The creatures of Wonderland—a menagerie of 25 original production cels
(Walt Disney Studios, 1951) Extraordinary collection of 25 original production cels from Alice in Wonderland, celebrating the rich diversity of memorable characters found in the adored Disney classic. The character cels, which range in size from 2.25 x 2 to 9 x 11, are as follows: Accordion Owl; Alice (2.75 x 5); Alice’s Sister; Bill the Lizard; Bread-and-Butterflies and Tulips; Broom Dog; Cheshire Cat (6.5 x 4.75); Credits for Voice Cast; Dinah; Dodo; Dog-Caterpillar and Cat-erpillar with Flowers; Hedgehog; Hyacinth; Lily; Mad Hatter and March Hare (3.25 x 7 and 3.25 x 6.5); March Hare; Mome Raths; Mother Bird; Pencil Bird; The Queen and King of Hearts (5.25 x 7 and 3 x 2.25); Shovel Bird; Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (5.25 x 5); The Walrus and the Carpenter; White Rabbit with Watch; and the White Rose. Each character cel is matted, and all but two are framed, to sizes ranging from 8.75 x 11 to 22.75 x 18.75.
The majority of the cel backgrounds are either plain or of the airbrushed variety, however, the Alice cel is placed on a custom prepared hand-painted background, and Alice’s Sister cel is placed on a matching hand-painted background that also includes the original mat with Walt Disney seal. Additionally, the mat for the Dodo cel is signed in black felt tip by esteemed Disney animators Marc Davis, Frank Thomas, and Ollie Johnston, with the latter two also signing the mat for the purple Hedgehog cel. In overall fine condition, with some instances of lifting and cracking to the paint, most notably to the Mother Bird and Cat-erpiller cels. Accompanied by a third printing of the Gold Key comic book for Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, and a hardcover copy of the Golden Press book Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland: A Big Golden Book.
Despite initially earning lukewarm reviews, Alice in Wonderland has garnered a huge following as one of the more unusual, psychedelic, and atypical films of the Disney canon. The task of bringing the odd and anthropomorphic creatures of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories to life was an essential first step for Walt Disney. But when the idea of emulating Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations proved too difficult to animate, he chose the conceptual drawings of background artist Mary Blair to bring Wonderland to bold and vivid life. As a result, Alice’s encounters with Wonderland’s assortment of peculiar residents, both helpful and otherwise, raised the creative bar for all future Disney works, a challenge perhaps only matched by Tim Burton’s live-action adaptation from 2010. An unprecedented assemblage of production cels honoring one of Disney’s most original and influential films.