Thursday, July 30, 2015

Original Production Drawing of Grumpy from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937

Original production drawing of Grumpy from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937; Red and graphite pencil on peg hole paper; Numbered 47 lower right; Stamped production numbers lower left; Size - Grumpy: 4 x 3 1/4", Sheet 10 x 12"; Unframed.

Development on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs began in early 1934, and by June Walt Disney announced to The New York Times the production of his first feature, to be released under Walt Disney Productions.  Before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Disney studio had been primarily involved in the production of animated short subjects in the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series.  However, Disney hoped to expand his studio's prestige and revenues by moving into features, and he estimated that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs could be produced for a budget of $250,000 (this was ten times the budget of an average Silly Symphony).

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was to be the first full-length cel animated feature in motion picture history, and as such Walt Disney had to fight to get the film produced. Both his brother and business partner Roy Disney, as well as his wife Lillian attempted to talk him out of it.  The Hollywood movie industry mockingly referred to the film, while is was in production, as "Disney's Folly."  Disney ended up having to mortgage his house to help finance the film's production, which would eventually ran up to a total cost of $1,488,422.74; an absolutely massive sum for a feature film in 1937!

Close up of the Grumpy production drawing.

Grumpy was animated by Vladimir "Bill" Tytla, who also animated Doc. Tytla's Grumpy is the second most popular of the seven dwarfs, just behind Dopey.

From Disney animator Andreas Deja:
"Tytla animated 'from the inside out.' For every scene he did, he lived inside of that character. He drew absolutely beautifully, but bringing out  emotion and personality came first. Even if that lead to an off model drawing here and there. Walt had Fred Moore take a look at a few of Tytla's Grumpy scenes in order to punch up the 'charm level.'"

Close up of the production stamp.

Pinto Colvig provided the voice of Grumpy. Colvig was an American vaudeville actor, radio actor, newspaper cartoonist, movie voice actor, and circus performer; but he is most remembered for being the original Bozo The Clown. He was also the original voice of the Walt Disney character Goofy, and not only provided the voice of Grumpy, but Sleepy as well.

Close up of the production number.

This is a brilliant drawing of Grumpy from the "Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum" song sequence; also known as "The Dwarfs' Washing Song." It is performed by the seven dwarfs as they wash their faces and hands, under Snow White's orders. Grumpy sits on a nearby barrel refusing to join in, while teasing the other dwarfs for taking orders from Snow White. This eyes open and full figure drawing of him sitting on a barrel is from the scene when he tells the other dwarfs, "Bunch of old nanny goats. Ya make me sick." Eventually the other dwarfs grab him and throw him into the washing trough, and begin scrubbing him vigorously.