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Original Production Animation Drawing of Ursula from "The Little Mermaid," 1989

Original Production Animation Drawing of Ursula from "The Little Mermaid," 1989
Original Production Animation Drawing of Ursula from "The Little Mermaid," 1989

Original production animation drawing of Ursula in blue, red, and graphite pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 241 lower right; Animation ladder lower right; Size - Ursula: 8 1/2 x 10 1/2", Sheet 12 1/2 x 17"; Unframed.

"If I become human, I'll never be with my father or sisters again." - Ariel

"That's right. . . . But - you'll have your man. Life's full of tough choices, innit? Oh - and there is one more thing. We haven't discussed the subject of payment. You can't get something for nothing, you know." - Ursula

"The Little Mermaid," is an American animated musical fantasy film and the 28th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures to theaters on November 17, 1989. The film was based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, which tells the story of a beautiful mermaid princess who dreams of becoming human. The film was written, directed, and produced by Ron Clements and John Musker; with music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. The voice cast includes: Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Samuel E. Wright, Jason Marin, Kenneth Mars, Buddy Hackett, and René Auberjonois.

"The Little Mermaid," 1989 was the final Disney film using hand painted animation cels. Disney Studios, specifically Ron Clements and John Musker, adapted the Hans Christian Anderson story to give the villain a much bigger role. The first choice to voice the character was Beatrice Arthur who turned down the part. It was eventually accepted by veteran stage actress Elaine Stritch; however she clashed with the music stylist. The role was finally given to Pat Caroll who described the role as, "part Shakespearean actress, with all the flair, flamboyance and theatricality, and part used-car salesman with a touch of con artist." Caroll also served as the live action model of the character. Although I would have loved to have heard Arthur and Stritch sing "Pour Unfortunate Souls," Ursula is the absolute embodiment of Caroll and I think she was the best choice!

The animation of the character was initially offered to Glen Keane, however after hearing Jodi Benson sing "Part of Your World" he wanted to animate Ariel instead and so Ursula ended up going to Disney animator, Ruben Aquino. Aquino credits Ursula as his favorite character in which he has ever worked and said, "When animating Ursula, I was inspired mainly by the voice and by the story sketches, but of course, I also worked very closely with the directors (John Musker and Ron Clements) to realize their vision. Given a great voice, the scenes almost animate themselves, and that definitely was the case with Pat Carroll's amazing vocal performance. I also did a lot of research on octopus locomotion to make sure Ursula's movements were convincing."

This is a wonderful original production animation drawing of Ursula the Sea Witch from the full length feature film "The Little Mermaid," 1989. This large drawing is from the scene when Ursula brings up the issue of payment for transforming Ariel, from a mermaid into a human. Ursula has an exaggerated expression as she says " Life's full of tough choices, innit?" A spectacular drawing from the "Pour Unfortunate Souls" song sequence, and an absolutely beautiful and rare drawing which would be a great addition to any animation art collection!


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