Saturday, July 25, 2015

Original production cel of Cruella De Vil from "101 Dalmatians," 1961

Original hand painted production cel of Cruella De Vil from "101 Dalmatians," 1961; Set on a lithographic background; Size - Cruella De Vil: 7 1/2" x 7", Cel: 12 1/2" x 14", Image 9 3/4" x 14"; Unframed.

Cruella along with Maleficent are two of the most favorite of all the Disney villains, and they were both animated by Marc Davis. The character of Cruella De Vil was created by Dodie Smith for his novel "101 Dalmatians" in 1956, but it was Davis's visual interpretation that the world remembers. Although some of Cruella's traits were based in the novel, Davis along with Bill Peat, morphed the character by making her razor thin and exaggerating her oversized coat onto her thin frame. The long cigarette holder was modeled on one Davis used himself. Inspiration was also drawn from Hollywood legends Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis, and Rosalind Russell. Movement, according to Davis, was consistent "like someone you wouldn't like," and another inspiration was based on "one woman I knew who was just a monster. She was tall and thin and talked constantly - you never knew what she was saying, but you couldn't get a word in edgewise."

The voice of Cruella was provided by Betty Lou Gerson. She had worked for Disney prior as the narrator for Cinderella, but her voice talent as Cruella De Vil is her tour de force! The highly pitched phrase "Anita Darling!" is completely iconic and has become part of Disney pop culture.

Cruella De Vil production cel without the background.

Close up of the Cruella De Vil production cel.

This is absolutely perfect cel of Cruella De Vil from the scene when she appears in the film. She storms into Roger and Anita's home looking for Pongo and Perdita's dalmatian puppies. The cel is from the scene when she says, "Where are they? Where are they? For heaven's sake, where are they?" The cel is one of the finest I have seen of Cruella; her eyes and mouth are open and she is wearing her classic mink coat and carrying her cigarette with holder, and her purse.

To view the scene which this cel was used to create, click on the short video below: