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Original Production Animation Cels of Bambi & Thumper with Courvoisier background from "Bambi," 1942

Original Production Animation Cels of Bambi & Thumper with Courvoisier background from "Bambi," 1942
Original Production Animation Cels of Bambi & Thumper with Courvoisier background from "Bambi," 1942

Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cels of Bambi and Thumper over a Courvoisier air brush wood veneer background from "Bambi," 1942, Walt Disney Studios; With Walt Disney signature and inscription in green pencil "TO MAJOR HENRY G REED WITH BEST WISHES WALT DISNEY"; WDP stamp upper center; Size - Bambi: 4 1/2 x 4 1/4", Thumper: 1 3/4 x 2"; Image 6 1/2 x 7"; Unframed.

"Whatch gonna call 'im?" - Thumper

"Well, I think I'll call him Bambi." - Bambi's Mother

"Bambi... Yep, I guess that'll do all right." - Thumper

"Bambi," 1942 is a full length animated film by Walt Disney Studios and based on the book "Bambi, A Life in the Woods" by Austrian author Felix Salten. The film was released by RKO Radio Pictures on August 13, 1942. "Bambi" received three Academy Award nominations: Best Sound (Sam Slyfield), Best Song (for "Love Is a Song" sung by Donald Novis), and Best Original Music Score. In June 2008, the American Film Institute presented a list of its "10 Top 10" (the best ten films in each of ten classic American film genres) and "Bambi" placed third in the animation category. In December 2011, "Bambi" was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

The story centers on Bambi, a white-tailed deer, his parents (the Great Prince of the forest and his unnamed mother), his animal friends Thumper (a pink-nosed rabbit), Flower (a skunk), and his childhood friend and future mate, a doe named Faline. Walt Disney wanted all of the animals to be more realistic and expressive than those in "Snow White". He had Rico LeBrun, a wildlife animal painter, come into the Disney Studios to lecture to the animators on the structure and movement of animals. The animators went on excursions to the Los Angeles Zoo and Walt Disney set up a small zoo at the Disney Animation Studio with animals such as rabbits, ducks, owls, skunks, and a pair of fawns aptly named Bambi and Faline; so that the artists could see first-hand animal movement. Animator Marc Davis created the final design of Bambi by incorporating LeBurn's realistic study of deer anatomy but exaggerating the character's face by making his proportions baby-like; including a short snout and big expressive eyes.

"Bambi" was Walt Disney's favorite film he ever made, and it is not too surprising given his love of nature films. The special effects, particularly the water, and the lush hand painted backgrounds create a wonderful environment that allows the viewer to be totally immersed into the film. Combined with a great story of friendship and complete success in the creation of characters; the film is able to provide amazing feelings of both happiness and sadness, as the viewer watches Bambi grows up from fawn to deer.

Although the character of Bambi was designed by Marc Davis; animation was accomplished by Frank Thomas, Milt Kahl, Eric Larson, Ollie Johnson, and Preston Blair. The voice of Bambi was provided by four different actors, corresponding to the different ages of Bambi as he grew older: Bobby Stewart (baby), Donnie Dunagan (young), Hardie Albright (adolescent), and John Sutherland (young adult). Donnie Dunagan was also the performance model for the character, with the animators integrating his facial expressions onto the face of Bambi.

Thumper (whose name is derived from his common habit of thumping his hind left foot), is Bambi's first and closest friend. He is a young, comical rabbit; and a well-known inhabitant of the forest who takes Bambi "under his wings" and teaches him the ways of the forest. Thumper was voiced by 4-year-old Peter Behn. With Behn's voice added to the film; suddenly the vivacious bunny character was expanded from him having only minor role, to playing a much more significant lead. In addition, the film underwent a major plot change with the theme of friendship front and center. The character of Thumper was initially designed by animator Marc Davis and was brought to life by several animators including: Frank Thomas, Milt Kahl, Eric Larson, and Ollie Johnston. Thumper was not only voiced by Peter Behn (young Thumper), but by Tim Davis (young adult Thumper) and Sam Edwards (adult Thumper).

This is a wonderful pair of original production animation cels of Bambi and Thumper. Both are great full figure and eyes open images set on a Courvoisier air brush wood veneer background. In addition, there is a Walt Disney signature and inscription in green pencil "TO MAJOR HENRY G REED WITH BEST WISHES WALT DISNEY" and complete with the WDP (Walt Disney Productions) stamp. This Walt Disney signature has been confirmed by Disney expert Phil Sears. Walt Disney always had on his desk an assortment of colored pencils in a holder. When he would sign a piece of artwork, he would pick a colored pencil that would compliment the work he was about to sign; in this case he chose green for the Courvoisier background. A beautiful and rare piece of vintage Walt Disney original production animation, that is perfect for any art collection!


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