Original Production Animation Drawing of The Queen of Hearts from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951
Original production animation drawing of the Queen of Hearts in graphite pencil from "Alice In Wonderland," 1951, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 31 lower right; Size - Queen of Hearts: 6 1/4 x 7 1/2", Sheet 10 x 12"; Unframed.
"Off with their heads!" - Queen of Hearts
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (commonly shortened to "Alice in Wonderland"), is a 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who wrote under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. Disney reworked the story to fit with both a younger audience and a time frame suitable for an animated film (it's run time is only 75 minutes).
Kathryn Beaumont, who was born in London England, was just 10 years old when she was chosen for the voice of Alice. Walt Disney personally cast Beaumont after seeing her in the film "On an Island with You," in which the child actress had a small role. Disney was so impressed by her that she was also chosen to be the model for Alice, and would also go on to provide the voice for Wendy in "Peter Pan," 1953. Beaumont has also reprised her voice acting role as Alice in two episodes of the animated series, Disney's "House of Mouse," and as both Alice and Wendy in the video game "Kingdom Hearts." She did not retire as the voice of Alice and Wendy until 2005, when her role for these two characters was taken over by Hynden Walch.
Initial design for the character of Alice was accomplished by Mary Blair during the storyboard phase and also by Les Clark. Alice was animated by Ollie Johnston, Don Lusk, and Marc Davis who animated her for the tea party scene.
The Queen of Hearts was beautifully animated by Frank Thomas and voiced by Verna Felton; and most people, when you mention the Queen of Hearts from "Alice," remember hearing Verna's classic line "Off with their heads!" Ms. Felton not only voiced the Queen from "Alice" but the Fairy Godmother from "Cinderella," Flora and Queen Leah from "Sleeping Beauty," Aunt Sarah from "Lady and Tramp," and several other Disney characters. What is interesting is that all the other characters that Felton voiced are sweet and kind, with the typical grandmother type of voice; but not the Queen of Hearts. The Queen was loud and you never knew exactly when she would lose her temper.
Eric Larson, one of Walt Disney's master animators known as his Nine Old Men, supervised the scene in which this drawing was used. This is a very lively and expressive animation graphite drawing of the Queen of Hearts and it is from the scene after her "Who's been painting my roses red?" tirade. The Queen glares down at three heart playing cards and Alice. The deuce, trey and ace shift the blame from one to another, quickly exhausting the Queen's patience. "That's enough!", she declares. This eyes and mouth open drawing is from the very next scene in which the Queen delivers her signature line for the first time: "Off with their heads!" This is an absolutely beautiful piece of vintage Walt Disney animation art and a great addition to any animation collection!
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