Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mad Hatter and March Hare Cels from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951

Original hand inked and hand painted production cels of The Mad Hatter & The March Hare set on a lithographic copy of a production background from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951; Size - Mad Hatter 6 1/4" x 4 1/4", Cel 9 1/2" x 10 3/4"; March Hare 5 1/4" x 3 3/4", Cel 9 1/2" x 12"; Background 10 1/2" x 16 1/4"

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

The Mad Hatter and the March Hare are two of the most famous characters in the Walt Disney classic film "Alice In Wonderland," from 1951.  The story is taken from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (commonly shortened to "Alice in Wonderland"), a 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who wrote under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.  Disney reworked the story to fit with both a younger audience and a time frame suitable for an animated film (it's run time is 75 minutes).  Kathryn Beaumont was just 10 years old when she was chosen for the voice of Alice and Walt Disney was so impressed by her that she was also chosen to be a model for Alice.  The main villain of the story is the Queen of Hearts, however practically every other character functions as an antagonist towards Alice.

Close up of the two cels.

The Mad Hatter was voiced by Ed Wynn and the voice of the March Hare was provided by Jerry Colonna.  Ed Wynn is one of the most memorable voices in "Alice" and he is a real stand out for the film.  Wynn had a long history in Vaudeville and had developed his giggly, wavering voice in 1921 for the musical review, "The Perfect Fool."  He had several roles at Walt Disney Studios, including his most famous acting role there as Uncle Albert in the film "Mary Poppins," 1964.

Photograph showing The Mad Hatter cel without the background.

The animator Ward Kimball was a tour de force for the film "Alice In Wonderland," and he animated the following: Alice (one scene), the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Walrus and the Carpenter, the Oysters, and the Dormouse.  Kimball, was a superb draftsman, and he preferred to animate comical characters rather than realistic human figures.  Because of this, "Alice In Wonderland" was the perfect film for him as it was filled with wonderful creatures all acting odd and comical.  Animating came easily to him and he was constantly looking to do things in a different way; which lead Walt Disney to call Kimball a genius in the book "The Story of Walt Disney."

Photograph showing The March Hare cel without the background.

Both of the cels pictured here for sale are from the Mad Tea Party scene and it is one of the most famous scenes in the film, if not all of the Disney films!  The March Hare is from the scene where he uses a spoon and begins to conduct a band of tea pots in the singing of the Unbirthday Song.  The Mad Hatter is also from the Tea Party scene where he pours a cup of tea into a tea pot and then drinks the tea from the tea pot, while saying the following:

Mad Hatter: "Come come my dear, don't you care for tea?"
Alice: "Why, yes. I'm very fond of tea."
March Hare: "If you don't care for tea, you could at least make polite conversation!"

To see the Mad Hatter cel in the film, click on the short clip below:

To see the March Hare cel in the film, click on the short clip below: