Thursday, December 15, 2016

Original Production Animation Cels of Pongo and Freckles The Dalmatian Puppy from "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," 1961

Original hand painted production animation cels of Pongo and Freckles The Dalmatian Puppy from "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," 1961, Walt Disney Studios; Set on a lithographic background; Size - Pongo & Puppy: 6 1/4" x 8", Image: 8 3/4" x 11 1/2", Frame 22 1/2 x 22"; Framed with three acid free mats, copper wood frame, custom engraved brass title plaque, and plexiglass.

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"One Hundred and One Dalmatians" ("101 Dalmatians"), is a 1961 full length animated feature film by Walt Disney Productions. It was adapted from Dodie Smith's 1956 novel of the same name. It stars Rod Taylor as the voice of Pongo and Cate Bauer as the voice of Perdita; with Betty Lou Gerson as the voice of the evil and villainous Cruella de Vil. The animation of all the characters from the film was quite extraordinary.

The film "Sleeping Beauty," 1959 was very expensive to make and it took a huge financial loss at the box-office; as a result, the Disney animation studio was considering closing. During the production of "Sleeping Beauty," Walt Disney told animator Eric Larson: "I don't think we can continue, it's too expensive." Because Disney's entire company was based on animation, he was looking for a way to continue with animation, and at the same time significantly reduce costs.

Close up of the original hand painted production animation cels of Pongo and Freckles.

The animator Ub Iwerks had been experimenting with Xerox photography to aid in animation process. By 1959 he had modified a Xerox camera to transfer the drawings by the animators, directly onto animation cels. The process would preserve the spontaneity of the penciled drawings but eliminate the inking process, thus saving time and money. However, the limitation was that the camera was unable to deviate from a black scratchy outline, and the resulting cels lacked the fine lavish quality of hand inking.

Image of the framed artwork.

One of the enormous benefits of the Xerox was that it was a tremendous help towards animating the spotted dalmatian dogs. According to famed animator Chuck Jones, Disney was able to complete the film for about half of what it would have cost if they had had to animate all the dogs and spots. To achieve the spotted dalmatians, the Disney animators envision the spot pattern as a star constellation. Once they had an "anchor spot," the next spot was placed into the pattern, and so on until the fully spotted dalmatian was achieved. All totaled, the film featured 6,469,952 spots, with Pongo having 72 spots, Perdita 68, and each puppy 32.

Close up of the custom engraved brass title plaque.

Pongo was animated by Ollie Johnston and voiced by Rod Taylor, who was an Australian TV an movie actor who appeared in over 50 films. Freckles is the name of one of Pongo and Perdita's original fifteen dalmatian puppies, and he is often seen climbing and perching on top of his father's head. Freckles has spots wrapped around his nose, a spot between his eyes, and others on his ears. This is a wonderful setup of two original production animation cels; one of Pongo, and one of Freckles the Dalmatian Puppy climbing the back of this Dad. The image is one of the most memorable in the entire film, and a would certainly make a great addition to any animation art collection!