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Original Production Animation Cels of Lady and Tramp from "Lady and the Tramp," 1955

Original Production Animation Cels of Lady and Tramp from "Lady and the Tramp," 1955
Original Production Animation Cels of Lady and Tramp from "Lady and the Tramp," 1955

Original hand inked and hand painted production cels of Lady and Tramp set on a custom hand-painted background from "Lady and the Tramp," 1955, Walt Disney Studios; With a custom painted overlay cel of the tablecloth, spaghetti, candle, and breadsticks; Size - Lady and Tramp: 5 1/4 x 7", Image 10 3/4 x 15"; Unframed.

"Oh, this is the night, it's a beautiful night, and we call it bella notte" - Tony

"Lady and the Tramp" (released on June 22, 1955) is a full length featured animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Buena Vista Distribution. The film was the 15th in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and it was the first animated feature filmed in with the CinemaScope widescreen film process. The film was based on the story "Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog" by Ward Greene and tells the story of a female American Cocker Spaniel named Lady who lives with a refined, upper-middle-class family. Lady meets a male stray mutt named Tramp and they embark on many exciting and romantic adventures.

One evening in 1937, Disney storyman Joe Grant invited Walt Disney over to his house for dinner and ended up showed Disney a drawing he had made of his pet springer spaniel, who was named Lady. Walt loved the drawing and suggested that Joe make a storyboard out of it; which he did and the plan was to create a new animated film, simply titled "Lady." The story that was pitched ended up being too simplistic to Walt Disney's taste, and the project was put on hold until about 20 years later.

Lady was wonderfully animated by the great Disney artist Ollie Johnston and she was voiced by Barbara Luddy. Barbara Luddy (1908 — 1979) was an American actress from Great Falls, Montana and she starred in silent pictures in the 1920s. She was also a prolific radio performer; known for her performances on the long running radio show "The First Nighter Program" which aired from 1936 until 1953.

However, Luddy is perhaps best remembered for her voice work in Walt Disney animated films; with her most memorable role being that of Lady from Lady and the Tramp. She also performed in Sleeping Beauty (voice of Merryweather), One Hundred and One Dalmatians (voice of Rover), Robin Hood (voice of both Mother Church Mouse and the Mother Rabbit), and the Winnie-the-Pooh featurettes (Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too) all of which she provided the voice for Kanga.

Initially Tramp was called Homer and although he was first conceived as Lady's suitor, he ended up as her ex-dog pound mate in the initial 1943 storyboard pitch. A few years after that version was scrapped, Walt Disney read a story called "Happy Dan the Cynical Dog" in Cosmopolitan Magazine and decided that this was they type of character that was needed to enhance the film. Although Walt wanted his new character to be called Tramp, the animators feared that audiences would take offense in such a name, due to the word's sexual connotations that had been popularized by the song "The Lady Is A Tramp." The animators first called the character Rags, then Bozo; before Walt insisted that that name Tramp would be acceptable.

Tramp is a very laid-back dog and acts more like a kid. He's flirtatious and has history of having had a multitude of girlfriends; and he's known for his street smarts, able to both avoid dog catchers and deal with junkyard dogs. However, he dreams about living with a family and in a loving home. Tramp was animated by Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, and Wolfgang Reitherman who animated the rat fight scene. Larry Roberts (1926 - 1992), an American voice actor and comedian who was most active in the 1950s, is best remembered for his role as the voice of Tramp.

Although the spaghetti eating sequence is the best known in the entire film, Walt Disney was prepared to cut it; because he thought it would look both silly and not be romantic. However, animator Frank Thomas was against Walt's decision and took it upon himself to animate the entire scene, without the use of lay-outs. Walt was so impressed by Thomas's work, that he kept the scene in the film.

The spaghetti scene is usually referred to as the "Bella Notte" scene because of the romantic love song "Bella Notte" that is first sung by a chorus in the opening credits; and then by Tony and Joe while Lady and Tramp eat spaghetti together while on a romantic, moonlit date. The song was written by Peggy Lee and Sony Burke, and has become an iconic love song. The animated spaghetti sequence is one of the most unforgettable Disney moments ever created.

This is a large and wonderful original production animation cel setup of Lady and Tramp from the famous "Bella Notte" scene. Lady and Tramp are sitting at Tony's specially set table, with the plate of Joe prepared spaghetti in front of them. Both dogs are eyes open; with Tramp having spaghetti hanging from his mouth and Lady with a beautiful smile. This is just a stunning piece of animation history and certainly would be the highlight for any animation art collection!


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