Original production animation drawing of Basil in blue and graphite pencils from "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 71 in pencil lower right; Size - Basil: 4 1/2 x 3"; Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.
"Not a corner of London is safe while Ratigan is at large. There's no evil scheme he wouldn't concoct, no depravity he wouldn't commit! Who knows what dastardly scheme that that villain may be plotting even as we speak?" - Basil of Baker Street
Eve Titus wrote a series of stories about Basil of Baker Street; a mouse that lived next door to Sherlock Holmes and who shared many of his skills and traits. Walt Disney Studios adapted the Titus stories into a wonderful feature film that was still able to maintain the Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes characters, even though they were transformed into a mouse world. The resulting film "The Great Mouse Detective" was directed by Ron Clements, music by Henry Mancini, and was released on July 2, 1986. Although the script took about four years to develop, the animation only took a year with an estimated total budget of $14 million.
Basil was animated by Mark Henn and voiced by British actor Barrie Stanton Ingham, who also provided the voice of the Ratigan henchman Bartholomew. Basil is named after Basil Rathbone, the actor who portrayed Sherlock Holmes numerous times on screen.
"The Great Mouse Detective" begins in London in June of 1897; when a young mouse, Olivia Flaversham, is with her toy maker father celebrating her birthday. Suddenly, a peg leg bat breaks into the toy shop and kidnaps Mr. Flaversham and Olivia sets out to find the famous Great Mouse Detective, Basil of Baker Street. Unfortunately she loses her way, but meets a retired army surgeon mouse, David Q. Dawson who has just returned from Afghanistan. Both of them make their way to Basil's residence, only to find him busy at work. Basil initially ignores them until Olivia mentions the peg leg bat. Basil realizes that the bat is Fidget, a henchman to Professor Ratigan, the criminal mastermind that Basil is looking to apprehend. It is revealed that Ratigan had Mr. Flaversham kidnapped in order for him to create a robot replica of the Queen Mousetoria, so that Ratigan can be named "Supreme Ruler of all of Mousedom."
Fidget suddenly appears in Basil's window but quickly vanishes. Basil, Dawson and Olivia take Toby, Sherlock Holmes' pet Basset Hound, in order to trail Fidget's scent. They track Fidget to a human-sized toy shop. There Dawson finds Fidget's checklist and Basil discovers Fidget has been stealing clockwork mechanisms along with toy soldiers' uniforms.
This is a wonderful original production animation drawing of Basil of Baker Street. The drawing is used for the scene when Basil is searching the toy shop and is suddenly caught in a windup automaton music box featuring a group of figures playing various musical instruments. Basil is caught between a pair of cymbals and he begins to vibrate from the impact. This is an excellent example of animation at it's best! Basil is full figure, eyes open, his tongue is sticking out of his mouth, and with multiple images drawn to represent the vibration. This would make a great addition to any Walt Disney animation art collection!
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