Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Original Production Animation Cel of The March Hare from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951

Original hand inked and hand painted production cel of The March Hare set on a lithographic background from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951; Size - March Hare 5 1/4" x 3 3/4", Cel 9 1/2" x 12"; Image 8 1/2" x 10 3/4"; Unframed.

“If you don't think, you shouldn't talk!” - March Hare

The Mad Hatter and the March Hare are two of the most famous characters in the Walt Disney classic film "Alice In Wonderland," from 1951. The story is taken from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (commonly shortened to "Alice in Wonderland"), a 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who wrote under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. Disney reworked the story to fit with both a younger audience and a time frame suitable for an animated film (it's run time is 75 minutes). Kathryn Beaumont was just 10 years old when she was chosen for the voice of Alice and Walt Disney was so impressed by her that she was also chosen to be a model for Alice. The interesting thing about the story and the film is that practically every character that Alice meets functions as an antagonist towards her.

Original production animation cel of The March Hare without the background.

The animator Ward Kimball was a tour de force for the film "Alice In Wonderland," and he animated the following: Alice (one scene), the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Walrus and the Carpenter, the Oysters, and the Dormouse. Kimball, was a superb draftsman, and he preferred to animate comical characters rather than realistic human figures. Because of this, "Alice In Wonderland" was the perfect film for him as it was filled with wonderful creatures all acting odd and comical. Animating came easily to him and he was constantly looking to do things in a different way; which lead Walt Disney to call Kimball a genius in the book "The Story of Walt Disney."

Close up of the original production animation cel of The March Hare.

The March Hare's appearance and mannerisms were modeled after his original voice actor, Jerry Colonna. Gerardo Luigi "Jerry" Colonna was an American comedian, singer, songwriter, and trombonist; who is best remembered as the zaniest of Bob Hope's sidekicks in his popular radio shows and films of the 1940s and 1950s. This wonderful original cel is from the Mad Tea Party scene which is one of the most famous scenes in the film, if not all of the Disney films!  The cel is from the sequence where The March Hare uses a spoon as a baton, and begins to conduct a band of tea pots in the singing of "The Unbirthday Song." A great pose with both his eyes and mouth open, and you can even see his fluffy white tail!

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