Saturday, November 19, 2016

Original Production Animation Cel of Edgar from "The Aristocats," 1970

Original hand painted production animation cel of Edgar from "The Aristocats," 1970, Walt Disney Studios; Set on a lithographic background; Numbered 67 in ink lower right; Size - Edgar: 7 1/2" x 5", Cel: 12 1/2 x 15 3/4", Image: 10 x 13 1/4"; Unframed.

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"The Aristocats," 1970 is an animated feature film produced and released by Walt Disney Productions.  This was the last film project to be approved by Walt Disney himself, as he died in late 1966, before the film was finally released to theaters by Buena Vista Distribution on December 11, 1970. "The Aristocats" featured the voice talent of Eva Gabor, Hermione Baddeley, Phil Harris, Dean Clark, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers, and Roddy Maude-Roxby.

Close up of the original production animation cel of Edgar.

The film is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, and centers around a family of aristocratic cats. After the mistress's butler kidnaps them (to gain his mistress' fortune which was intended to go to the cats) an unlikely alley cat acquaintance helps them escape and be returned to their home. 

Original production animation cel of Edgar without the background.

It is Paris 1910 and Madame Bonfamille tells her lawyer Georges Hautecourt that she has decided to leave all of her stocks, bonds, mansion, treasures, jewels, and her entire fortune to her beloved cats rather than to her butler, Edgar Balthazar.  When Edgar overhears this he fears the cats will outlive him, and that he will never see a penny of the inheritance.  He then realizes that he has to get rid of the cats; "I'll be gone, no oh no... they'll be gone," he says.  Edgar decides to put sleeping tablets into the cats milk and when they fall asleep, he takes them in a covered basket on his motorcycle far away from the city of Paris. 

Close up of the production number.

The character of Edgar was voiced by Roddy Maude-Roxby, an accomplished English actor.  He was just wonderful in the role with the delightful snooty English butler voice, that could also morph into a scheming cunning timber perfect for a Disney Villain.
This cel appears in the scene when Edgar enters the music room bearing a tray of bowls of milk, laced with "Dr. Restwell's Sleeping Tablets." He says, "Ah, good evening, my little ones. Your favorite dish prepared a very special way. It's crème de la crème à la Edgar. Sleep well. I-I mean, eat-- eat well, of course." An absolutely wonderful full figure image of Edgar from one his most wicked scenes, holding the laced tray of milk. A great addition to any animation art collection!