Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Original Production Drawing of Mortimer Mouse from "Mickey's Rival," 1936

Original production drawing of Mortimer Mouse from "Mickey's Rival," 1936; Red, blue, green, brown, and graphite pencil on peg hole paper; Numbered 10 lower right; Size - Mortimer Mouse: 6 x 6 3/4", Sheet 10 x 12"; Unframed.

When Walt Disney was in the process of creating Mickey Mouse, he initially suggested the name of Mortimer Mouse. However, his wife Lillian felt the name sounded too pompous and suggested Mickey instead. Years later in 1936, the name Mortimer was finally used for a new character that was to be a rival for Mickey Mouse competing for Minnie Mouse's affections. Mortimer only appeared in a single cartoon "Mickey's Rival," 1936 and was never seen in animation again until the year 2000! 

Close up of the Mortimer Mouse production drawing.

Pinto Colvig directed (along with Erdman Penner and Walt Pfeiffer) "Mickey's Rival" and was also the voice of Mortimer Mouse. 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 the voice of both Sleepy and Grumpy in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937.

Close up of the production number.

This drawing was used in the creation of the scene that occurs when Mortimer tries to impress Minnie Mouse. Minnie, Mortimer, and Mickey are all having a picnic together when Mortimer sees a bull in a nearby pen. Using a pair of turkey leg bones (left over from the picnic lunch) as castanets, Mortimer grabs the picnic blanket and throws it over his back. He then uses the picnic blanket cape to attract the bull in the pen so that he can pretend to bullfight and therefore impress Minnie. 

This is an exceptional and rare drawing of Mortimer Mouse from his very first appearance in film. He is full figure with his eyes and mouth open; and has a spectacular action filled pose of holding the turkey leg bone castanets, and with the picnic blanket being thrown over his shoulders. The image is over six inches tall and is drawn in red, blue, green, brown, and graphite pencils.

To see the cel made from this drawing in the film, just click on the short video below:

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