Friday, July 24, 2015

Original Production Drawing of Lady Tremaine (Stepmother) from "Cinderella," 1950

Original production drawing of Lady Tremaine (Stepmother) in red, blue, and graphite pencils from "Cinderella," 1950; Numbered 33 in pencil lower right; Size - Lady Tremaine (Stepmother): 8 x 5", Sheet 11 1/4 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.

"Often, patrons would be horrified or dismayed by the behavior of a villain, but more people actually hated the Stepmother more than any other villain we ever created." - Ollie Johnson and Frank Thomas from "The Disney Villain," 1993

Eleanor Audley (TV and film actress as well as familiar radio and animation voice talent) was filmed while she was dressed and speaking as the Stepmother; and as she performed scenes outlined in the film. Those film reels were used by animator Frank Thomas to convey even more realism to the character. Although the framed images were not directly copied by the animator, they were used as reference for lifelike movements. Eleanor Audley also voiced the Stepmother and her articulation conveyed the fire and raw power of the character. She could be sharp and curt in telling Cinderella what chores to do while lying in bed and slowly stirring her cup of tea, or her voice could be calm are cruel while watching as her daughters viciously destroyed Cinderella's dress.

Close up of the Stepmother production drawing.

Frank Thomas did a phenomenal job of controlling the Stepmother's actions to make sure that they were were not wild and out of control; but rather calculated, cold, and precise. The story of Cinderella presented a situation where a villain lived and interacted with her victim day after day under the same roof. The actions of the Stepmother seemed even more cruel because not only were both she and Cinderella animated in a very realistic fashion, but because of the close proximity the cruelness of the villain could be seen as even more intense by the reactions on Cinderella's face. If all this were not enough, the Stepmother's arsenal of evil was compounded by her two ill mannered daughters Anastasia and Drizella; as well as Lucifer the cat, who delighted in trying to kill Cinderella's mouse friends.

Close up of the production number.

This drawing is a very nice full figure, eyes and mouth open Frank Thomas drawing of Lady Tremaine. It is from the scene when she rushes into Anastasia's room to wake her up in order for her, and Drizella, to try on the found glass slipper. The Stepmother grabs the window curtain to throw it open and let in sunlight to wake up the girls. The drawing is accomplished in graphite, red, and blue pencils and shows wonderful motion. The dialog from the scene is below:

Stepmother: "Anastasia. Get up, Anastasia!"
Anastasia: "Huh? What for? Why?"
Stepmother: "Oh, everyone's talking about it - the whole kingdom! Oh, hurry now. He'll be here any minute."
Drizella: [yawning] "Who will?"
Stepmother: "The Grand Duke! He's been hunting all night."
Drizella: "Hunting?"
Stepmother: "For that girl!"

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