Original Production Animation Cels of Ariel and Flounder from "The Little Mermaid," 1989
Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel and Flounder on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal lower left; Size - Ariel & Flounder: 5 1/2 x 11 1/4", Image 10 3/4 x 16 1/4"; Unframed.
"Look at this stuff. Isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?" - Ariel
"The Little Mermaid," is an American animated musical fantasy film and the 28th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures to theaters on November 17, 1989. The film was based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, which tells the story of a beautiful mermaid princess who dreams of becoming human. The film was written, directed, and produced by Ron Clements and John Musker; with music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. The voice cast includes: Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Samuel E. Wright, Jason Marin, Kenneth Mars, Buddy Hackett, and René Auberjonois.
There was more money and resources dedicated by the Walt Disney Studios to "The Little Mermaid" than any other Disney animated film in decades. Aside from its main animation facility in Glendale, California; Disney opened a satellite feature animation facility in Lake Buena Vista, Florida that was within the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park at Walt Disney World. Their first projects were to produce an entire Roger Rabbit cartoon short, "Roller Coaster Rabbit," and to contribute ink and paint support to "The Little Mermaid." Another first for Disney films of recent years, was the filming of live actors and actresses for motion reference material for the animators. Broadway actress Jodi Benson (who was predominantly a stage actress when she was cast) was chosen to play Ariel, and Sherri Lynn Stoner, a former member of Los Angeles' Groundlings improvisation comedy group, acted out Ariel's key scenes.
The Little Mermaid's supervising animators included Glen Keane and Mark Henn on Ariel, Duncan Marjoribanks on Sebastian, Andreas Deja on King Triton, and Ruben Aquino on Ursula. Originally, Keane had been asked to work on Ursula, as he had established a reputation for drawing large powerful figures, such as the bear in "The Fox and the Hound," 1981 and Professor Ratigan in "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986. Keane however, was assigned as one of the two lead artists on the petite Ariel and oversaw the "Part of Your World" musical number. He jokingly stated that his wife looks exactly like Ariel "without the fins." The character's body type and personality were based upon that of Alyssa Milano, who was starring on TV's "Who's the Boss?". The effect of Ariel's hair underwater was based on footage of Sally Ride when she was in space; and scenes of Sherri Lynn Stoner in a swimming pool were used in animating Ariel's swimming. A challenge in animating Ariel were the colors required to show her in various changing environments, both under the sea and on land. By the end of the film, the animators required a total of 32-color models; not including costume changes. The sea-green color of her fin was a hue specially mixed by the Disney paint lab, and the color was named "Ariel" after the character.
Flounder, despite his name, is not a flounder but rather a yellow and blue colored tropical fish. He is Ariel's best and most loyal undersea friend. Flounder scares easily, but even when there is danger, he is always there to help Ariel. He was animated by David Pruiksma and voiced by child actor Jason Marin.
This is an absolutely beautiful multi-cel setup of Ariel and her best friend Flounder. The cels are from the scene of Ariel singing the movie's theme song "Part of Your World." The song was composed by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman. "Part of Your World" was an enormous hit with audiences and was praised by critics as being one of the greatest Disney songs ever written. Jodi Benson made it her signature song, and it has been recorded by a large number of other artists including: Faith Hill, Jessica Simpson Miley Cyrus, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessie J, and Sara Bareilles. This is a great cel setup of Ariel holding out her arms and looking at Flounder. Ariel and Founder are both full figure and this is a wonderful piece of animation art from the last Walt Disney film that utilized hand painted cels. A spectacular addition to any animation art collection!
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