Monday, February 23, 2015

Drawings of Honest John (Foulfellow) and Pinocchio from "Pinocchio," 1940

Original production drawings of Pinocchio in green, red, and graphite pencils; numbered 47 and J. Worthington Foulfellow (Honest John or The Fox) in green, red, brown, yellow, and graphite pencils; numbered 43; Both from "Pinocchio," 1940; Size - Pinocchio 4 1/2 x 2 1/4", Foulfellow 7 1/2 x 7"; Both Sheets: 10 x 12"; On watermarked five peg hole paper and stamped with production numbers lower right; Unframed.

Norm Ferguson (Fergy) was the animator responsible for bringing both J. Worthington Foulfellow (The Fox) and Gideon (The Cat) to life.  Fergy is most remembered for his creation of Pluto, but his animation of both Foulfellow and Gideon was one of the true highlights of the film "Pinocchio."  The inspiration for Foulfellow (also called Honest John) was the classic vaudeville acts; with the actor's overdone dialogue and skill at improvisations.  Foulfellow was a very fast talking and persuasive Fox, who would not give poor Pinocchio time to think or respond before moving forward with his own plan to better himself, at the expense of his poor victim.  Although dressed in a top hat, gloves, and a cape; all of his clothing is old, ragged, and with patches throughout.

Pinocchio was animated by Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston; and Dickie Jones provided the voice.  Dickie was an accomplished TV and movie actor, most known for performances in various Westerns; and was also in the "Hopalong Cassidy" film.  However, his true lasting memory may be is voice of Pinocchio.  This is a wonderful full figure drawing of Pinocchio holding his school books and looking up at Foulfellow.

Close up of Pinocchio drawing.

Walter Catlett provided the voice of Foulfellow and endowed the character with a wonderful sophisticated style, that added to the level of sophistication to this petty criminal.  Catlett had started is own career in vaudeville and new how to impart that style into his reading of Honest John.  In addition, Walter Catlett's voice was also great for Fergy's animation; as it allowed for facial expressions and for mannerisms that enhanced the feel of Honest John.  This combination was perfect and really helped in the development of a much more brilliant character, and one of the most entertaining in the film.

Close up of Foulfellow drawing.

This is a spectacular set of drawings of Pinocchio and Honest John!  They are almost a matched pair being only three frames off, Pinocchio is numbered 47 and Honest John is numbered 43.  This set of drawings is from the first encounter by Pinocchio with the fast talking Foulfellow; who when saying the word "theater," throws his cape dramatically behind him!  The dialog of this scene, as well as the video is below:

Pinocchio: I'm going to school.
Foulfellow: School. Ah, yes. Then perhaps you haven't heard of the easy road to success.
Pinocchio: Uh-uh.
Foulfellow: No? I'm speaking, my boy, of the theater! Here's your apple.
[Hands Pinocchio the apple, eaten down to the core]

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