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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Prince John, Sir Hiss, and Sheriff of Nottingham cels from "Robin Hood," 1973


Original hand painted production cels of Prince John, Sir Hiss, (numbered 19 lower right and production numbers lower center) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (numbered 467 lower right) set on a lithographic copy of a production background from "Robin Hood," 1973; Disney seal lower right; Framed with a silver and grey wooden frame, suede acid free mat, and UV conservation clear glass; Size - Prince John and Sir Hiss 6 x 5 1/2", Sheriff 7 x 7 1/2"; Image 10 1/4 x 13"; Frame 24 x 28".


As a Disney Villain collector and dealer, this is exactly the cel set-up you want for your collection.  Here are all three of the Villains together in one frame from "Robin Hood;" Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham.


Sheriff of Nottingham cel with peg holes and production number.

All the characters in Disney's version of "Robin Hood" were played by animals.  Prince John was a lion, Sir Hiss (no surprise) was a snake, and the Sheriff of Nottingham was a wolf.  Prince John was voiced by the great and deep voiced Peter Ustinov, Sir Hiss by Terry-Thomas (who's hissing speech was masterful), and both were animated by Ollie Johnston.  The on-screen presence of the two together is just wonderful and Johnston's animation skills, at this point, are top notch!  The personalities are different and distinct, as are the ways the two different characters move and interact.  Kaa from a prior film "Jungle Book" must have been a nice starting point in order to allow Sir Hiss to show more emotion and expression.


Prince John and Sir Hiss cel with peg holes and production number.


The Sheriff of Nottingham was voiced by Pat Buttram and animated by Milt Kahl.  Pat Buttram's voice was just so wonderful and he had an extraordinary career.  He was Gene Autry's sidekick and I remember him as Mr. Haney in the television show "Green Acres."  He voiced several characters for Disney Studios but my favorites were Napoleon the hound dog in "The Aristocats" and of course the evil and cruel Sheriff of Nottingham.


Photograph showing entire cel sheets with numbers bottom right and center.

In the cel set-up above, Prince John is furious over the mocking song about him:

Sheriff of Nottingham: "But, but Sire, it's a big hit. The whole village is singing it."
Prince John: "Oh, they are, are they? Well, they'll be singing a different tune. Double the taxes! Triple the taxes
[grabs Sir Hiss by the neck]
Prince John: "Squeeze every last drop out of those insolent musical peasants."


Cropped image of Prince John, Sir Hiss, and Sheriff of Nottingham cels from "Robin Hood," 1973


Framed Prince John, Sir Hiss, and Sheriff of Nottingham cels from "Robin Hood," 1973

To view these cels in the film, click on the short video below:

video