Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Original Production Animation Cels of The Mad Hatter and a Jam Pot from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951

Original hand inked and hand painted production cels of The Mad Hatter and a Jam Pot set on a lithographic background from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951; Production numbers lower right side of the Jam Pot cel; Size - The Mad Hatter: 6" x 4", Jam Pot: 1 1/2" x 1"; Image 11" x 10 1/2"; Unframed.

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"Come come my dear, don't you care for tea?" - The Mad Hatter

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.

The entire 9" x 10 1/2" original production animation cel of The Mad Hatter.

The Mad Hatter was voiced by Ed Wynn and he is one of the most memorable voices in "Alice" and a real stand out for the film. Wynn had a long history in Vaudeville and had developed his giggly, wavering voice in 1921 for the musical review, "The Perfect Fool." He had several roles at Walt Disney Studios, including his most famous acting role there as Uncle Albert in the film "Mary Poppins," in 1964.

The entire 12 1/4" x 15 1/4" original production animation cel of the Jam Jar.

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."

These cels of The Mad Hatter and the Jam Jar are 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 Mad Hatter is from the segment when he pours a cup of tea into a tea pot and then drinks the tea from the tea pot, while saying the following:

Mad Hatter: "Come come my dear, don't you care for tea?"
Alice: "Why, yes. I'm very fond of tea."
March Hare: "If you don't care for tea, you could at least make polite conversation!"

The cel of the Jam Jar is from the scene when Alice mentions her cat Dinah, and then suddenly the Dormouse breaks out in a mad crazed frenzy. The Mad Hatter and the March Hare begin to chase him around the tea table and yell to Alice to get the jam. This is the Jam Jar that Alice reaches for, that was sitting on the table. Then Alice, The Mad Hatter, and The March Hare help to apply jam to the nose of the Dormouse to calm him down, and he soon sinks back into a teapot.

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