The Little Mermaid, 1989

A great collection of original production animation cels, original production animation drawings, and master production backgrounds for sale from the Walt Disney feature film.

SOLD - Ariel, Prince Eric, & Max Cel
SOLD - Ariel, Prince Eric, & Max Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Princess Ariel, Prince Eric, and Max from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Set on a custom hand painted background; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal upper right; Size - Princess Ariel, Prince Eric, & Max: 8 x 15 1/4", Image 9 1/2 x 16 1/4", Frame 23 x 28"; Framed with a gold wood frame, triple matted, brass inset title plaque, and plexiglass; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel Signed Jodi Benson Cel
SOLD - Ariel Signed Jodi Benson Cel

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel and Ripple Effects on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Hand signed in ink Jodi Benson "Ariel" lower right; Walt Disney Studios; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal lower right; Production numbers in ink lower right; Size - Ariel: 5 3/4 x 4 1/4", Image 10 3/4 x 16 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel and Flounder Cels
SOLD - Ariel and Flounder Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel, Flounder, and Bubble Effects on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal lower right; Size - Ariel & Flounder: 7 3/4 x 9 1/4", Image 9 1/2 x 15", Frame 18 1/2 x 24"; Framed with a dark blue wood frame, linen mat, dark blue wood fillet, and plexiglass; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula Signed Cel Setup
SOLD - Ursula Signed Cel Setup

Original hand painted matching production animation cels of Ursula and her Tentacles numbered W99 and T99 set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal upper right; Signed in ink Rubin Aquino upper left; Walt Disney Certificate of Authenticity verso; Size - Ursula 6 3/4 x 11", Image 9 x 12", Frame 19 x 21 1/2"; Framed with a purple wood frame, two acid free linen mats, purple wood fillet, and plexiglass; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid & Flotsam and Jetsam Cels
SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid & Flotsam and Jetsam Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel and Flotsam & Jetsam; Set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower right; Production numbers in ink lower right; With original Walt Disney Certificate of Authenticity; Size - Ariel and Flotsam & Jetsam: 8 1/4 x 12", Image 11 1/2 x 17"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula & King Triton Cels
SOLD - Ursula & King Triton Cels

Original hand painted production animation three cel set-up of Ursula, King Triton, and Bubble Effects set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered in ink lower right; Walt Disney Seal lower right; Size - Ursula & King Triton: 8 x 13 1/3", Image 9 1/4 x 15 1/4"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel Little Mermaid Drawing
SOLD - Ariel Little Mermaid Drawing

Original production animation drawing of Ariel in blue and graphite pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Ariel: 8 1/2 x 8", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Sebastian & Shadow Cels
SOLD - Sebastian & Shadow Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of Sebastian and his matching Shadow set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 13 and X13A in ink lower right; Size - Sebastian: 3 1/2 x 5", Image 9 x 13"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD  - Ariel and Flounder Cels
SOLD - Ariel and Flounder Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel, Flounder, and Bubble Effects on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Walt Disney seal lower left; Production numbers in ink lower right; Size - Ariel & Flounder: 4 x 6 1/4", Image 9 1/4 x 13"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid Cel
SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Ariel on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower right; Size - Ariel: 3 3/4 x 6 1/4", Image 9 1/4 x 15 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula and Ariel Cels
SOLD - Ursula and Ariel Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's reflection all set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower right; Size - Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's Reflection: 6 x 9 1/4", Image 8 1/4 x 12"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid Cel
SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Ariel on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower right; With Walt Disney Certificate; Size - Ariel: 3 3/4 x 9 1/2", Image 8 3/4 x 14 1/4"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Princess Ariel Cel
SOLD - Princess Ariel Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Princess Ariel with matching Wedding Veil cel from "The Little Mermaid," 1989; Walt Disney Studios; Set on a lithographic background; Walt Disney seal lower right; Size - Princess Ariel: 5 x 3 1/2", Image 10 1/2 x 16 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Sebastian Scuttle Drawing #85
SOLD - Sebastian Scuttle Drawing #85

Original production animation drawing of Sebastian and Scuttle in pink, blue, and graphite pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 85 center and lower right in pencil; Production numbers stamp lower sheet edge; Size - Sebastian & Scuttle: 3 1/4 x 6", Sheet 12 1/2 x 17"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #23
SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #23

Original production animation drawing of Flotsam and Jetsam in graphite pencil from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 23 lower right in pencil; Size - Flotsam & Jetsam: 5 1/2 x 6 1/4", Sheet 10 1/2 x 13"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD  - Ariel and Flounder Cels
SOLD - Ariel and Flounder Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel, Flounder, and Bubble Effects on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal lower right; Production numbers in ink lower right; Size - Ariel & Flounder: 8 x 7", Image 10 1/2 x 16 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - The Little Mermaid Ariel Cel
SOLD - The Little Mermaid Ariel Cel

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel, Barrel, and Special Effects from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Set on a lithographic background; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal upper right; Production numbers in ink lower right; Size - Ariel, Barrel, & Special Effects: 4 1/4 x 8 3/4", Image 9 1/2 x 13"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #19
SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #19

Original production animation drawing of Flotsam and Jetsam in graphite pencil from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 19 lower right in pencil; Size - Flotsam & Jetsam: 5 3/4 x 6 1/4", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel Cel
SOLD - Ariel Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Ariel on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 6 in ink lower right; Size - Ariel: 5 1/4 x 4 3/4", Image 7 x 9; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Flounder & Sebastian Drawing
SOLD - Flounder & Sebastian Drawing

Original production animation drawing of Flounder and Sebastian in blue and graphite pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 21 lower right in pencil; Size - Flounder & Sebastian: 5 1/2 x 4", Sheet 10 1/2 x 13"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Little Mermaid Key Set-up
SOLD - Little Mermaid Key Set-up

Original hand painted production animation cel key set-up of Ursula, Ariel, and Founder on matching water color production background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; 5 cels include, Ursula, Ariel and Flounder, Blue orb, Orb light spot, and Bubbles; Size - Ursula 4 1/2 x 5 1/2", Image 9 1/2 x 16 1/4", Frame 23 1/2 x 29 3/4"; Framed with a black wood exterior frame, three suede acid free mats, and UV conservation clear, Museum Perfect glass; SOLD!

SOLD - Sebastian & Lobster Cel
SOLD - Sebastian & Lobster Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Sebastian and a Lobster on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; With Walt Disney Certificate; Size - Sebastian & Lobster: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2", Image 7 1/2 x 12", Frame 19 1/2 x 21 1/2"; Framed with two acid free mats, antique gold wood frame, custom engraved brass title plaque, and plexiglass; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula Three Cel Setup
SOLD - Ursula Three Cel Setup

Original hand painted production animation three cel set-up of Ursula numbered W103 lower right, Potion Bottle numbered B103 lower right, and Bubble Effects numbered A103 and Walt Disney Seal lower right; all set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Size - Ursula: 6 3/4 x 5", Image 9 x 13"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula Flotsam & Jetsam Cels
SOLD - Ursula Flotsam & Jetsam Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of 1) Ursula 2) Flotsam & Jetsam; Both on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal lower left; Size - Ursula: 6 x 5 3/4", Flotsam & Jetsam: 6 x 4", Image 8 1/4 x 12 1/4", Frame 17 1/2 x 23 1/2"; Framed with a purple wood frame, linen mat, purple wood fillet, and plexiglass; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel, Prince Eric, & Max Cel
SOLD - Ariel, Prince Eric, & Max Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Princess Ariel, Prince Eric, and Max with matching Wedding Veil cel from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Numbered 123 and V123 in ink lower right corners; Walt Disney Studios; Set on a lithographic background; Walt Disney seal upper right; Size - Princess Ariel, Prince Eric, & Max: 7 3/4 x 15", Image 10 x 17"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid Cel
SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid Cel

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel and matching Bubble Effects on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower left; Production numbers in ink lower right; With original Walt Disney World receipt and Disneyana Certificate of Authenticity; Size - Ariel: 6 1/2 x 4 1/2", Image 11 1/4 x 17"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel Little Mermaid Drawing
SOLD - Ariel Little Mermaid Drawing

Original production animation drawing of Ariel in blue and graphite pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 35 lower right and animation ladder upper right; Size - Ariel: 6 1/2 x 8", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel and Flounder Cels
SOLD - Ariel and Flounder Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel, Flounder, and Bubble Effects on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal lower left; Size - Ariel & Flounder: 5 1/4 x 10 1/4", Image 9 1/2 x 15", Frame 15 3/4 x 21 1/4"; Framed with a purple metal frame, two acid free mats, and plexiglass; SOLD!

SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Cels
SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Cels

Original hand painted production animation cels of Flotsam & Jetsam from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Set on a lithographic background; With Walt Disney Certificate; Disney seal lower left; Size - Flotsam & Jetsam: 6 x 6 1/2", Image 10 1/2 x 14 1/2", Frame 19 1/2 x 23 1/2"; Framed with a gold wood frame, two acid free mats, and plexiglass; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula Drawing #31
SOLD - Ursula Drawing #31

Original production animation drawing of Ursula in blue pencil from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 31 upper right and 38 lower right; Size - Ursula: 10 1/2 x 12 1/4", Sheet 10 1/2 x 13"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid Cel
SOLD - Ariel The Little Mermaid Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Ariel on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower right; Size - Ariel: 3 x 6", Image 8 x 14 1/2", Frame 18 1/2 x 25"; Framed with a brown and gold wood frame, two linen mats, gold wood fillet, and plexiglass; SOLD!

SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #20
SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #20

Original production animation drawing of Flotsam and Jetsam in graphite pencil from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 20 lower right in pencil; Size - Flotsam & Jetsam: 5 3/4 x 6", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula & Tentacles Cels
SOLD - Ursula & Tentacles Cels

Original hand painted matching production animation cels of Ursula and her Tentacles numbered W5 and T5 set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Walt Disney seal upper right; Size - Ursula: 5 1/4 x 8 3/4", Image 8 x 12 3/4"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel Little Mermaid Drawing
SOLD - Ariel Little Mermaid Drawing

Original production animation drawing of Ariel in graphite pencil from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 15 lower right, production numbers lower edge, and animation ladder center right; Size - Ariel: 7 x 3 3/4", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula Drawing #5
SOLD - Ursula Drawing #5

Original production animation drawing of Ursula in graphite and blue pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 5 upper and lower right; Animation ladder upper right; Size - Ursula: 6 1/2 x 8 1/2", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ariel Cel
SOLD - Ariel Cel

Original hand painted production animation cel of Ariel on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 103 in ink lower right; Size - Ariel: 5 x 4", Image 7 x 9; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #21
SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #21

Original production animation drawing of Flotsam and Jetsam in graphite and blue pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 21 lower right in pencil; Size - Flotsam & Jetsam: 5 3/4 x 6 1/4", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula, Flotsam & Jetsam cel
SOLD - Ursula, Flotsam & Jetsam cel

Original hand-painted production animation cel of Ursula and Flotsam and Jetsam; used during the production of "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Placed on lithographic background; Framed using three regular mats, a black wood exterior frame and regular glass; Size Ursula, Flotsam, and Jetsam 8 3/4 x 9 5/8", Frame 18 3/8 x 24 3/8"; SOLD!

SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #17
SOLD - Flotsam & Jetsam Drawing #17

Original production animation drawing of Flotsam and Jetsam in graphite pencil from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 17 lower right in pencil; Size - Flotsam & Jetsam: 7 x 6", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

SOLD - Ursula Drawing #1
SOLD - Ursula Drawing #1

Original production animation drawing of Ursula in graphite and blue pencils from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Numbered 1 upper and lower right; Animation ladder upper right; Size - Ursula: 6 1/2 x 8 1/2", Sheet 10 1/2 x 12 1/2"; Unframed; SOLD!

Original hand painted production animation cels of Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's reflection all set on a lithographic background from "The Little Mermaid," 1989, Walt Disney Studios; Disney seal lower right; Size - Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's Reflection: 6 x 9 1/4", Image 8 1/4 x 12"; Unframed.

"The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself." - Ursula The Sea Witch

"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.

There was more money and resources dedicated by the Walt Disney Studios to "The Little Mermaid" than any other Disney animated film in decades. Aside from its main animation facility in Glendale, California; Disney opened a satellite feature animation facility in Lake Buena Vista, Florida that was within the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park at Walt Disney World. Their first projects were to produce an entire Roger Rabbit cartoon short, "Roller Coaster Rabbit," and to contribute ink and paint support to "The Little Mermaid." Another first for Disney films of recent years, was the filming of live actors and actresses for motion reference material for the animators. Broadway actress Jodi Benson (who was predominantly a stage actress when she was cast) was chosen to play Ariel, and Sherri Lynn Stoner, a former member of Los Angeles' Groundlings improvisation comedy group, acted out Ariel's key scenes.

The Little Mermaid's supervising animators included Glen Keane and Mark Henn on Ariel, Duncan Marjoribanks on Sebastian, Andreas Deja on King Triton, and Ruben Aquino on Ursula. Originally, Keane had been asked to work on Ursula, as he had established a reputation for drawing large powerful figures, such as the bear in "The Fox and the Hound," 1981 and Professor Ratigan in "The Great Mouse Detective," 1986. Keane however, was assigned as one of the two lead artists on the petite Ariel and oversaw the "Part of Your World" musical number. He jokingly stated that his wife looks exactly like Ariel "without the fins." The character's body type and personality were based upon that of Alyssa Milano, who was starring on TV's "Who's the Boss?". The effect of Ariel's hair underwater was based on footage of Sally Ride when she was in space; and scenes of Sherri Lynn Stoner in a swimming pool were used in animating Ariel's swimming. A challenge in animating Ariel were the colors required to show her in various changing environments, both under the sea and on land. By the end of the film, the animators required a total of 32-color models; not including costume changes. The sea-green color of her fin was a hue specially mixed by the Disney paint lab, and the color was named "Ariel" after the character.

"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 voice 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." 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 an outstanding three cel setup of Ariel, Ursula, and Ursula's Reflection that occurs when Ursula, looking in her mirror at Ariel's reflection, says one of her most famous lines "The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself." This and two more lines of dialogue occur just prior to Ursula's performance of the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls," one of the true highlights of the entire film! The complete dialogue for this scene is below:

Ursula: "The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself."
Ariel:   "Can you do that?" 
Ursula: "My dear sweet child. That's what I do, it's what I live for. To help unfortunate merfolk like yourself. Poor souls with no one else to turn to."

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