Saturday, January 9, 2016

Original Production Animation Cels of Prince Phillip and Diablo from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959

Original hand painted and hand inked production cels of Prince Phillip and Diablo set on a lithographic background from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959; Size - Prince Phillip: 6 1/2 x 6 1/2", Diablo 2 1/4 x 2", Image 10 1/4 x 22"; Unframed.

Prince Phillip was animated by Milt Kahl and voiced Bill Shirley and Aurora was animated by Marc Davis (who was also lead animator for Maleficent) and voiced by Mary Costa. Both Bill and Mary would be live action models for Prince Phillip and Briar Rose/Princess Aurora for the animators, and their chemistry was magical on screen. In addition, their singing together was one of the many highlights of the film.

Close up of the original production cel of Prince Phillip.

As discussed by Walt Disney animator Andreas Deja, Milt Kahl did not like the job of animating Prince Phillip:
"Some of you might know that Milt absolutely despised working on the prince. During one of our get togethers I asked him, how he could do such a beautiful job on a character he loathes. To my best recollection he said: 'Well, the character needs to be in the picture, I didn't like the assignment, but you do the best you can.'"

The animation of Prince Phillip by Milt Kahl was radically different than prior Princes in other films.  Phillip was an active character; speaking to his horse Sampson and Sampson understanding what he was saying.  Phillip was also seen as a child at the start of the film, had to be animated in more than one outfit, was the first Prince to use weapons against a Villain; and had to speak, interact, and sing with his love interest Princess Aurora/Briar Rose.

Close up of the original production cel of Diablo.

The raven Diablo is, without a doubt, Maleficent's only competent henchman. Diablo, the Spanish word for "devil" or "demon," was not actually named in the film itself. He was animated by Disney master animator Marc Davis and Diablo's voice was provided by Dal McKennon.

Dallas Raymond McKennon (July 19, 1919 – July 14, 2009), sometimes credited as Dal McKennon, was an American actor, with extensive work as a voice actor that lasted over 50 years. He worked on many projects for Walt Disney Studios and his voice can be heard in movies such as "Lady and the Tramp," "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," "Mary Poppins," and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks." He also provided the voices for many Disney Attractions such as the famous Big Thunder Mountain Railroad safety spiel, a pair of laughing hyenas in the Africa Room portion of It's A Small World, Benjamin Franklin's voice in Epcot's The American Adventure and the voice of Zeke in the Country Bear Jamboree.

This is a fantastic two cel setup of Prince Phillip and Maleficent's pet raven Diablo. After the Three Fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather break Prince Phillip out of Maleficent's dungeon, they create and give to him two magical items: the Sword of Truth and the Shield of Virtue. When Diablo realizes that Prince Phillip has escaped, he flies around the castle squawking and alerting Maleficent's Goons. In this fantastic cel setup Prince Phillip is full figure, eyes open, and holding both the Sword of Truth and the Shield of Virtue. Diablo is to the left, his wings outstretched, and he is full figure with his eyes open. A great large pan setup with the overall image being an impressive 10 1/4 x 22 inches long!