Friday, September 23, 2016

Original Production Animation Cel of Lady, Tramp, Trusty, and Jock from "Lady and the Tramp," 1955

Original hand inked and hand painted production animation cel of Lady, Tramp, Trusty, and Jock set on a lithographic background from "Lady and the Tramp," 1955, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Lady, Tramp, Trusty, and Jock: 13 x 4 3/4", Cel 12 1/2 x 16", Image 10 3/4 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.

"Lady and the Tramp" (released on June 22, 1955) is a full length featured animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Buena Vista Distribution. The film was the 15th in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and it was the first animated feature filmed in with the CinemaScope widescreen film process. The film was based on the story "Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog" by Ward Greene and tells the story of a female American Cocker Spaniel named Lady who lives with a refined, upper-middle-class family. Lady meets a male stray mutt named Tramp and they embark on many exciting and romantic adventures.

One evening in 1937, Disney storyman Joe Grant invited Walt Disney over to his house for dinner and ended up showed Disney a drawing he had made of his pet spinger spaniel, who was named Lady. Walt loved the drawing and suggested that Joe make a storyboard out of it; which he did and the plan was to create a new animated film, simply titled "Lady." The story that was pitched ended up being too simplistic to Walt Disney's taste, and the project was put on hold until about 20 years later.

Lady was wonderfully animated by the great Disney artist Ollie Johnston and she was voiced by Barbara Luddy. Barbara Luddy (1908 — 1979) was an American actress from Great Falls, Montana and she starred in silent pictures in the 1920s. She was also a prolific radio performer; known for her performances on the long running radio show "The First Nighter Program" which aired from 1936 until 1953.

However, Luddy is perhaps best remembered for her voice work in Walt Disney animated films; with her most memorable role being that of Lady from Lady and the Tramp.  She also performed in Sleeping Beauty (voice of Merryweather), One Hundred and One Dalmatians (voice of Rover), Robin Hood (voice of both Mother Church Mouse and the Mother Rabbit), and the Winnie-the-Pooh featurettes (Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too) all of which she provided the voice for Kanga.

Close up of the original production animation cel of Lady, Tramp, Trusty, and Jock.

Initially Tramp was called Homer and although he was first conceived as Lady's suitor, he ended up as her ex-dog pound mate in the initial 1943 storyboard pitch. A few years after that version was scrapped, Walt Disney read a story called "Happy Dan the Cynical Dog" in Cosmopolitan Magazine and decided that this was they type of character that was needed to enhance the film. Although Walt wanted his new character to be called Tramp, the animators feared that audiences would take offense in such a name, due to the word's sexual connotations that had been popularized by the song "The Lady Is A Tramp." The animators first called the character Rags, then Bozo; before Walt insisted that that name Tramp would be acceptable.

Tramp is a very laid-back dog and acts more like a kid. He's flirtatious and has history of having had a multitude of girlfriends; and he's known for his street smarts, able to both avoid dog catchers and deal with junkyard dogs. However, he dreams about living with a family and in a loving home. Tramp was animated by Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, and Wolfgang Reitherman who animated the rat fight scene. Larry Roberts (1926 - 1992), an American voice actor and comedian who was most active in the 1950s, is best remembered for his role as the voice of Tramp.

Original production animation cel of Lady, Tramp, Trusty, and Jock without the background.

Trusty is the oldest dog in the film and he is a bloodhound and neighbor to Lady. He is a retired service dog who is very loyal, but a bit clumsy and forgetful. He was animated by Ollie Johnston and Milt Kahl, and was voiced by Bill Baucom.  Jock (Heather Lad O'Glencairn) is a Scottish terrier who lives near Trusty. He is very loyal and protective of his friends. He was animated by Ollie Johnston and voiced by Bill Thompson (who had provided the voice to Mr. Smee for "Peter Pan").

This is an absolutely beautiful original production animation cel of Lady, Tramp, Trusty, and Jock from "Lady and the Tramp," 1955. It is rare to have more than one character to a cel and this one has all four dogs eyes and mouth open, and all are full figure. This is just a wonderful piece of animation art history.