Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Original Production Animation Drawing of the Queen of Hearts from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951

Original production drawing of the Queen of Hearts in graphite pencil from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951; Numbered 33 in pencil lower right; Size - Queen of Hearts: 6 1/2 x 7", Sheet 10 x 12"; Unframed.

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (commonly shortened to "Alice in Wonderland"), is 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 only 75 minutes). 

Close up of the Queen of Hearts production drawing.

The Queen of Hearts was voiced by Verna Felton and most people, when you mention the Queen of Hearts from "Alice," remember hearing Verna's classic line "Off with their heads!" Ms. Felton not only voiced the Queen from "Alice" but the Fairy Godmother from "Cinderella," Flora and Queen Leah from "Sleeping Beauty," Aunt Sarah from "Lady and Tramp," and several other Disney characters. What is interesting is that all the other characters that Felton voiced are sweet and kind, with the typical grandmother type of voice; but not the Queen of Hearts. The Queen was loud and you never knew exactly when she would lose her temper.

Close up of the production number.

Eric Larson, one of Walt Disney's master animators known as his Nine Old Men, supervised the scene in which this drawing was used. This is a very lively and expressive animation graphite drawing of the Queen of Hearts and it is from the scene after her "Who's been painting my roses red?" tirade. The Queen glares down at three heart playing cards and Alice. The deuce, trey and ace shift the blame from one to another, quickly exhausting the Queen's patience. "That's enough!", she declares. This eyes and mouth open drawing is from the very next scene in which the Queen delivers her signature line for the first time: "Off with their heads!"

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