Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Original Production Drawing of Brudus The Centaur from "The Pastoral Symphony" segment of "Fantasia," 1940

Original production animation drawing of Brudus The Centaur in red, green, and graphite pencil, production numbers lower left and numbered 6 lower right; and used during the production of the "The Pastoral Symphony" sequence of "Fantasia," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Brudus: 5 1/4 x 7 1/4", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.

"The Pastoral Symphony" segment from Walt Disney's full length feature film "Fantasia," 1940 uses the 6th symphony in F, Op.68 by Ludwig van Beethoven as it's soundtrack. The symphony that Beethoven named "The Pastoral," is said to be one of the few pieces of music he ever wrote that tells a definite story. Beethoven was a great nature lover, and with this symphony he paints a musical picture of a day in the countryside. However, Walt Disney has taken Beethoven's musical score and set it as a backdrop to a fantastical mythological environment.

Close up of the Brudus The Centaur drawing.

Disney's "The Pastoral Symphony" segment of "Fantasia" utilized expert color styling in order to depict a mythical ancient Greek world of centaurs, pegasi, the Gods of Mount Olympus, fauns, cupids, and other legendary creatures of classical mythology. The segment, directed by Hamilton Luske, Jim Handley, and Ford Beebe; tells the story of mythological creatures gathering for a festival to honor Bacchus, the God of wine.

In the prelude to the Bacchus festival, centaurs and centaurettes begin to congregate. The centaurettes spend time bathing and grooming before the appearance of the centaurs. After a while the centaurs and centaurettes begin to pair off, including the very beautiful Melinda (a blue with blonde haired centaurette with flowers in her tail) and Brudus (a purple and blue centaur with black hair). They are also serenaded by musical instrument carrying cupids, and are soon drawn to one another. Brudus kisses Melinda and they, along with the other creatures, walk hand in hand towards a nearby temple.

Close up of the production stamp.

Close up of the production number.

Fred Moore, one of Walt Disney's most brilliant animators, supervised the animation of this scene. In this wonderful original production drawing of Brudus, he is lying on the ground with his eyes and mouth open, his eyebrows are raised, and the elbow of his arm is resting on his knee in a wonderful contemplation pose that is very reminiscent of Rodin's "The Thinker."