Maleficent as Dragon original production drawing.

If you ask people to name their favorite Disney Villain, chances are you will one of three answers; The Evil Queen/Witch from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Cruella DeVil from "101 Dalmatians," or Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty." Two of the three, Cruella and Maleficent, were created/drawn by the great animator Marc Davis. Davis was part of what has been dubbed Disney's Nine Old Men; the core group of animators, some becoming directors, that created the finest animated films ranging from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", 1937 to "The Rescuers", 1977.

The voice of Maleficent was performed by Eleanor Audley. She had worked for Disney prior by also being the voice for the cold and calculating Lady Tremaine (The Stepmother) in "Cinderella." If is known that Frank Thomas for Lady Tremaine and Marc Davis for Maleficent, incorporated facials features of Eleanor into both characters.

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's Dragon form head and neck are beautifully rendered in blue pencil. She is both eyes and mouth open, and the drawing almost fills the entire sheet. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of animation art, from one of the best sequences in the finale of the film!

Original Production Animation Drawing of the Evil Queen and Matching Limited Edition Cel from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937


Original production animation drawing of the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937, Walt Disney Studios; Graphite & red pencils on paper; Size - Evil Queen: 7 1/4 x 5", Image 8 1/2 x 11", Frame 20 1/2 x 23"; With a hand painted 1/1 matching limited edition cel on lithographic BK; Size - Evil Queen: 8 3/4 x 6 1/2", Image 9 1/2 x 11 1/2", Frame 19 1/2 x 21 1/2"; Both framed with a black & gold frame, 3 linen mats, a gold fillet, & plexiglass.


"Alas for her! Reveal her name." Evil Queen to The Magic Mirror 

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).


Original production animation drawing of the Evil Queen.

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 drawing of the Evil Queen. 

After a long and difficult four years, on January 13, 1938, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made its New York premiere at Radio City Music Hall. The film ran for five weeks in a row, the first motion picture to do so, and it could have played longer if not for prior commitments of the venue. It was to be the theatres' most successful engagement in all of the 1930s. The film was loved by everyone and Disney, along with his animation team, had managed to make an animated film that the audience would believe! The crowd would be sad and cry when Snow White bit the apple and was placed in a glass casket; and they would laugh, smile, and be happy during the song and dance numbers with the Dwarfs. However, Disney was criticized by some for making a very scary film for children.

When the movie was played at Radio City Music Hall on its first release, the theater managers had to replace the music played when Snow White runs into the Dark Forest; because they were nervous that the kids would be too frightened upon hearing it. Snow White's run into the Forest had another result;  young children were still so scared by the sequence, that they wet their pants. As a result, the velvet upholstery of each and every seat held by a child, had to be replaced prior to every showing of the film.


Limited Edition 1/1 hand painted cel of the Evil Queen.

The Walt Disney film's version of the Evil Queen changing into an Old Hag is very different compared to the original story. In the Disney version, the Queen uses her dark magic powers to actually transform herself into an old woman instead of just taking on a disguise; as in the Brothers Grimm story. Animation provided a transformation scene that is truly spectacular and the Disney team even made the event greater by utilizing the multi-plane camera; to make the room itself appeared to spin. This sequence along with the flight of Snow White through the Dark Forest; caused the British Board of Film Censors (now, the British Board of Film Classification) to give the film an A-certificate (children had to be accompanied by an adult) upon its original release. This resulted in a nationwide controversy as to whether the Forest and the Witch were too frightening for younger audiences. Nevertheless, most local authorities simply overrode the censor's decision and gave the film a U-certificate (Suitable for children).

Walt Disney's response to the idea that the film was too frightening for children was, "I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty." This may have been his statement, but he never made another film with such a scary villain. Every film after Snow White had the main villain accompanied by a comedic sidekick; such as Maleficent and her Goons, Cruella de Vil with Horace and Jasper, or Medusa with Snoops.


Close up of the Walt Disney Animation Studios seal.

The Evil Queen, one of the greatest Walt Disney animated villains of all time, was animated by the famous Disney animator Art Babbitt. Babbitt was already an accomplished animator prior to working on "Snow White." He was known for creating the character of Goofy and for his work on "The Country Cousin," which won an Academy Award for the Disney Studio in 1936. The villain for Snow White was the Evil Queen; which Walt Disney and Joe Grant (Walt Disney character designer and story artist) had conceived as a blend of Lady Macbeth and the Big Bad Wolf, as well as traits inspired by actresses Joan Crawford and Gale Sondergaard. Refinement of the Queen was done by animators Grim Natwick and Norm Ferguson; however the actual animation of the Queen fell to Babbitt.

Rotoscoping, a technique used in animation whereby live actors are used to portray the characters and then animators trace over the footage frame by frame; was not used as much on the Queen as it was for the character of Snow White. Babbitt preferred to avoid rotoscoping and instead draw the character free hand. It has been stated that you could wallpaper a room with just drawings that Babbitt made just of her mouth and eyes; because all of the Queen's emotions came through her face. The Evil Queen, wonderfully voiced by veteran stage actress Lucille La Verne; holds a place in history as being the first character to ever speak in a full length animated film.


Framed limited Edition 1/1 hand painted cel of the Evil Queen. 

This an extremely rare original production animation drawing of the Evil Queen. The drawing is from the very opening sequence of the film, when the Queen consults her Magic Mirror about "Who is the fairest one of all?" The Mirror responds that there is someone more fair than you. The drawing is used in the next scene when the Evil Queen asks the Mirror "Alas for her! Reveal her name."

Many years ago it was possible to request and pay for the artists at the Walt Disney Animation Studios to paint a limited edition 1/1 (meaning an edition of just one) for an original production drawing. This is one of the very few drawings that a matching hand painted limited edition cel was created. A rare and beautiful pair of framed animation artworks!

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

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