Translate

Friday, October 28, 2016

Original Production Animation Cel of Toby From "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986


Original hand painted production animation cel of Toby; Set on a lithographic background from "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower left; Size - Toby: 4 1/4 x 6"; Cel: 11 1/2 x 15 1/2", Image: 11 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.

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

Eve Titus wrote 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. Walt Disney Studios adapted the Titus stories into a wonderful feature film that was still able to maintain the Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes characters, even though they were transformed into a mouse world. The famed actor Vincent Price was the voice of the film's villain, Ratigan; and the film has a very strong fan following. 


Close up of the original production animation cel of Toby.


Close up of the original production animation cel of Toby without the background.

Toby, the basset hound, is one of the great Disney Dogs! He is lovable, fun, rolls on his back for scratching, and like all dogs works for food; specifically cheese crumpets. Toby is also obedient and being a hound dog, he is great at tracking. In this scene; Basil, Dr. Watson, and Olivia are off to track down the whereabouts of Olivia's father; and you can see a small piece of them on Toby's back near his collar, just between Toby's lifted right ear and his neck. In this great cel of Toby, he is full figure, eyes and mouth open, and he has found the scent of his prey because his tail in pointed straight up in the air!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Original Production Animation Storyboard of Robin Hood and Little John from "Robin Hood," 1973


Original production animation storyboard of Robin Hood and Little John from "Robin Hood," 1973, Walt Disney Studios; Watercolor and ink on board; Size - Robin Hood & Little John: 4 1/4 x 4 3/4", Image 7 1/2 x 10 1/2"; Unframed.

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

"Robin Hood" was the twenty-first full length animated film released by Walt Disney Studios on November 8, 1973. Robin Hood is an anthropomorphic fox and the protagonist of the film. Although Robin Hood is often shown as an outlaw who chooses to rob from the rich to help the poor people, in this Disney animated version, he is shown mainly attacking Prince John and his agents (Sir Hiss and the Sheriff of Nottingham), who have impoverished Nottingham with high taxes. Robin Hood and Little John steal the tax caravans and give it back to the peasants while trying to avoid capture.


Close up of the original production animation storyboard of Robin Hood and Little John.

From Andreas Deja:
"Ken also storyboarded several sequences for Robin Hood... It's astounding to realize how close the animators stayed with Ken's poses and staging."

Various animators worked on different characters and sections of the film. John Lounsbery animated Wolves and the Sheriff of Nottingham, as well as scenes of Robin and Little John. Ollie Johnston animated most of Little John and Milt Kahl animated Robin Hood and some of Little John; and it was Milt who made the decision to have Robin Hood stand up during his opening dialogue scenes, rather than being seated.

This is a rare and important original production animation storyboard of Robin Hood and Little John hiding behind trees, dressed as gypsies, as they wait for Prince John's carriage. A great unique work of art from one of the most beloved Walt Disney feature films!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Original Production Animation Concept Painting of Robin Hood from "Robin Hood," 1973

 
Original production animation concept painting of Robin Hood from "Robin Hood," 1973, Walt Disney Studios; Watercolor and ink on paper mounted to board; Size - Robin Hood: 5 1/2 x 5 1/2", Sheet 8 x 8"; Unframed.

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

"Robin Hood" was the twenty-first full length animated film released by Walt Disney Studios on November 8, 1973. Robin Hood is an anthropomorphic fox and the protagonist of the film. Although Robin Hood is often shown as an outlaw who chooses to rob from the rich to help the poor people, in this Disney animated version, he is shown mainly attacking Prince John and his agents (Sir Hiss and the Sheriff of Nottingham), who have impoverished Nottingham with high taxes. Robin Hood and Little John steal the tax caravans and give it back to the peasants while trying to avoid capture. Robin Hood was animated by the veteran Disney animator Ollie Johnston and he was voiced by the English actor Brian Bedford.


Close up of the original production animation concept painting of Robin Hood

From Andreas Deja:
"When Walt Disney Productions decided to produce an animated film based on the classic tale of Robin Hood, it was Ken Anderson who got to get to work before anyone else. During conversations with the animators Ken found out that some of the most fun they ever had was animating the anthropomorphic animals in "Song of the South." So he suggested that the story of Robin Hood be told with animal characters. Everybody loved the idea and after completing early design work Ken presented his research to some of Disney's top talents... Once a character concept had been approved, it was up to Milt Kahl to finalize Ken's designs for animation."
 
This is an extremely rare original production animation concept painting of Robin Hood. The work is accomplished in watercolor and ink, and is almost certainly by Ken Anderson completed during the early character design phase of the film. Robin Hood is full figure and dressed in his iconic green tunic, leggings, boots, and hat. His quiver of arrows is over his shoulder and his dagger is by his side. A fox was chosen to portray his character, and his long bushy brown and white tail becomes his most prominent feature. Perhaps the most interesting part of the drawing, is him holding out and presenting his "Robin Hood" calling card. A rare and important piece of Walt Disney animation artwork, and a great addition to any animation collection!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

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

 
Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cel of Briar Rose and the Mock Prince set on a lithographic background from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Briar Rose and Mock Prince: 12 1/2 x 5", Image 13 1/2 x 10 1/2"; Unframed.

"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.

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 original production animation cel of Briar Rose and The Mock Prince.

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 cel 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.


Original production animation cel of Briar Rose and The Mock Prince without the background.

This is wonderful original production animation cel of Briar Rose and the Mock Prince dancing in the forest. Briar Rose is eyes open and holding the ends of the caplet around her. The owl is eyes open and poking his head out of the top of Prince Phillip's cape and the squirrel is holding up Prince Phillip's hat. An absolutely beautiful cel of Briar Rose and the Mock Prince from the last of the vintage Walt Disney feature films.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Collecting Original Animation Production Drawings - A Quick Overview


Original production animation drawing in red, blue, green, yellow, and graphite pencils of Pinocchio from "Pinocchio," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; On watermarked five peg hole paper with production stamp lower right; Numbered D-20 in pencil lower right; Size - Pinocchio 8 x 5 1/2", Sheet: 10 x 12"; Unframed.

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

Note: The following overview is specific to Walt Disney original production animation drawings.

Most animation art collectors begin with drawings, because they are less expensive compared to painted animation cels and easily understood as works of art. Pencil drawings of a character accomplished on peg hole animation paper represent the first step in the animation process. They are also from the hand of a master animator, and therefore more easily understood as being one-of-a-kind and collectible. Condition issues of drawings are relatively simple; the paper may be darker or lighter or there may be small tears or creases; and most of these imperfections are the result of normal handling occurring over time.

Production drawings fall into various classifications: concept, layout, model, rough, clean up, and color call out. Concept drawings are just that, conceptual drawings that are created as the character is developed. They represent the first step that the animators undertake while working out ideas on how a character will look and move. Layout drawings are used to show how the character will appear in a given camera shot, and are distinguished by rectangular camera frame lines centered around the character. Model drawings are mostly derived from tracing a cleanup drawing of a character, usually separated into individual character parts, with each on a separate sheet of paper. Model drawings are used by the animators to make sure the character is drawn consistently between different animators throughout the character's appearance in the film. Rough drawings are very loose fluid drawings of a character, to show movements and represent an early step in the animation of a scene. A clean up drawing is the final drawing created before being sent to the Ink and Paint Department to be inked and painted onto celluloid. Color call out drawings are usually completed on cleanup drawings, and contain lines drawn to specific areas of a character with an associated number. The numbers correspond to paint colors created for that film. It is interesting to note that each film had it's own batch of paint colors created, so that the black paint used in "Peter Pan" would be different than the black used for "Lady and the Tramp."

In the case of my own Gallery, I made the decision to concentrate almost exclusively on clean up drawings. The clean ups are the final stage in the animation process and the characters are always on model, so they are drawn exactly as they appear in the finished film. For many collectors, the more notes present on the sheet and if the clean up is also a color call out, increase the drawing's collectability.

If you have collected drawings, it quickly becomes apparent that for any given character, the drawings on the market are from specific scenes. For instance, there are a large number of drawings from the sequence of the Old Hag/Witch from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" at the window of the Dwarf cottage. In comparison to drawings of her at the cauldron preparing the poisoned apple; where I have never seen a single drawing. I point this out because many collectors think they can acquire a specific drawing from their favorite part of the movie, and in most cases this is simply not possible.

Drawings of Mickey Mouse from the 1930's and 40's are prevalent, however drawings of him from the 50's are practically none existent. Drawings and cels from Mickey's first color appearance in "The Band Concert," 1935 are also very rare. In fact the key setup of him from this short is the most expensive piece of animation art ever to sell. Drawings from "Steamboat Willie," 1928 (Generally considered Mickey's first appearance is film and the first animated short with synchronized sound) are prevalent and also expensive (thousands of dollars). Over the past several years I have been offered several of these drawings, however all of them have been fake. I have a feeling that a great many of the "Steamboat Willie" drawings of Mickey Mouse with a pair of sticks in his hands, floating about in the market are in fact fake drawings.


Original production animation drawing of Mickey Mouse in red, yellow, green, and graphite pencils; Numbered 32A lower right, and used during the production of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence of "Fantasia," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Mickey Mouse: 5 x 5 3/4", Sheet 10 x 12", Frame 16 1/2 x 19"; Framed using an acid free mat, gold wood frame, and UV conservation clear glass.


Original production animation drawing of Mickey Mouse from "The Band Concert," 1935, Walt Disney Studios; Graphite pencil on peg hole paper; Numbered 337 upper right; Size - Mickey Mouse: 5 1/4 x 5 1/2", Sheet 9 1/2 x 12"; Unframed.

It is interesting to note that you have a much better chance of acquiring a drawing of your favorite character from the vintage Disney films (1959 and before) than you do from the contemporary (1961 and after). (I will discuss the reason for this in a future blog.) Drawings from "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," 1961 and all other films afterward are extremely rare. For instance only a handful of drawings are on the market of Marc Davis's masterpiece Cruella De Vil; and you would think with all those puppies there would be at least one drawing on the market... nope! In the case of "Robin Hood," 1973; in 20 years I have only seen a few drawings of Sir His and a handful of roughs of Prince John. I have never seen a drawing of Kaa, only two of Shere Khan, I have had only two drawings of Madame Medusa, and there are very few drawings on the market from "The Aristocats." It should be noted that drawings are now beginning to appear on the market from the last of the Disney films specifically, "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," and "The Lion King." The drawings are animator roughs and sell in the hundreds of dollars. Collectors should be very wary of cleanups, as the Walt Disney Studios have not authorized any of those drawings for the retail market, and so they reside in the Walt Disney Animation Archives.


Original production animation drawing of Cruella De Vil from "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," 1961, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Cruella 9 1/4 x 8", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2", Frame 29 x 31 1/4"; Sheet stamped with production numbers lower left; Framed with a silver wood frame, two linen mats, a silver wood fillet, and UV conservation clear glass.

There are drawings of the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" holding the heart box, however they rarely appear on the market. This is due to a very strong demand by collectors for the drawings, and so they are usually traded privately. I have owned about five of her with the heart box and run across three that were fake. I again warn collectors to be careful in regards to the Queen with the heart box, and to consult the advise of an expert.


Original production animation drawing of the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937, Walt Disney Studios; Graphite, green, blue, and red pencils on watermarked five peg hole paper; Production numbers stamp lower left and numbered 156 in graphite pencil lower right; Size - Queen 10 x 5 1/2", Sheet 10 x 12", Frame 28 x 29 3/4"; Framed with a gold wood frame, two acid free linen mats, gold wood fillet and conservation clear glass.

In addition to drawings that exist on the open market that are rare, there are also characters that no clean up drawing has ever been seen: The Magic Mirror from "Snow White," the Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane, the majority of characters from "Alice In Wonderland" including the Mad Hatter, Lady Tremaine/The Wicked Stepmother from "Cinderella," and many others. There are also characters where only a very few drawings have been seen in the market; Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear, Bambi, the Queen of Hearts, and Dumbo just to name a few. Note: The drawing pictured below is one of only a very few drawings to exist on the open market of Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox, and the only clean up drawing of Br'er Fox, Br'er Bear, and the Tar Baby on a single sheet. I do consider this the greatest drawing on the market from "Song of the South!"


Original production animation drawing in red, blue, green, and graphite pencils of Br'er Bear, Br'er Fox, and the Tar Baby from "Song of the South," 1946, Walt Disney Studios; On five peg hole paper; Numbered A192 in blue pencil lower right; Size - Characters 7 1/2 x 10 1/2", Sheet: 10 x 12"; Unframed.

Once you have your prized animation drawing, now what? Some collectors keep the drawing flat and in an acid free environment, however the vast majority want to display the work to enjoy. Framing  should be completed by a reliable framer using only acid free mats, acid free foam core backing, and UV conservation clear glass. The object is to keep the drawing looking it's best, but at the same time maintain the drawing for future generations. Some collectors float the drawing using acid free hinges so that entire sheet of paper can be seen; while others want to mat out the notes, peg holes, and numbers to focus on just the character. Either framing option is fine, it's simply a collector's choice. My only advise it to not bend or fold the paper, never erase a note or number just to make the matted character look better, and avoid any type of restoration to a drawing. Minor paper toning, creases, or small tears to the sheet edges only add to the fact that this was something that was used to make an animated film.

My parting advise for Disney original animation drawing collectors is that you should look for drawings that you like; after all you are the one who is going to be living with it. Each drawing, even from the same sequence, is different. The character may be eyes and/or mouth open, have a fantastic expression, or some other factor that appeals to you. If that drawing sells the next drawing you see for sale, even from the same sequence, could be radically different. If you see a drawing that you think is perfect for your collection, you may want to pounce; because chances are you won't see it again!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Restoration of Animation Cels - A Short Overview

Restoration of Animation Cels - A Short Overview


This is a short overview regarding restoration/conservation of animation cels. The blog entry was prompted by concerns collectors have when purchasing animation cels, due to the possibility of damage. Most animation collectors begin with drawings because they are less expensive and easily understood as works of art. Pencil drawings of a character accomplished on peg hole animation paper represent the first step in the animation process. They are also from the hand of a master animator, and therefore more easily understood as being one-of-a-kind and therefore collectible. Condition issues of drawings are relatively simple; the paper may be darker or lighter or there may be small tears or creases; and most of these imperfections are the result of normal handling occurring over time.

Animation cels however, pose a different set of issues. For all future discussions in this blog entry I will be referring to vintage (1959 and before) hand painted and hand inked original production cels created by the Walt Disney Studios, unless otherwise noted.

Let me start by stating what most people don't like knowing: ALL animation cels will need to be restored/conserved at some point in their lifetime. Gouche (which is a water based paint) was never meant to be stuck to the back of a piece of nitrate or acetate for 50-100 years! The cels were painted by artists in the Walt Disney Ink and Paint Department and all the inkers and painters were women, as Walt Disney felt that women did a much better job than men. The inkers and painters were paid based on their production output. Animation cels were just never meant to last forever and were not created as works of art, but rather a means (1/24 of a second) to an end (the final film).

There a many ways that cels can be damaged, from poor storage conditions to aggressive handling. The types of damage can be divided into either damage to the cel substrate or ink/paint issues. The animation cel can become wavy, which is normal particularly with the older nitrate cels, and there is currently no conservation that is possible. The wavy appearance is simply a result of normal changes due to time. Tears or loss to the cel substrate can also not be corrected. Paint issues however can be addressed, and they should be corrected. If the paint damage is not restored, it will over time continue to get worse and the owner runs the risk of all of the paint falling off the cel. If this occurs, then the restoration process will be flawed, because the original paint colors could never be matched perfectly to the original.

Paint issues can be divided into either sold colors that were hand painted on the back of the cel, or the ink lines that were hand painted on the front of the cel. Restoration of the ink lines is much more expensive than restoration of the paint on the back. This is because the work is much more labor intensive and quite simply more difficult. Line wear that is minor, due to handling over time, is something that I do not recommend be restored.

However, the issue of paint damage of an animation cel, usually seen as lifting, paint loss, cracking, or chipping; needs to be addressed. This type of restoration is relatively easy to repair and the cost is in the hundreds of dollars. Approximately 75% of all the animation cels that pass through my Gallery require some type of restoration/conservation.


Evil Queen cel with paint loss to the far left center of the white fur of her black cape.


Restored Evil Queen cel, also corrected was black paint lifting of her robe that can not be seen in the photographs. (Differences in color is the result of different camera/lighting)

In the 1970's Walt Disney Studios was actively selling original production cels and they decided to laminate the cels (as they had done to some cels in the 1940's) in order to protect the cel paint from damage. Lamination involved heat sealing the cel with other sheets of acetate. Unfortunately the lamination process made things much worse. The lamination did not stop the paint from lifting or bleeding and the cost to restore these lamination failed cels is, in most all cases, greater than the price of the cel itself. For this reason, collectors should be warned about laminated cels and the possibility of high restoration costs if failure should occur. Lamination failure begins by the appearance of raised lines that occur in the cel which is followed by paint lifting, bleeding, and/or cracking.  Lamination is most prevalent in the films from the 1970's such as "Robin Hood" and "The Rescuers."

Although many animation collectors begin their entry into the hobby with drawings, most will eventually take the plunge with a cel or two. With a cel, you are holding a colorful and wonderful product that brought one of your favorite characters to life, and with it a powerful childhood memory. Everything is there on your hands, this was the FINAL image that the animators wanted to create! You now own a piece of Pop Culture history, and as such you have a responsibility to the next generation to protect the work and keep it safe.

Untitled Art Gallery is a full service Gallery, meaning that I deal with all restoration/conservation issues for both animation artwork and fine art limited edition prints. I also employ a background artist who can create custom backgrounds for any animation cel to perfectly match the cel's scene in the original film. In addition, I can assist in museum quality custom framing, and I advise existing collectors on how to better improve their overall art collections.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Original Production Animation Drawing of the Coachman from "Pinocchio," 1940


Original production animation drawing of the Coachman in green, red, and graphite pencils from "Pinocchio," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 17 and production stamp lower right; Size - Coachman: 6 x 6 3/4", Sheet: 10 x 12"; Unframed.

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

Foulfellow: "Pleasure Island? But the law! Suppose they..."
The Coachman: "No, no. There is no risk. They never come back... as BOYS!"

"Pinocchio," 1940 was the second animated feature film produced by Disney, and followed on the success of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." 1937. It was released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 23, 1940 and was based on the Italian children's novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi. The general plot of the film involves an old wood-carver named Geppetto, who carves a wooden puppet that he names Pinocchio. One night the puppet is brought to life by the Blue Fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish". Pinocchio's journey to become a real boy is challenged by his encounters with an array of scrupulous characters.

"Pinocchio" became the first animated feature to win an Academy Award; it won for both Best Music - Original Score and for Best Music - Original Song for "When You Wish Upon A Star." Most critics and audiences agree that "Pinocchio" is among the finest Disney features ever made, and one of the greatest animated films of all time. In 1994, it was added to the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

The Coachman is possibly the most evil of all the Disney villains. Unlike other villains who do not escape an ill fate: such as the Evil Queen who is struck by lighting, falls off a cliff, and is smashed by a falling bolder or Maleficent who is impaled by the Sword of Truth hurled by Prince Phillip; the Coachman has no such luck, and continues his purchase of stupid boys for their eventual conversion into donkeys that are then sold for gold.

The Coachman was voiced by Charles Judels who also provided the voice for another villain in Pinocchio, Stromboli. Everything surrounding the Coachman seems foreboding; from his long whip and his stagecoach used to transport the boys to Pleasure Island, to his henchman that appear to be dark featureless creatures carrying out his will.  


Close up of the production stamp and the production number.

This is a spectacular drawing of the Coachman from his first scene in "Pinocchio" which occurs at the The Red Lobster Inn where he meets with Honest John (Foulfellow) and Gideon. All three are seen smoking, Honest John and Gideon both have cigars and The Coachman has a pipe. The Coachman states the he is "collecting stupid little boys" to take to Pleasure Island where they can "tear the place apart" and that "they never come back... as boys!" This is a wonderful green shaded drawing of the Coachman, both eyes are open, and his eye eyebrows are conveying a menacing look. He is holding his pipe in his right hand, and his mouth is open as he is talking to Honest John and Gideon.

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

video