Friday, October 3, 2014

"Listen well, all of you!" - Maleficent and Diablo Production Cel from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959

Original hand painted and hand inked production cel of Maleficent and Diablo set on a lithographic matching background from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959; Size - Maleficent 9 1/4 x 14 1/2", Image 10 x 15 3/4", Frame 29 1/4" x 34"; Framed with a black and gold wood frame, three suede acid free mats, and UV conservation clear Museum Perfect glass.


This is the cel as I first saw it; before it was given a matching background and framed

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!

Cel showing peg holes

Not all cels of the same character are priced the same.  I recall a Gallery that was charging the same price for a front facing, eyes and mouth open, full figure image of Bambi; as they were for a butt shot with just a back of the head showing.  The front images were all snapped up fast and the remainder languished on their site year after year, after year.  The simple fact is that collectors want wonderfully beautiful images for their walls and will pay much more for these unique cels.  Eyes and mouth open vs. eyes and mouth closed can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars difference.  The same can be said for full figure front vs. half back shots.  

I believe this to be one of the finest cels of Maleficent I have ever seen in my over 20 years of collecting.  She is just frames away from the image Disney Animation chose for the "Casting the Spell" limited edition.  In this cel she is saying "Listen well, all of you!" just before she cast the curse upon Princess Aurora.  Once the spell is cast she utters, "Stand back you fools," and there are similar full figure cels; however at this point Diablo the raven is missing from her shoulder.

Framed production cel of Maleficent and Diablo

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