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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940; 1987) - Disney's First Limited Edition Set

Items in the Cowan Collection from "Fantasia".....

After seeing the animation market heat up and offering a few original pieces in auction, Disney decided to create Limited Editions to capitalize on the demand for artwork. 

Disney started with six hand-inked reproduction cels from "Fantasia."  The cels were of different characters and, generally, were thought by the Studio to be the best rendition of each character.  Since this was Disney's first major entry into the market, the cels came in a very nice folder and offered plenty of descriptive material.  Because the market was unknown, there were only 250 copies of each cel. 

One of the more unusual aspects was that the cel was laminated on the normally exposed painted side to avoid the traditional problems of the paint lifting off the cel material.  I don't believe this technique was used in subsequent Limited Editions. I thought this was an advantage here in our low humidity climate in Colorado.  For the first time, I could place cels in a non-humidified area of the house and not be overly concerned about paint problems.

Don't forget to click on the picture to see an enlargement...

Limited Edition Satin Covered Folder

Opening Introduction to the Limited Edition Series

Adhesive Backing for each cel

 Sorcerer's Apprentice Sequence

Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence.  Limited edition #87/275. Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice.  [15”W x 11”H]    SeqID-0042

Pastoral Symphony Sequence: Brudus and Melinda


Pastoral Symphony sequence.  Limited edition #87/275.  Brudus walks with Melinda (Centaur & Centaurette) while the cupids watch from above.   [15"W x 13"H]  SeqID 0045

Pastoral Symphony Sequence: Faun, Bacchus and Jacchus


Pastoral Symphony sequence.  From Fantasia Limited Edition #87/275. Faun and Bacchus riding Jacchus.   [Image: 14-15/16"W x 11-3/16"H.  Frame: 23-5/8"W x 19-7/8"H]  SeqID-0153  8/3/2005

Dance of the Hours Sequence: Ben Ali Gator and Hyacinth Hippo


Dance of the Hours sequence. Limited edition #87/275.  Ben Ali Gator is dancing with Hyacinth Hippo.   [Image: 14-15/16"W x 11-3/16"H; Frame: 23-5/8"W x 19-7/8"H]  SeqID-0154  8/3/2005

Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria Sequence: Chernabog


 Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria sequence. Limited edition #87/275.  Chernabog with evil pose.    [Image: 14-15/16"W x 11-3/16"H.  Frame:  23-5/8"W x 19-7/8"H]  SeqID-0155  8/3/2005

Pastoral Symphony Sequence: Pegasus (white and black)


Pastoral Symphony sequence.  Limited edition #87/275.  Pegasus (black) and his wife (white) flying.   [Image: 14-15/16"W x 11-3/16"H; Frame: 23-5/8"W x 19-7/8"H]  SeqID-0156  8/3/2005

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

From "Fantasia" (1940; 1987).  A blue book cover that held the cels from Fantasia that made up the first Disney Limited Edition release.  The book contained 6 cels: #0042, 0045, 0153, 0154, 0155, 0156.  [Item: 16-3/8"W x 12-3/4"H]  SeqID 0041

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Nubian Centaurette Pencil & Pin

More postings of "Fantasia" items in the Cowan Collection...

Note: Stephen made a comment that this version of the Centaurette is in the film.  And it's in my DVD as well.  Frankly, I don't know what I was thinking about when I typed of the info in my database that this character was deleted from the film.  You can see the strike-through corrections below.  Now, I'm assuming that there is no difference between the DVD version of Fantasia and what appeared on the screen -- I'm just don't have that expertise....  Thanks, again, Stephen!

In the last posting, I put up a Centaurette pencil that didn't make it into the film. According to my notes, this more elegant version was also deleted from the final film -- although the sequence & scene stamp would indicate that it had made it pretty far in the process.  Here is another Centaurette that did make it into the film -- a rather elegant version.

There are some initials in the lower right -- if anyone has an idea as to the meaning, please let me know...

 Then it seems that the character was brought back in "Aida" (at least that was my reaction when I saw the musical on Broadway).  A few years ago, I was at Disney World and stopped by a shop to pick up a few trading pins.  I was surprised to see the Nubian pin AND I was surprised to see that the pin was so similar to the pencil in the collection. I thought it was odd that there would be a trading pin of a character that was deleted and was so similar to the pencil.

Nubian Centaurette Pencil (click to enlarge)

Nubian Centaurette Trading Pin

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

From “Fantasia” (1940), the Pastoral Symphony sequence.   The graphite and colored pencil on paper drawing depicts a Nubian Centaurette holding a fan from The Pastoral Symphony sequence, a scene that was later deleted from the final version of the film, annotated "A15"  "PROD 2004 SEQ 4.3 SCENE 25"  "?THE?"  Green in shadows. [Unframed 16-field]  Acquired 2000.  SeqID-0717 8/6/2005

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Black Centaurette Pencil

More postings of items in the Cowan Collection from "Fantasia"...

This character was pulled from the film, which was an interesting statement about the times.  It also represents a shift from similar characters in previous Disney films.

There are the initials "WK" on the piece and the seller thought the image might have been drawn by Ward Kimball or Walt Kelly (of "Pogo" fame), but there is no specific indication of that fact.  I don't have any additional information that would provide any clues.  If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment....

Black Centaurette Pencil (click to enlarge)

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

From Fantasia (1940), the Pastoral Symphony sequence.  A pencil sketch of a black Centaurette (#45)  with flower in her mouth.  Notes: "#45"; the image has "WK" written on it.  [Image: 11-1/4"W x 9"H]  SeqID 0040
Seller thinks this stands for Ward Kimball or Walt Kelly. He thinks the nature of the image would lead him to think it's Walt Kelly -- who did Pogo.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - 1940 Disney Studio Christmas Card

Additional postings of "Fantasia" items from the Cowan Collection...

I had posted this some time ago, but I'm regrouping it with the current focus on Fantasia items.  I didn't have much information about the card at the time of the first posting, but there were a number of great comments that helped add some additional detail to my files.

The person on the left is Leopold Stokowski and on the far right is Robert Benchly.  One comment (DisneyDave) suggested that the card may have been created by Hank Porter (an animator that was moved to the Publicity and Merchandise Art Department). [Note: I received a comment from David saying that the card was definitely done by Porter.]

Disney Studio Christmas Card (click to enlarge)


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

1940 Disney Studio Christmas Card, which celebrated “Fantasia.”  The card folds out four times it’s length.  Near Mint condition. The figure on the left is Leopold Stokowski and on the far right is Robert Benchly. The card may have been created by Hank Porter. Porter was an animator that was transferred to the Publicity and Merchandise Art Department.  [27.5W x 6H]   Acquired 2004.  SeqID-1149  5/12/2008

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Dance of the Hours Cel

More "Fantasia" items from the Cowan Collection...

This cel is a little different because of the large number of characters on the cel -- 13 in all.  While you might think that the alligator in the front is on another cel, it isn't ...The cel is on an airbrushed background.  

Alligators Cel (click to enlarge)


 ----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Fantasia” (1940) -- Dance of the Hours sequence.   ‘Dance of the Hours’ Sequence celluloid on airbrushed background -- 13 alligators in all.  Unusual to have such a large number is a single cel.  [ From Sotheby's: Walt Disney Dance of the Hours sequence celluloid from "Fantasia," 1940.  The gouache on celluloid depicts the alligators dancing from the Dance of the Hours sequence, applied to a non-production purple airbrushed background.  11x15. ]  Sotheby's auction 7491, Lot 273.   FRONT: "13"  Watercolor background.  BACK: nothing.  [Item: 15"W X 11"H]  SeqID-0721

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Lee Blair Ben Ali Gator and Hyacinth Hippo Pencil Concept

More postings of items in the Cowan Collection from "Fantasia"...

This is a great piece!  Super expressions!  As I've mentioned before, I try to collect images that represent key moments in the film and/or images that capture the essence of a character.  This is a good example.

Note: Thanks for the corrections. I first wrote "Les" Blair and have corrected it to "Lee" Blair.  I appreciate it...

This image was featured in Mindy Aloff's book "Hippo In A Tutu" (pg. 113) and had this to say about the image: “A Lee Blair story sketch of Hyacinth Hippo being partnered enthusiastically in arabesque on pointe by Ben Ali Gator in 'Dance of the Hours.' Lee Blair was married to Disney inspirational artist Mary Blair.”  The Blair Connection was a result of Aloff's research and wasn't based on any information I had about the piece.

Lee Blair Pencil Concept


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

From “Fantasia” (1940), the Dance of the Hours sequence.  Pencil concept sketch of Ben Ali Gator is dancing with Hyacinth Hippo.  Notes: "WDP" stamp on lower right.  [Image: 10-5/8"W x 8"H; Frame: 16-7/8"W x 14-3/8"H]  SeqID-0168  8/3/2005

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Maquettes

More posts of "Fantasia" items in the Cowan Collection...

I have always been impressed with the Maquettes.  While they were used to help the animators visualize the character from different angles, I have been amazed with how well the small figures also captured the essence of the character.
It took me 15 years to find a set and I feel lucky to have found these from "Fantasia."  Recently, photos of them appeared in Mandy Aloff's book "Hippo In A Tutu: Dance in Disney Animation.  I've put in several different types of images so you can get a better feel for the figures...
Maquettes (click to enlarge)
Ben Ali Gator

Elephancine Elephant
Hyacinth Hippo
Mille. Upanova

----- DATABASE NOTES -----
From “Fantasia” (1940).  A complete set of Maquettes (French for "scale model") from the film and painted by Mary Blair.  Included are: (1) Ben Ali Gator, (2) Elephancine elephant, (3) Hyacinth Hippo and (4) Mlle. Upanova.  Mint condition.  Acquired 2004.  SeqID-1156 1 thru 4   Updated: 7/30/2005

6/2/2008: Image selected for use by Ms. Mandy Aloff for her book - Aloff, Mindy. Hippo In A Tutu: Dance in Disney Animation. Los Angeles, CA: Disney Editions, 2008.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New French Collector and His Blog

I just received a nice email from Mathias in France concerning his new blog of animation artwork he has been collecting.

I was amazed to see that a number of his pieces are very similar to my own!

While the blog is in French, it is well worth checking out....

Thanks, Mathias!

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Orchid Girl Pastel

Items in the Cowan Collection from "Fantasia"...

This is one of the nicest pieces.  A large pastel on black paper image of the "Orchid Girl" from the Nictcracker Suite sequence.  I love the color -- which seems to really "pop" on the black paper.  And the white around the edges could not be displayed on any other background...

One of my notes says that this may have been drawn by Jules Engle (source: Mindy Aloff in ther book "Hippo In A Tutu").
Pastel of the Orchid Girl (click to enlarge)

----- DATABASE NOTES -----
From “Fantasia” (1940), the Nutcracker Suite sequence.  A pastel on black paper of the “Orchid Girl” dancing flower from The Nutcracker Suite sequence. Possibly drawn by Jules Engle (source: Mindy Aloff).  BACK: The Bonfoey Co., Cleveland, OH 216-621-0178.  [Image: 11-11/16"W x 9-5/8"H; Frame: 16-1/2"W x 17"H]  Acquired 2000.  SeqID-0712   Updated: 8/3/2005

NOTE: Image used in Mindy Aloff’s book “Hippo In A Tutu” (SeqID-1953), pg. 176. “A pastel sketch (possibly by Jules Engel) of the little Orchid Dancer for Fantasia’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’.”

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Unicorn Model Sheet

More images of Fantasia items in the Cowan Collection...
This was an interesting piece.  A very large image of a Unicorn.  The image was trimmed and glued to one half of a file folder.  In addition, the approval stamp from the Character Model Department was glued to the file folder as well.  Probably the "JG" is Joe Grant.  I'm not sure about the "M.D." or "M.P." on the stamp.
Unicorn Model Sheet (click to enlarge)

----- DATABASE NOTES -----
From "Fantasia" (1940), the Pastoral Symphony sequence.  Original Conte' unicorn model sheet. Model cut out and glued to a file folder with notice from the Character Model Dept. Notes:  Original ink "OK by JG 11-1-39";  "M258-D"  "JG" stands for Joe Grant.  [Unframed Item: 11-3/4"W x 9"H]  Acquired 2000.  SeqID-0453  8/14/2005

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Rite of Spring Watercolor Concept

More postings of Fantasia items in the Cowan Collection...

This is a GREAT concept piece! My son's favorite piece...!

Good action.  Good depth.  Stunning color -- much different than some of the typical subtle coloring seen in concept pieces.

"Rite of Spring" Watercolor Concept (click to enlarge)

----- DATABASE NOTES -----
From “Fantasia” (1940).  Spectacular watercolor concept painting from the "Rite of Spring" sequence showing a T-Rex and other Dinosaurs in a prehistoric jungle swamp.  SeqID-1231  8/1/2005

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Charcoal Concepts (not used)

More postings of Fantasia related items in the Cowan Collection...

I have always enjoyed collecting pieces that never made it to the final movie. Here are two examples.

This was from an "underworld" sequence in the Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Marie portion of the film. Strong images and, I think, very dynamic! The use of shadow underscores the darkness of spirit. Some aspects reminded me of the statues on Easter Island.

Charcoal Concepts (click to enlarge)

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

From “Fantasia” (1940). From the Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria sequence. A set of two framed images. (1) Excellent charcoal concept piece of skeleton's dancing below the earth. Shadow of Chernabog on the wall. Dark feeling. Small, but superior in its detail and design. (2) The images resemble those found on Easter Island. The subterranean sequence was not used in the final film. [2 framed images @ Image: 5-1/4"W x 3-3/4"H. Frame: 12-1/8"W x 11-5/8"H] SeqID-0043 for both. 7/15/2005

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Fantasia" (1940) [Series] - Watercolor Concept

More postings of items in the Cowan Collection from "Fantasia"...

This is a great graphite and watercolor concept of what was called the "Bug Orchestra."

When I last posted this, I mentioned that the story (as it was told to me) was that there was a point when it was not clear that Stikowski would continue with the project and that some rough ideas were generated for an "alternative" to the orchestra. Several readers wrote that the story I heard may have been incorrect. Regardless, this is a nice piece and gives the viewer some additional insight into the creative process.

Watercolor Concept (click to enlarge)

Stamp on the back (significantly enlarged)

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

Graphite and watercolor concept drawing of “Bug Orchestra,” which was deleted when arrangements with Liopold Stikowski were finalized, from “Fantasia” (1940). [12Wx10H]