Original Production Animation Cels of Donald Duck, José Carioca, and Aracuan Bird from "Melody Time"
Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cels of Donald Duck, José Carioca, and Aracuan Bird from the "Blame It On the Samba" segment of "Melody Time," 1948, Walt Disney Studios; Set on an airbrushed Courvoisier background; Size - Donald Duck, José Carioca, & Aracuan Bird: 5 x 10 1/4", Image 9 x 12"; Unframed.
"And if guitars are strumming
Birds are humming
Drums are drumming
Then you can blame it on the rhythm of the samba"
- Blame It On the Samba
"Melody Time," 1948 is a live-action animated film and was the tenth feature film released and produced by Walt Disney. The film was released by RKO Radio Pictures on May 27, 1948. According to Walt Disney the film follows: "In the grand tradition of Disney's greatest musical classics, such as Fantasia, Melody Time features seven classic stories, each enhanced with high-spirited music and unforgettable characters... feast for the eyes and ears, wit and charm... a delightful Disney classic with something for everyone."
The seven classic stories include:
"Once Upon A Wintertime" which features Frances Langford singing the title song about two romantic young lovers (Jenny and Joe) during the month of December.
"Bumble Boogie" is a surrealistic battle for a solitary bumble bee as he tries to ward off a visual and musical frenzy by Freddy Martin and His Orchestra as they play a swing-jazz variation of Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee.
"The Legend of Johnny Appleseed" tells the story of John Chapman, who lived during pioneer days in the Mid-West and earned his famous nickname because he planted so many apple trees. Dennis Day narrates the story and provides the voice for both Johnny and his angel.
"Little Toot" is based on the story by Hardie Gramatky about a small tugboat (Little Toot) who wanted to be just like his father, Big Toot; but who just could not stay out of trouble. The singing group the Andrew Sisters provide the vocals.
"Trees" is a segment featuring the recitation of the 1913 poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer with music by Oscar Rasbach, and performed by Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians. To preserve the look of the original story sketches, Walt Diseny animation layout artist Ken O'Connor used frosted cels and rendered pastel images directly onto the celluloid. The cel was then laminated with clear lacquer to protect the pastel during the filming process, and the result was unique to animation of the time.
"Blame It on the Samba" brings back to the screen Walt Disney cartoon stars Donald Duck and José Carioca as they meet the Aracuan Bird, who introduces them to the samba. The music is the 1914 polka Apanhei-te, Cavaquinhoby Ernesto Nazareth that was altered to English lyrics. The Dinning Sister provided the vocals and Ethel Smith appears in the live-action role.
"Pecos Bill" was the final and longest (22 minutes) segment of the film and focuses on the Texas hero Pecos Bill, who was raised by coyotes and would later become the biggest and best cowboy that ever lived. The story also stars his horse Widowmaker and tells the story of his ill-fated and instant romance with a beautiful woman named Slue Foot Sue. The segment features Western stars of the day Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan, Trigger, and Sons of the Pioneers explaining to two kids Bobby Driscoll and Luana Patten why coyotes howl at night; and in the process end up telling the story of Pecos Bill.
Donald Duck was voiced by Clarence Nash, who provided the voice to the famous duck from 1934 to 1985. José Carioca was voiced by José do Patrocinio Oliveira, known by the pseudonym Ze Carioca. He was a Brazilian composer and musician. Interestingly the character he voiced has the same first name as him, while the character's last name is the same as his pseudonym. The Aracuan Bird was voiced by Pinto Colvig who was the original voice of Goofy. Colvig was an established Disney voice actor who had also provided the voice for Pluto, Grumpy and Sleepy in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," and many other Disney characters. For the Aracuan Bird, Colvig used a high-pitched voice that was sped-up.
The Aracuan Bird which Donald Duck described as "one of the most eccentric birds ever seen" is a great Disney character. He first appeared in "The Three Caballeros" and then again in "Melody Time," Clown of the Jungle," Mickey Mouse Works," "House of Mouse," and "Legend of the Three Caballeros." Production artwork of the Aracuan Bird in the open market is extremely rare, with only about three cels and no drawings ever appearing.
This is a very rare and wonderful Courvoisier cel setup of Donald Duck, José Carioca, and Aracuan Bird from the "Blame It On the Samba" segment of "Melody Time," 1948. All three characters and eyes open and full figure. Donald is wearing his famous blue sailors outfit and José, the Brazilian Parrot, is sporting his umbrella and smoking a cigar. The Aracuan Bird is holding a guitar and watching the other pair of birds dance and enjoy the Samba music! A very action packed image and an absolutely phenomenal piece of original animation artwork perfect for any collection!
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