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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Original Production Animation Cel of Prince Charming From "Cinderella," 1950


Original hand inked and hand painted production cel of Prince Charming set on a lithographic background from "Cinderella," 1950; Size - Prince Charming: 6 1/4 x 3 1/4", Image 7 1/2 x 7"; Unframed.

The 1950 Walt Disney feature film "Cinderella" was based on the French version of the tale by Charles Perrault, entitled "Cinderella" and written in 1698. The film was the second in the series of great Princess films developed by Disney, the first being Snow White in 1937. The character of Cinderella is usually front and center in the pantheon of Disney Princess merchandise, perhaps because she is the only Princess not to be of a noble blood line who ended up marrying a Prince and becoming royalty.

According to Christopher Finch, from his book "The Art of Walt Disney":
"Disney insisted that all scenes involving human characters should be shot first in live-action to determine that they would work before the expensive business of animation was permitted to start. The animators did not like this way of working, feeling it detracted from their ability to create character. The animators understood the necessity for this approach and in retrospect acknowledged that Disney had handled things with considerable subtlety."

Prince Charming was animated by Eric Larson, who according to Andreas Deja "Confessed to some of us newcomers that he felt kind of embarrassed about the stiffness in his performance." The Prince was voiced by William Phipps, and after Phipps's initial audition; the studio was so impressed with his performance that Walt Disney himself offered him the role. William Phipps is perhaps best known for his roles in dozens of classic sci-fi and westerns, both in films and on television. It is a little known fact that Mike Douglas (yes of "The Mike Douglas Show") provided the singing voice for Prince Charming for the song "So This Is Love,"as the Prince and Cinderella danced together at the Grand Ball.


Original production animation cel of Prince Charming without the background.

A bit of trivia, not only is the name of the Prince never revealed, he is never actually referred to as "Prince Charming" in "Cinderella." His name was mentioned only in merchandise and, more recently in the various films and TV appearances of the character. Prince Charming was the first Disney Prince to participate in a duet with his respective love interest, the first Prince to be featured in a wedding celebration, and the first to  dance with his heroine just after they met.

This is an extremely rare original production animation cel of Prince Charming from "Cinderella." He is eyes open, wearing his classic yellow green coat with gold epaulets and his gold striped red pants. Production artwork is rare for "Cinderella" and, because Prince Charming was only in the film for a relatively short time, original animations cels and drawings are very difficult to acquire.