Thursday, July 28, 2016

Original Production Animation Cels of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather From "Sleeping Beauty," 1959

Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cels of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather set on a lithographic background from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Flora: 7" x 4 1/2", Fauna: 6 x 4", Merryweather: 4 x 4"; Image 8 x 13 1/4", Frame 21 1/4 x 26 1/2"; Framed with a gold wood frame, three linen mats, two gold fillets, and plexiglass.

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Flora: "Make it pink!"
Merryweather: "Make it blue!"
Fauna: "Oh, I just love happy endings."

"Sleeping Beauty," 1959 is an animated musical film produced by Walt Disney based on two stories: "The Sleeping Beauty" by Charles Perrault and "Little Briar Rose" by The Brothers Grimm. The film was released to theaters on January 29, 1959, by Buena Vista Distribution. This was the last Disney adaptation of a fairy tale for 30 years because of its initial mixed critical reception and because of under performance at the box office. The next Disney adaption of a fairy tale would not occur until 1989 with "The Little Mermaid."

"Sleeping Beauty" was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman; under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi. Additional story work was by Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, and Milt Banta. The film's musical score and songs, featuring the work of the Graunke Symphony Orchestra under the direction of George Bruns, are arrangements or adaptations of numbers from the 1890 "Sleeping Beauty Ballet" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. "Sleeping Beauty" was the first animated film to be photographed in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process, as well as the second full-length animated feature film to be filmed in anamorphic widescreen (following "Lady and the Tramp" four years earlier). The film was presented in Super Technirama 70 and 6-channel stereophonic sound in first-run engagements.

Flora, Fauna and Merryweather are Princess Aurora's Fairy Godmothers, who appear at baby Aurora's christening to present their gifts to her, as well as go on to become her guardians. The Fairies were voiced by Verna Felton (Flora), Barbara Jo Allen (Fauna), and Barbara Luddy (Merryweather). Verna Felton also voiced Queen Leah, Aurora's mother; and had prior roles as Dumbo's mother in "Dumbo," the Fairy Godmother in "Cinderella," the Queen of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland," and Aunt Sarah in "Lady in the Tramp." Barbara Luddy had previously voiced Lady in "Lady and the Tramp." The principle animator for the Three Fairies was Ollie Johnston and a little known fact is that one of the actresses who was one of the live action models for the Good Fairies was Frances Bavier, the future Aunt Bee on "The Andy Griffith Show."

Close up of the original production animation cel of Fauna.

Fauna is the middle Fairy and is dressed in a green gown, a green hat, and a green cape clipped with a green triangle. Her gift to Aurora is the gift of song.

Close up of the original production animation cel of Flora.

Flora is the tallest and oldest Fairy, dressed in a red gown (although she is obsessed with the color pink), a red hat, and a red cape clipped with a yellow square. She is the strongest-willed leader of the group, and her gift to Aurora is the gift of beauty. She also created for Prince Phillip the powerful Sword of Truth and the invulnerable Shield of Virtue, for his escape and battle with Maleficent.

Close up of the original production animation cel of Merryweather.

Merryweather is the shortest and youngest Fairy, dressed in a blue gown, a blue hat, and a blue cape clipped with a blue circle. She is the Fairy who is the most verbal and aggressive towards Maleficent, and she is much bolder than the other two Fairies. As Merryweather is about to give her gift, Maleficent makes her appearance and curses Aurora to die when she touches a spinning wheel's spindle before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. Merryweather's gift to Aurora is to weaken Maleficent's curse so that instead of death, Aurora will fall into a deep sleep until she is awakened by true love's kiss.

Framed Three Good Fairies original production cels.

This is a wonderful set of original hand painted and hand inked production animation cels of all three Good Fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from the Walt Disney masterpiece "Sleeping Beauty," 1959. All three Fairies are full figure, eyes open, and are large hand painted images; and would make a great addition to any animation collection!