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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Lady and The Tramp" (1955) [Series] - Cels of Tramp, Pups and Lady

Part of the "Lady and The Tramp" series.

I thought this was an interesting image in that it captures the new "domesticated" Tramp. Tramp has an "interested" expression on his face as he is looking at something out of the frame along with the Pups. Lady is looking on with sublime pleasure as Tramp and the Pups "bond." The scene seems to underscore the belief that the "bad boy" can be changed and molded.

This set-up is composed of only two cels: (1) Tramp and the Pups and (2) Lady. The Lady cel is from another portion of the film so the sight line doesn't quite match up, but it certainly leaves you with the impression that the scene could have taken place...

The "New" Domesticated Tramp

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Lady and the Tramp” (1955). Cel of Tramp and the pups (2 brown). on a plain background Looking off screen, with Lady looking at the trio with a smile. [Image: 5-3/8"W x 4-3/16"H] Acquired 1990. SeqID-0058

"Lady and The Tramp" (1955) [Series] - Cel of Lady Going To Pound

Part of the "Lady and The Tramp" series.

This cel was difficult to photograph. It comes out much darker than it really is. It's a nice cel of Lady, a worried look on her face, as they rush to the pound to rescue Tramp.

Lady To The Rescue (click to enlarge)

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Lady and the Tramp” (1955). Dark image of car with Lady highlighted looking out the window as the car speeds to get Tramp. SeqID-0055.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Lady and The Tramp" (1951) - Art Corner Cels of Tramp and Lady

Part of the "Lady and The Tramp" series.

These are matched cels that were purchased from the Art Corner at Disneyland. The Art Corner is where you could thumb through cels from films like one would thumb through LP Records at the "Record Store." Damn, I'm getting old... Remember "LP" stood for Long Play.

I digress... There were rows and rows of these bins with the artwork in a cardboard frame wrapped in plastic. If memory serves me right, they were priced at under $5.00 -- probably around $2.00. BUT that's when $2.00 was really worth something!

Jeff Pepper had a great article on the Art Corner posted at 2719 Hyperion -- please check it out for more detail.

These cels are pretty good -- especially when framed together. Individually, they are just "OK" in my book. Lady has her typical "deer in the headlights" look. And Tramp is nice with the bone, but it doesn't really capture his fundamental character.

That being said, it makes for a great piece on the wall. The very large size of the images results in this piece being one of the first spotted by any young kids that visit the house!

Art Corner Lady and Tramp Cels

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Lady and the Tramp” (1951). Two cels of Lady and Tramp. Lady & Tramp portrait cels are a matched Art Corner pair form the very earliest days at the Art Corner store. [Lady image: 4.75”H; Tramp image: 5.5”H] SeqID-1458 7/30/2005

"Lady and The Tramp" (1955;1991) [Series] - Lady and Tramp Serigraph

Part of the "Lady and The Tramp" series.

We started collecting animation artwork in the early 1980's. At that time, the market for animation artwork was on the rise. A number of the major auction houses had one or more animation auction a year. My gut tells me that someone at Disney thought there was a revenue opportunity in there somewhere. In 1987, released its first Limited Edition -- a series of cels from Fantasia -- which we were able to buy. It seems to me that the edition sizes were under a thousand and while the price per Limited Edition piece was not cheap, the revenue was limited. In addition, there was considerable labor involved in the production of those early Limited Edition pieces. For example, the Fantasia set came in a beautiful linen-like book and the cels were double-laminated so that paint peeling would be eliminated.

A short time later, Disney introduced the "serigraph" (a form of silk screen printing) as a way of increasing the edition count (near the 10,000 mark) and dramatically reducing the production cost. While the purchase price of the Serigraphs was much lower than the Limited Editions, they Serigraph was much more profitable.

Here is a fairly Serigraph of Lady and Tramp. Note that there is no background -- just the characters. And, in my opinion, I wasn't crazy about the image choice. It's probably a better "snapshot" of the Tramp character than Lady... buy, hey, that's just my opinion...

This was given to us as a gift and because of its printing technique is not as prone to the problems encountered when cels are placed in a low humidity environment. This meant that we could hang the piece in the non-humidified portions of the house and add some additional color.

Lady and Tramp Serigraph (edition of 9,000)

Here's a explanation from AnimationUSA about the difference between a Serigraph and Sericel

Serigraphy, the printing term for the silk-screen process, is a fine art process in which editions are created by meticulously screening the colors of an image onto the back of an acetate cel or the surface of fine art paper or canvas - one color at a time. The image is separated into its individual colors, then each is transferred onto a stretched screen of silk which acts like a stencil. Inks are forced through the stretched screen onto a cel, fine art paper or canvas, one color at a time. When all of the individual colors are screened onto the cel or paper, together they form the complete image. Silk-screened cels - called sericels - are typically modest in price since their edition sizes are open or large, and are not hand-signed. Limited edition serigraphs on paper or canvas are typically hand-signed by the artist indicating their personal approval of each work of art, then individually numbered to identify each work of art as a part of the total edition.

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Lady and the Tramp” Limited Edition Serigraph (1955; 1991). Disney store Serigraph cel (9,500 in print run). [Image: 13-5/16"W x 9-3/8"H. Frame: 21.25"W x 17"H] Acquired 1991. SeqID-0060

"Lady and The Tramp" (1955) [Series] - Pencil of Jock

Part of the "Lady and The Tramp" series.

This isn't a great piece, but it is nice to have something of a minor, but interesting character in the film.

I actually thought it was a good match between the voice, the character, the selection of the dog breed and the animation. An excellent combination...

I liked the pencil because of Jock's expression. A good "snapshot" of his character.

Pencil of Jock

Jock was voiced by Bill Thompson. Thompson also voiced the Bulldog in the Pound, the Policeman at the Zoo, Dachsie the dog, and Joe (Tony's cook at the restaurant) who is best known for his classic line: "Well, a son of a gun! He's a got a cockrel Spanish a-girl."

Those "in the know" will remember Bill as the voice of Droopy Dog! It's frightening, but I remember him from "Fibber McGee and Molly -- talk about feeling dated. Here's IMDB's entry for Bill Thompson:
Portrayed Horatio K. Boomer, Nick Depopoulous, the Old-Timer, Vodka, Uncle Dennis and Wallace Whimple on NBC Radio's "Fibber McGee and Molly" during the thirties and forties. His character Whimple had the same voice as his later cartoon creation Droopy Dog. He died in 1971, a year after the release of The AristoCats (1970), his final acting role as Uncle Waldo.
[NOTE: Thanks to Michael Sporn to commented that Bill Thompson was also the voice of the Whistling Beaver in Lady and The Tramp.]

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

"Lady and The Tramp” (1955). THE WALT DISNEY ANIMATION DRAWING OF JOCK FROM LADY AND THE TRAMP, 1955, the pencil on paper drawing depicts an angry Jock, inscribed lower right C-15, matted. Size within the mat 9 x 11 inches. CONDITION: paper in good condition without any tears or creases, small blemish on the paper. [Item: 9” x 11”] Acquired 2003. SeqID-0959

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Lady and The Tramp" (1951;1991) [Series] - Harry Holt Sketch

Part of the "Lady and The Tramp" series.

"Lady and The Tramp" has appeal on a variety of levels. It seems like the classic "good girl meets bad boy" story with the kind of domesticated ending that doesn't happen too often in real life (human real life, that is...).

The Bella Notte Scene behind Tony's is probably the most discussed and collectible segment of the film. So, when Disney started its program of having an artist "custom draw" a classic Disney scene for a park visitor, this "Lady and The Tramp" scene was one of the templates that was used.

Harry Holt "Lady and The Tramp" Drawing

I was looking over some of the art when I realized that I had two drawings by Harry Holt -- one from "Lady and The Tramp" and one from "Little Mermaid." (Here's the link to the longer posting on Harry Holt.) These drawings were not actual representations from the movie, but rather provided a scene that represented the essence of the moment.

I was fascinated by the responses I received after posting the Harry Holt material (here's a link to all the Harry Holt postings). Many of these small custom drawing locations were staffed by competent artists that saw the job as a step into the Studio. Harry, on the other hand, was an accomplished animator that not only enjoyed drawing, but enjoyed meeting the people that stopped by his station. As I recall, his conversations were easy and friendly. And, if you showed some real interest, it was like a light switch was thrown on and Harry would shift into top gear to talk about the process and the people he worked with over the years. A number of folks wrote me to say that their encounters with Harry started them collecting animation artwork. And most were surprised to learn about Harry's extensive background at Disney.

While there is little monetary value in Harry's drawings, there a more personal link. One person wrote me saying that they framed Harry's piece and it always reminded them of the great time they had at the Disney World. Now that they know more about Harry, they see the piece as a much more valuable snapshot of their time at the Park and that they now realize that there is much more to some of the folks that work there than they had imagined. Much like the new media star Susan Boyle, you can't always judge a book by it's cover... or the person by their job.

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Lady and the Tramp” (1951; 1991). Lady and the Tramp "sketch" that was drawn at Disney World. "With greetings & best wishes to our friends -- Jenny & Bob -- Lady and the Tramp -- Harry Holt” [Item: 12"W x 9"H] Acquired 1991. SeqID-0670 9/22/2005

Harry Holt, an influential Disney animator, died on April 14. Cause of death was not released. He was 93. In 1936, Holt applied for an artist position with Disney. During his try-out period, he wrote and illustrated stock Disney characters into comic strip storyboards. The company was so impressed with his talent that Holt was hired as an apprentice. He eventually worked his way up to designing several legendary scenes in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Lady and the Tramp." After 20 years with Disney, Holt took a brief hiatus to work in television production and art direction in Chicago. He returned to Los Angeles a few years later and joined Hanna-Barbera Studios to animate "Flintstones" and "Tom and Jerry" cartoons. In the 1960s, Holt rejoined Disney as a designer of sculptural forms. He sculpted the original models of characters for the Country Bear Jamboree and Haunted Mansion rides at Walt Disney World, and developed attractions at Epcot and Disneyland in California and Japan. Until his retirement in the early 1990s, Holt greeted guests and signed drawings at the Disney/MGM Studio Preview Center in Orlando.

Posted on April 26, 2004 11:06 PM

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Lady and The Tramp" (1955) [Series] - 1998 Joe Grant Signed Sketch-Book

Part of the "Lady and The Tramp" Series.

To kick off the "Lady and The Tramp" postings of items in the collection, I thought I'd start with Disney's Sketch-Book.

This was the sixth in the Sketch-Book series dated 1998. It was a limited edition with a run of 2,500 and signed by Joe Grant. All of the Sketch-Books have become fairly rare and collectible. In our collection we have three of these books that are still in the original shrink-wrap and have never been opened... Talk about "mint in box"...!

I played around with the idea of opening one to scan Grant's signature, but I saw that opened excellent condition copies have been going for $300-$500 and decided that an un-opened copy would probably be worth a hundred bucks more, so it just wasn't worth it. Sorry.

Lady and The Tramp Sketch-Book Signed by Joe Grant

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

Walt Disney Studios. Walt Disney’s Lady and The Tramp: The Sketch-Book Series. Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1998. Limited edition. [9.5”W x 12”H; in slip cover] Unopened and other data not available. UNOPENED. [9.5”W x 12”H; in slip cover] SeqID-1493

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Lady and The Tramp" (1955) - Series Preview

After reading Michael Sporn's blog on "Lady and The Tramp" I realized that I had not posted a Series (a posting of all the items in the collection) for the film...

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to handle a series of items from the same film or theme. Generally speaking, I start with some basic items and end the series by posting some of the items I enjoy the most.

So, here's another idea -- a contact sheet of the items to follow from "Lady and The Tramp."

Coming Attractions
Sheet 1

Sheet 2

"The Alpine Climbers" (1936) [Series] - Ingeborg Willy Scraps and Limited Edition

These are the full holdings on "The Alpine Climber."

The 1936 film has Mickey (voiced by Walt Disney), Donald (Clarence Nash) and Pluto (Pinto Colvig) climbing a mountain. A good short with lots of slapstick comedy.

Clarence Nash (who came from Oklahoma) was already on the radio voicing a goat (inspired by his own goat, Mary) when Disney heard him. Nash voiced Donald for some 50 years and he also voiced Daisy, Huey, Dewey and Louie. After Cliff Edwards died in 1971, Nash took over the voice of Jiminy Cricket. By the way, here is a picture taken by Ingeborg Willy (who worked in the Pen and Ink Department) of Nash as he walked to work.

Pinto Colvig, in my opinion, has to be one of the most versatile performers I've read about. A history in vaudeville; drew his own cartoons for The San Francisco Chronicle; had his own animation business; worked with Walter Lantz; voiced Pluto, Goofy, Grumpy, Sleepy and The Practical Pig for Disney; voice Popeye's Bluto for Fleischer; sang as a Munchkin in "Wizard of Oz"; created "Bozo the Clown"; and in 1963 he became a leading voice in the anti-smoking effort before dying of lung cancer in 1967. There are a number of excellent articles on Colvig -- a short bio can be found on IMDB. A fantastic career and made significant contributions to the entire field through his work for a number of animation houses...

Here are some scraps of Donald that were in the Ingeborg Willy Scrapbook...

Donald Scraps

In 1989, Disney released a set of two Limited Edition items to celebrate Mickey's 60th. One was from "Little Whirlwind" and the other was from "The Alpine Climbers" (seen here).

"The Alpine Climbers" Limited Edition (424/950)

While some collectors limit their collections to only originals, we have always had a tendency to buy items that we simply like. As I've mentioned before, living in a high (8500-feet), dry climate in Colorado means that our cels are confined to an area that we can keep humidified. In other areas of the house we hang pencils and water colors. We also place a few of the Limited Editions in the non-humidified areas to add color and variety.

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Alpine Climbers” Limited Edition (1936; 1989). Limited Edition: 424/950. Part of two in the 1989 60th Mickey set Limited Edition. [15.25”W x 11”H] SeqID 0022

From “Ingeborg Willy’s Scrapbook” (1936-1937). A scrapbook of photos, pencil drawings and other items put together by Ingeborg Willy, who was an inker for Disney from 11/23/36 to 11/26/41 and who died in 1999. Acquired 1998. SeqID-0243 Updated: 7/28/2005

"Lady and The Tramp" (1951) - Michael Sporn Blog

I was knocked out by the pencils of the Bella Notte scene from "Lady and The Tramp" that Michael posted on his blog. I would highly recommend that you take a moment to check it out.

Portions of the pencil group was featured on page 101 in "Too Funny For Words" by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston (shown below)

Pencils from "Too Funny For Words" (click to enlarge)

In the Comments section of Michael's blog there were several references to the pencil test of the scene. I've embedded the Quicktime here...

Frank Thomas (Lady and the Tramp) from Victor Ens on Vimeo.

And here is the piece in our collection...

"Belle Notte" Sequence

There are three cels here: Lady, Tramp and the cloth table cover. The trimmed cels were applied to another cel and mounted over a Master Background from another scene in the alley. Below is the actual scene from the DVD (I have not had time to find the scene for the background in my framed piece). I should point out that there are differences in the coloring due to differences in my photo technique and the changes when capturing from a DVD.

Scene from the Disney DVD

What makes the piece work for me is that Lady and The Tramp are totally unaware of what is about to happen -- BUT WE KNOW! Every time I watch this scene I always have the same reaction as the first time I watched the film as an adult - the quiet smile that comes from the realization you know something about what is to happen before the characters in the film!

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

Thomas, Frank & Johnston, Ollie. Too Funny for Words. NY: AbbeVille Press, 1987. ISBN 0-89659-747-4. SeqID-1503. Page 101.

From “Lady and the Tramp” (1955). Lady and the Tramp “Bella Notte” setup - (1) a 22” x 10” Disney watercolor Master Production Background of the alley behind Tony’s Restaurant with (2 ) production cel of Lady, (3) production cel of Tramp and (4) very rare production cel cloth covered table. The cels have been trimmed and applied to a cover cel. [22”W x 10”H] Acquired 2004. SeqID-1142. Updated: 7/30/2005

Friday, April 17, 2009

More Cloned Disney

After I looked at the previously post from YouTube, I found another video that showed similar full-motion scenes from different films.

I was amazed at the similarities between Snow White and Robin Hood.

Cels Cloned - YouTube Video

Someone went to a lot of work to find the same cels that were repeated in the same film AND other films - identical poses with different characters! Thanks to Susan How in Singapore for sending me the link.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Off-Line For A While

Getting ready to leave Phoenix and head back to Colorado for the summer.

I probably won't be posting anything this coming week...


Thursday, April 9, 2009

"The Band Concert" (1935) - Mickey Pencil Scrap

In cleaning up a few items, here is a great image of Mickey from "The Band Concert." Super expression!

This is from the Ingeborg Willy Scrapbook (see the Content By Category section).

Mickey Pencil

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Hippo In A Tutu" - Cowan Collection In Print

(All the rights belong to Disney, Disney Enterprises, Mindy Aloff and anyone else I've left out...)

I had the pleasure of going through Mindy Aloff's book "Hippo In A Tutu" today. A great read -- especially the last half of the book.

A while ago I was contacted by Alex Rannie and was asked if I had some items that might pertain to Ms. Aloff's dance focus. I sent Mr. Rannie a collection of items that I thought might be of interest and out of that group a few appeared in the book.

I must admit, it's great to see some of the artwork you own appear in print! So, I thought I'd share the pages in Mindy's book and the original art from the collection... By the way, until I opened the book I had no idea as to how the art would be used...

[Mindy Aloff posted a comment after I put up the original (see below). I would like to echo her comment and make sure everyone knows that Ms. Aloff was kind enough to credit Jenny and I for the use of the images. Thanks, Mindy! The pleasure was all ours! -- Bob]

Page 23

“A ballet of playing cards -- an animation drawing from Disney’s Mickey Mouse Cartoon ‘Thru The Mirror.”

Page 58

Leica Reel of Mickey from "Fantasia."

Page 103

"Mr. Duck Steps Out" Title Card

What was not shown was Walt's sign-off on the card...

Page 113

"A Les Blair story sketch of Hyacinth Hippo being partnered enthusiastically in arabesque on pointe by Ben Ali Gator in "Dance of the Hours." Les Blair was married to Disney inspirational artist Mary Blair."

Page 155

“A production cel on a non-production background of the Pilgrims’ Procession in Fantasia’s ‘Ave Maria.’”

Pages 156, 157, 158 & 159

“Animator models (all painted by Mary Blair) of Mlle. Upanova, Elephanchine, Hyacinth Hippo and Ben Ali Gator from Fantasia’s ‘Dance of the Hours’.”

Page 176 - Final Page!

I was extremely pleased that an item from our collection was featured on the last page of the book! I didn't know where any of the art would be placed and, for me, it was an honor to be of some assistance...

“A pastel sketch (possibly by Jules Engel) of the little Orchid Dancer for Fantasia’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’.”

Thanks, Mindy, for allowing some of our artwork to help you make your point!

"Magician Mickey" (1937) - Pencil Scrap of Mickey

I was going through some of the images on the new network drive and found this item that I failed to include in my posting of Magician Mickey material (please refer to the Content By Category on the right side for the collection of films, characters and names posted thus far).

This is from the Ingeborg Willy Scrapbook and provides a great action snapshot, although it's too bad Mickey's face is not more visible.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Susan How's New Site

Susan How is in the process of building a new web site.

Many of you know Susan as a regular reader of many of the animation blogs.

Susan is looking for two things: (1) Visit her site and (2) sign-in on the Guestbook.


How Is Animation Defined Anyway? Not that I care...


1) Gaming. My daughter first introduced me to Final Fantasy, a Massive Multiplayer Game, hosted on a large game server a number of years ago. I thought the game animation was interesting and the Avatar concept caught my attention.

2) Computer Lip-Sync. Then I saw the famous "Numa Numa" lip-sync on YouTube and thought it was great. I could see myself doing something like that when I was growing up --- Ah, if there had only been personal computers! And it introduced me to the musical group Ozone! For those that have not seen the original (now with 27 Million views!), here is the direct link to the initial YouTube video.

3) Combine 'em. Then I came across a video/animation where someone combined "Numa Numa" and the actions of various MMP Avatars -- with fun results....

PS - I just finished watching the video again. I continue to be struck by the rate high quality editing software is moving into the hands of the casual user. When I first started producing video it was using Assemble Edit options on 3" Ampex video recorders using Real Time switching. Then Avid software, then editing video from my Canon XL-1 (which had amazing quality) using Adobe Premiere. The things you can do.... By the way, I continue to be "wow'd" by the Anime music videos being created using great songs and clips from Anime video (and some game screen captures). If you're interested, check out the Anime Music Video web site.


1) Select Full Screen. You can't get the effect by just watching the small version.

2) For better quality, Click in the center of the thumbnail
TWICE to be re-directed to the YouTube page, where you can then select the Full Screen option. Clicking the icon below the thumbnail can introduce some loss of sync between the video and audio.

Or here is the direct link to YouTube.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Temporary Problem


I've had a problem with my image files being corrupted on my Network Attached Drive.

Since I have almost 300 GB of images associated with the Collection (far too much for the laptop), I put everything on a network hard drive. A great solution. This way I could access my image files from any computer in the house!

Well, everything was great until the hard drive started to develop some bad sectors and slowly began trashing files and my only backup is back in Colorado...

So, I ordered another Network device. This time my Network Drive consists of two 1GB drives running in a RAID1 (mirrored) configuration. Instead of writing my image data to a single disk drive, the RAID1 hard drive controller writes the same data to two drives at a time, providing some redundancy. Well, that's the theory... Time will tell. At least the Network Drive sends me emails when it feels sick...

Sorry about the lack of activity. I'll have some new stuff up soon.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Country Cousin" (1936) [Series] - Abner Cel And Pencil Background

Here's the last "Country Cousins" item in our collection concluding the Series.

This is a great image of Abner. Lots of energy in the face and a good body extension. The background is also great because of the color direction and the additional notes.

The reference to "Stapp" is probably animator Terrell Stapp, who was one of the Art Directors on Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo and Fantasia.

As with the previous blog entry, this was one of those odd combinations of cel and pencil that offended purists, but I enjoyed because it offered an opportunity to discuss several layers in the animation process. This is especially true with Stapp's reference to the special handling of Jello's unique transparency.

Abner Cel and Pencil Background [click to enlarge]

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Country Cousin” (1936). Cel of Abner on original pencil background. Academy Award winning Silly Symphony cartoon. [Image: 9-7/8"W x 7-7/8"H; Frame: 15-7/8"W x 14.25"H] Acquired 2000. SeqID-0322 8/3/2005

"Country Cousin" (1936) [Series] - Monty Cel and Pencil Background

As I wind up posting our holding of "Country Cousin"...

Here is a trimmed (kind of) cel of Monty on top of a background sketch (with color direction) from the same sequence. Initially, those selling animation art would simply sell the cel. Then people started to put Pantone gradients behind the cel to provide some additional color. At that time, there was little interest in the backgrounds -- both the water colors and the pencils. Typically, the sellers of animation art would pick up all of the artwork from an animator's estate -- the good and the bad. Often the backgrounds were seen as "noise" with little commercial value. So, to move the "product," the sellers would start to combine cels with the pencils. Initially, these combination efforts were not well received -- probably because someone took scissors to a cel.

Frankly, I was attracted to some of these "mixed media" creations because they created a "teachable moment" to those interested in looking at the art. But I'm weird that way...

What I don't like about this set up is (1) the crude cutout of the cel and (2) that a portion of the color direction is covered up. I'll probably get around to re-framing the piece at some point and will trip the cel more closely and off-set it so that the notes on the pencil background can be read.

Monty Cel and Pencil Background [click to enlarge]

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Country Cousin” (1936). Cel of Monty on original pencil background. Academy Award Silly Symphony cartoon. [Image: 9-3/8"W x 7-7/8"H; Frame: 15-3/4"W x 14.25"H] Acquired 1998. SeqID-0321 8/3/2005