Friday, July 3, 2015

Original Production Drawing of Three Cupids from "Fantasia," 1940

Original production animation drawing of Three Cupids in red, blue, and graphite pencil, production numbers lower left and numbered 11 lower right; and used during the production of the "The Pastoral Symphony" sequence of "Fantasia," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Cupids: 4 x 6", Sheet 10 x 12"; 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 Three Cupids production 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 number stamp.

Fred Moore, one of Walt Disney's most brilliant animators, supervised the animation of this scene. In this wonderful original production drawing, three Cupids are together in a group looking down from where they are hovering. The right cupid has a horn in his hand and all three are eyes open and smiling! A delightful and beautiful original piece of animation artwork from "Fantasia," 1940.

Close up of the production number.