Monday, July 20, 2015

Original Production Cel Setup of Mr. Smee, Tiger Lily, and Water Effect Cels from "Peter Pan," 1953

Original hand inked and hand painted matching production cels of Mr. Smee and row boat numbered 90, Tiger Lily numbered 90-C, and Water Ripple Effects numbered E-90 all over a lithographic background of Skull Rock from "Peter Pan," 1953; Size - Mr Smee, Tiger Lily, and Water Ripple Effects 5 x 12", Cel 12 1/2 x 16"; Background 11 1/4 x 16"; Unframed.

The author J. M. Barrie first used Peter Pan as a character in a section of the adult novel "The Little White Bird" in 1902. He returned to that character with his stage play entitled "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up," which premiered in London on December 27, 1904. The play ran until 1913, and it was later adapted by Walt Disney for the animated feature film entitled, "Peter Pan," in 1953.

Close up of the Mr. Smee in the row boat, Tiger Lily, and water effects cel setup

Mr. Smee in the row boat cel without the background showing the production number.

Mr. Smee was animated by Ollie Johnston and voiced by Bill Thompson. Smee was a wonderful pirate henchman sidekick for Captain Hook and the remarkable friendship that existed between Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, which is well documented; may account for why the villainous pair seemed to work so well together. Of course the voice talent of Bill Thompson was also a fantastic addition. Thompson was well known already at MGM for his voice of Droopy and of Droopy's nemesis Spike. At Walt Disney studios he would have a long career as the voice of the White Rabbit and the Dodo in Alice in Wonderland, of course Mr. Smee (and some of the other pirates) in Peter Pan and King Hubert in Sleeping Beauty. Bill Thompson's largest showcase for his voice skills was in Lady and the Tramp (1955), where he performed five different dialect parts, as Jock the Scottish Terrier, Bull the Cockney bulldog, Dachsie the German dachshund, Joe the Italian cook, and the Irish policeman in the zoo.

Tiger Lily cel without the background showing the production number.

Tiger Lily is the daughter of the Indian Chief and a loyal friend of Peter Pan. It is her friendship with Peter Pan that leads Captain Hook to believe that Tiger Lily knows where Peter Pan's hideout is located. She has no dialog in the film, but is a wonderful and very memorable character. She was animated by Ken O'Brien.

Water effects cel without the background showing the production number.

This is a fantastic three cel setup of Mr. Smee rowing in a rowboat, Tiger Lily, and the rowboat's water effects cel. The combination of all the three cels being kept together since 1953 is extremely rare. The cels appear during the famous battle at Skull Rock between Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Hook and Smee had kidnapped Tiger Lily and brought her to Skull Rock to lure Peter into a trap. However, Wendy and Peter spotted them; and in a wonderfully animated scene Peter Pan imitates the voice of Captain Hook to trick Smee into releasing Tiger Lily. This cel setup occurs when Mr. Smee is rowing Tiger Lily (still tied up with rope) in a small row boat and uttering the line, "I told him all along you Indians wouldn’t betray, Peter Pan." The complete dialog from the scene is below:

Peter Pan: "Psst. Wendy. Watch this. Imitating Hook’s voice Mr. Smee!"
Smee: "Uh, yes, Captain?"
Peter Pan: (as Hook) "Release the princess and take her back to her people."
Smee: "Aye, aye, sir. Release the Princ– But– But Captain–"
Peter Pan: (as Hook) "Those are me orders, Mr. Smee!"
Smee: "Aye, aye, sir. At last Captain Hook’s coming to his senses."
Hook: "Odd’s fish!"
Smee: "I told him all along you Indians wouldn’t betray, Peter Pan."
Hook: "And just what do you think you are doing, Mr. Smee?"

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