Sunday, December 20, 2015

Original Production Animation Cel of Sir Hiss from "Robin Hood," 1973

Original hand-painted production animation cel of Sir Hiss from "Robin Hood," 1973; Numbered 43 with Walt Disney Seal lower right; Set on a hand prepared background that includes the tail and mirror; Size - Sir Hiss 6 x 6 1/2", Cel 12 1/2 x 16", Image 11 x 14", Mat 17 x 20"; Double Matted.

"Robin Hood," 1973 is the 21st animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Productions which was first released in the United States on November 8, 1973. The film is based on the legend of Robin Hood, but uses anthropomorphic animals rather than people. The story follows the adventures of Robin Hood, Little John, and the inhabitants of Sherwood Forest as they fight against the excessive taxation of Prince John and his henchman, Sir Hiss and the Sheriff of Nottingham. In the end, Robin Hood wins the hand of Maid Marian, defeats Prince John, and returns the Kingdom to the control of the good King Richard.

Close up of the Sir Hiss animation cel.

Photograph showing the full Sir Hiss cel without the background.

The history of Robin Hood is that he is a heroic outlaw from English folklore who, according to legend, was a highly skilled archer and swordsman. He is usually depicted dressed in green, leads a band of Merry Men, and his motto is "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor." Robin Hood has became a popular folk figure, with ballads dating back to as early as the 15th century.

Photograph showing the full cel and the full hand painted background.

Close up of the Walt Disney seal and the production number.

All the characters in Disney's version of "Robin Hood" were played by animals. Prince John was a lion, Sir Hiss (no surprise) was a snake, and the Sheriff of Nottingham was a wolf. Prince John was voiced by the great and deep voiced Peter Ustinov, Sir Hiss by Terry-Thomas (who's hissing speech was masterful), and both were animated by Ollie Johnston. The on-screen presence of the two together is just wonderful and Johnston's animation skills, at this point, are top notch! The personalities are different and distinct, as are the ways the two different characters move and interact. Kaa from a prior film "Jungle Book," 1967 must have been a nice starting point, in order to allow Sir Hiss to show more emotion and expression through the use of not only his face and head, but his tail.

Double matted original production cel of Sir Hiss.

This is a wonderful cel Sir Hiss, his eyes are open and he has a wicked smile. He is wearing his cape and his hat that contains a light blue feather. The background is a hand painted watercolor background that contains his tail holding up a mirror, so that Prince John can see the reflection of himself wearing the King's crown.