Friday, April 15, 2016

Original Production Animation Cel of Lady Tremaine (Wicked Stepmother) from "Cinderella," 1950

Original hand inked and hand painted production animation cel of Lady Tremaine (Wicked Stepmother) set on a lithographic background from "Cinderella," 1950; Numbered 16 in ink bottom right; Size - Stepmother: 7 x 5 1/2", Cel 11 1/2 x 12 3/4", Image 8 3/4 x 11 1/4", Frame 21 x 23 1/2"; Framed using a silver and black wood frame, two silk mats, a silver fillet, and UV conservation clear glass.

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"Often, patrons would be horrified or dismayed by the behavior of a villain, but more people actually hated the Stepmother more than any other villain we ever created." - Ollie Johnson and Frank Thomas from "The Disney Villain," 1993

Eleanor Audley (TV and film actress as well as familiar radio and animation voice talent) was filmed while she was dressed and speaking as the Stepmother; and as she performed scenes outlined in the film. Those film reels were used by animator Frank Thomas to convey even more realism to the character. Although the framed images were not directly copied by the animator, they were used as reference for lifelike movements. Eleanor Audley also voiced the Stepmother and her articulation conveyed the fire and raw power of the character. She could be sharp and curt in telling Cinderella what chores to do while lying in bed and slowly stirring her cup of tea, or her voice could be calm are cruel while watching as her daughters viciously destroyed Cinderella's dress.

Original production animation cel of Lady Tremaine (Wicked Stepmother).

Frank Thomas did a phenomenal job of controlling the Stepmother's actions to make sure that they were were not wild and out of control; but rather calculated, cold, and precise. The story of Cinderella presented a situation where a villain lived and interacted with her victim day after day under the same roof. The actions of the Stepmother seemed even more cruel because not only were both she and Cinderella animated in a very realistic fashion, but because of the close proximity the cruelness of the villain could be seen as even more intense by the reactions on Cinderella's face. If all this were not enough, the Stepmother's arsenal of evil was compounded by her two ill mannered daughters Anastasia and Drizella; as well as Lucifer the cat, who delighted in trying to kill Cinderella's mouse friends.

Close up of the Lady Tremaine (Wicked Stepmother) cel.

 Framed Lady Tremaine (Wicked Stepmother) cel.

This is a wonderful original production animation cel of the Wicked Stepmother, The Lady Tremaine. The cel is from the scene at the end of film when the Grand Duke and the Footman arrive at the Tremaine mansion with the glass slipper. First Anastasia tries on the slipper, but her foot is too large, and then Drizella attempts to put the slipper on and the dialog is below:

Drizella: "Oh, of all the stupid little idiots! I'll do it myself! I'll make it fit! There!"
Lady Tremaine: "It fits!"
Grand Duke: "It fits?"

This cel of Lady Tremaine occurs as she exclaims, "It fits!" Only to find out moments later that the glass slipper actually fits Cinderella.