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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Original Production Animation Cel of Lady Tremaine (Wicked Stepmother) From "Cinderella," 1950


Original hand inked and hand painted production cel of Lady Tremaine (Wicked Stepmother) set on a lithographic background from "Cinderella," 1950; Numbered 25 in ink bottom right; Size - Stepmother: 10 1/4 x 4 1/4", Cel 12 1/2 x 15 1/4"; Unframed.

To purchase this cel or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE

"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 Lady Tremaine original production cel.

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.

This is a large and impressive cel of Lady Tremaine from the scene in the film when Cinderella interrupts Anastasia and Drizella's music lesson, to show her Stepmother the invitation to the Ball. Lady Tremaine stands up from the piano and says, "I've warned you never to interrupt while-." And Cinderella says, "but this just arrived from the palace," and holds out the invitation. This is a wonderful eyes and mouth open image of Lady Tremaine, from a pivotal scene in the film.


Original production animation cel of Lady Tremiane (Wicked Stepmother) without the background.

To see the cel in the film, just click on the short video below: