Sunday, February 7, 2016

Original Production Animation Drawing of Monstro The Whale from "Pinocchio," 1940

Original production drawing in red and graphite pencils of Monstro The Whale from "Pinocchio," 1940; On watermarked five peg hole paper; Numbered 10 in pencil lower right; Size - Monstro The Whale: 6 1/2 x 12", Sheet: 12 x 14"; Unframed.

“This Monstro, I've heard of him! He's a whale of a whale!”
―Jiminy Cricket

"Pinocchio," 1940 was the second animated feature film produced by Disney, and followed on the success of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." 1937. It was released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 23, 1940 and was based on the Italian children's novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi. The general plot of the film involves an old wood-carver named Geppetto, who carves a wooden puppet that he names Pinocchio. One night the puppet is brought to life by the Blue Fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish". Pinocchio's journey to become a real boy is challenged by his encounters with an array of scrupulous characters.

"Pinocchio" became the first animated feature to win an Academy Award; it won for both Best Music - Original Score and for Best Music - Original Song for "When You Wish Upon A Star." Most critics and audiences agree that "Pinocchio" is among the finest Disney features ever made, and one of the greatest animated films of all time. In 1994, it was added to the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Close up of the original production animation drawing of Monstro.

Monstro was an enormous sperm whale and certainly was one of the greatest villains for Pinocchio. Joe Grant's Character Model Department was responsible for the design of Monstro, and models were constructed both of the whale and the inside of his belly. The animation of Monstro was originally to be assigned to Vladimir Tytla (the great Disney animator responsible for such characters as Doc, Grumpy, Stromboli, and, later, Yen Sid, Chernabog and Dumbo); however Walt Disney worried that Tytla might get carried away with the character, and so the assignment went to Wolfgang Reitherman. Reitherman animated Monstro as a cunning creature with a sharp mind, thus allowing for the pursuit of his prey to be even more frightening. Reitherman also worked out the timing and staging of Monstro's chase sequences, allowing  the whale's great weight and power to come forth on the big screen. Thurl Ravenscroft, an American voice actor and singer (most known as the voice of Tony the Tiger), provided the voice of Monstro.

This is a spectacular and rare drawing of a full figure and eyes open Monstro The Whale. The drawing was used when Pinocchio, walking along the sea bed floor, comes across the sperm whale for the first time as he is resting at the bottom of the ocean.