Thursday, May 12, 2016

Original Production Animation Cel of The Walrus and Oysters from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951

Original hand inked and hand painted production animation cel of The Walrus and Oysters set on a lithographic background from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951, Walt Disney Studios; Size - The Walrus and Oysters: 8 x 10 3/4", Image 10 x 12 1/2"; Unframed.

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"Now, if you're ready, Oysters, dear. We can begin the feed." - The Walrus

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (commonly shortened to "Alice in Wonderland"), is 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 only 75 minutes).

One of the most memorable segments of "Alice In Wonderland" were the two characters The Walrus and The Carpenter. Both of them were voiced by J. Pat O'Malley and they were animated by John Lounsbery, Ward Kimball, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Charles A. Nichols. They were originally created by Lewis Carroll for his book "Through the Looking Glass."

J. Pat O'Malley had a long history with voice work for Disney: he was the Cockney guy in the "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" sequence in "Mary Poppins," 1964, Cyril Proudbottom, Winkie, and a policeman in "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad," 1949, and Colonel Hathi and Buzzie in "The Jungle Book," 1967. O'Malley performs all the character voices in the "The Walrus and the Carpenter" segment (besides Alice), including Tweedledum and Tweedledee, The Walrus, The Carpenter, and Mother Oyster.

Original production animation cel of The Walrus and Oysters without the background.

The Walrus and The Carpenter are two hobos whose story was told to Alice by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The Walrus acts as the leader of the duo and in many ways he is like Honest John from "Pinocchio." They are both conniving moochers who will resort to trickery to get what they want. Finding a job and working is the last thing on The Walrus's mind, regardless of his constant ramblings of "cabbages and kings" (his way of saying that his future will soon be bright). He is also very greedy and tricks The Carpenter into leave the room so that he can eat all of the naive oysters (whom he had convinced to follow him ashore and into a restaurant that The Carpenter built out of left over remnants from a boat).

This is a wonderful cel of The Walrus and Oysters and it is from the scene that occurs just as The Carpenter, ready to start eating dinner, sits down at the table across from The Walrus. The Walrus asked The Carpenter for a loaf of bread (in order to get rid of The Carpenter) so that he would be all alone to devour the oysters by himself! The dialog for the scene is below:

Walrus: "Well, yes, yes, splendid idea, ha ha! Very good, indeed. Now, if you're ready, Oysters, dear. We can begin the feed."
Oysters: "Feed?!"
Walrus: "Oh, yes, the time has come, my little friends. To talk of food and things."

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