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Monday, February 27, 2017

Original Production Animation Cel of Madame Medusa from "The Rescuers," 1977


Original hand-painted production animation cel of Madame Medusa from "The Rescuers," 1977, Walt Disney Studios; Set on a lithographic background; Numbered 21 in ink and with the Walt Disney seal lower right; Size - Madame Medusa: 9 x 5 1/4", Image 10 x 15 3/4"; Unframed.

To purchase this cel or to visit the Art Gallery, CLICK HERE!

"The Rescuers" is an animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Productions; and was released on June 22, 1977 by Buena Vista Distribution. The film is based on a series of books by Margery Sharp, most notably "The Rescuers and Miss Bianca." The 23rd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is about the Rescue Aid Society; an international mouse organization headquartered in New York; and shadowed the United Nations. The Rescue Aid Society, a mouse based group, was dedicated to helping abduction victims around the world at large. Two of these mice, jittery janitor Bernard (voiced by Bob Newhart) and his co-agent, the elegant Miss Bianca (voiced by Eva Gabor), set out to rescue Penny, an orphan girl being held prisoner in the Devil's Bayou by treasure huntress Madame Medusa.


Original production animation cel of Madame Medusa without the background.

 Early designs for Medusa were done by Ken Anderson, there were even discussions about bringing back Cruella deVil from "101 Dalmatians" as the villain; but that was eventually abandoned. The character of Medusa was eventually created and although there are many similarities with Cruella (thin build, similar cars, appear wealthy, bad tempers, cry upon realizing that they have lost, etc.), Medusa is still quite distinct with her wild red hair, sagging breasts, green eyes, and lots and lots of makeup. Her ultimate goal in the film is to possess the Devil's Eye, the world's largest diamond. Milt Kahl was given the task of animating Medusa and it is known that one his inspirations was his ex-wife. Kahl's brilliance in animation is really showcased with this character and many point to the scene where she is removing her false eyelashes as proof of his technical skill.


Close up of the original production animation cel of Madame Medusa.


Close up of the Walt Disney seal and the production number.

When Madame Medusa is first introduced in the film "The Rescuers," she is barging into her back room of her pawn shop to answer a ringing telephone. "Madam Medusa's Pawn Shop Bou-tique," she says.  Geraldine Page, the Oscar winning actress, provided the voice to this wonderful villain and the way that she increases her voice tone with the words pawn shop boutique is just so fantastic and extremely memorable. This is a great eyes and mouth open image of Medusa; with her phone receiver pressed to her ear and her arm extended in an exaggerated post. A great addition to any animation art collection!