Monday, May 25, 2015

Robin Hood Production Cel and Production Background from "Robin Hood," 1973

Original hand painted production cel of Robin Hood numbered 11 in ink lower right; Placed on an original master hand-painted production background with original line overlay cel from "Robin Hood," 1973; Size - Robin Hood 5 1/2 x 4 3/4", Image 11 x 16", Background 12 1/2 x 16"; Unframed.

"Robin Hood" was the twenty-first full length animated film released by Walt Disney Studios on November 8, 1973. Robin Hood is an anthropomorphic fox and the protagonist of the film. Although Robin Hood is often shown as an outlaw who chooses to rob from the rich to help the poor people, in this Disney animated version, he is shown mainly attacking Prince John and his agents (Sir Hiss and the Sheriff of Nottingham), who have impoverished Nottingham with high taxes. Robin Hood and Little John steal the tax caravans and give it back to the peasants while trying to avoid capture.

Original Production showing bottom peg holes and production number 11 bottom right.

After "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, there was no longer hand inking of the lines on the tops of the cel; rather this was done by a process called xerography. This new process saved time and money and allowed for more details to be added to the characters. Such is the case for not only this full figure cel of Robin Hood, but also for this background. The background is an original hand painted watercolor background, but in addition there is the original production line overlay cel; which contains all the black outlines for the background's various features and objects. The line overlay cel was created through xerography and allows for much more detail for example; the trees and grass now contain black line highlights for branches, leaves, and both clumps and individual blades of grass. The tent and Prince John's viewing platform are also highlighted with black lines to showcase fabrics as well as the wood planks making up the stage's floor. The resulting work of art is a very large and wonderful animation set-up showcasing the great animators attention to every detail.

Original hand painted production background and matching overlay cel with production numbers.
Robin Hood was animated by the veteran Disney animator Ollie Johnston and he was voiced by the English actor Brian Bedford. Not only is Robin Hood an expert archer but a very skilled swordsman. In this cel, Robin is wearing his classic green tunic, yellow hat with red feather, and his green boots. Production cels of this quality are rare, and this one is quite nice as Robin Hood is full figure with his eyes and mouth open, and is brandishing a sword preparing to engage the Rhino Guards of Prince John! In addition, the cel is placed on a hand painted master production background with it's matching production line overlay cel. Production backgrounds are even rarer than cels and this background is a beautifully painted scene, that is instantly recognized as being from the Walt Disney film "Robin Hood."
To view the scene in which this cel and background was used to create, click on the short video below: