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Disney (1940) Fantasia - Original Vintage Production Art



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Original 1938 Disney Fantasia Concept Art - Mickey Mouse - The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Source: Movie
Layers: 1
No sketches available
Oversize, 10.5W x 9H

Key Cel
Original Matching Background

Added 7/20/2009
Updated 3/8/2012
Concept art is also known as "pre-production art". The head animators are given the script and asked to design a character or image according to what they feel would be the most appropriate look for that particular scene in the script that they were given, and they would create the character design or image prior to the actual cel production. Then Walt Disney (at that time) would view the design/image and either approve it or disapprove it for the production process.

This piece is the original 1938 Sorcerer Mickey from Fantasia (released 1940). The best part about this piece is, it has a very interesting story behind it, which really intrigued me. For the past 9-10 years, they had Silly symphonies (1929 - 1939), and Walt Disney decided to incorporate musical woks with animation in an artistic fashion. Originally, they were planning to use Dopey (Snow White) as the Sorcerer's apprentice. However, Mickey was always Walt Disney's favorite character. So, he asked the head animator(s) Lee Blair and Freddie Moore to come up with a design for Mickey to fit with the script of the sorcerer's apprentice. In 1938, the Donald duck series were becoming quite popular and more than Mickey at that time. So, Freddie Moore and Lee Blair came up with a redesign of Mickey.

From what I gather, Blair came up with the new look to his design while Freddie Moore came up with the new facial look. From what I have been told, this piece was (according to the lead concept art expert of our time, John Canemaker) most likely done by Lee Blair in the early stage of the design, and one of the only pieces that still exist to this day of Sorcerer Mickey during the pre-production stage. Blair came up with the initial design of Mickey, as you can see in the concept art, which you also notice is pretty much the design that Walt Disney approved of.

However, as you can see, the eyes are still large black, which was the original face. Disney liked the style of Mickey, but wanted to make him more "human-like". So, Freddie Moore came up with the pupil expression (eye balls!). So, the huge significance of this piece is that they redesigned the character into the Mickey mouse that became the classic that we see today.

There are four major historical events that took place in the production of Disney relating to Mickey mouse shorts.
1). Plane Crazy 1928 - First cartoon Disney ever made, featuring Mickey Mouse
2). Steamboat Willie (1932 release) - First released to public viewing.
3). Band Concert Mickey (1935) - The first technicolor short of Mickey, also won the Venice Film Festival Golden Medal for best animation.
4). Fantasia Sorcerer Mickey - The first modern design of Mickey.

Another hilarious factoid I found out was that a lot of concept art pieces have a special stamp on the paper saying that it is "Property of Disney. Do not remove from studio, copy, distribute, or sale it." HAHA!
So, that is what drew me most to this piece. I have never purchased a concept piece before. But, when I saw it, it literally blew me away.


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Curator: star-phoenix
Gallery Created: 4/15/2004
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