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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Original Animation Production Cel of Sneezy Set On A Wood Veneer Courvoisier Background from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937


Original hand painted and hand inked production cel of Sneezy set on an airbrushed wood veneer Courvoisier background from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937; Size - Sneezy: 4 x 3 1/2", Image 8 x 8"; 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!

Although the initial concept designing of the dwarfs was relatively easy for the Walt Disney animation department, the actual animating of them proved to be difficult. The animators, already finding human figures difficult to animate, now had to animate dwarfed human figures. The great Disney animator Vladimir Tytla noted that the dwarfs should walk with a swing to their hips, and Fred Moore commented that they had to move a little more quickly in order to keep up with the other human characters.

Due to Sneezy's severe hayfever, he sneezes very often throughout the film and this often prevents him from speaking. His sneezes can be gale force and will blow away anything and anyone in their path. As a result, the other dwarfs are quick to hold his nose whenever they feel he may have a sneeze approaching. The memorable scene in which the dwarfs tie a knot in Sneezy's beard was inspired by an early sketch by Albert Hurter, a concept and inspirational sketch artist at Walt Disney Studios. Various Disney artists were involved in the animation of Sneezy throughout the film including: Ward Kimball, Vladimir Tytl, Fred Moore, Shamus Culhane, and Les Clark. Billy Gilbert, an American comedian and actor known for his comic sneeze routines, provided the voice of Sneezy.

This is an absolutely wonderful original hand painted and hand inked production cel of Sneezy set on an airbrushed (used to create the shadow and the dwarf name) wood veneer Courvoisier background. The Courvoisier portrait series from Snow White is highly desired by collectors for their beauty. Courvoisier Galleries, the first to recognize the artistic value to the newly emerging animation art form, in the 1930s and 40s created the series to sell to the public. All the characters from the film were made for the series including The Seven Dwarfs, Snow White, The Huntsman, The Old Hag, and The Evil Queen. The character cels were trimmed and applied to the wood veneer background. This is a wonderful eyes open portrait cel of Sneezy, as he holds his finger under his nose to prevent a looming sneeze.