Fantasia Ben Ali Gator Animation Dra...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionFantasia Ben Ali Gator Animation Drawing (Walt Disney, 1940).
Ben Ali Gator, the leader of the all-male alligator ballet troupe, spies the sleeping Hyacinth Hippo, and is instantly smitten! At first, the audience is unsure of his intentions - is he looking for a meal? But no, as he gazes upon her dainty repose, he falls madly in love. Upon waking, the "voluptuous" Hyacinth and the scrawny Ben perform a comical pas de deux together... their mismatched sizes providing plenty of laughs. A personal contribution of Disney to the segment was the use of alligators for the male ballet dancers - with his innate instinct for story, he knew the skinny, lanky, slinky figures would provide a humorous contrast with the ballerinas - all rather rotund and/or ungainly hippos, elephants, and ostriches. The segment was directed by Norm Ferguson and "T" Hee; John Lounsbery worked on Ben Ali Gator. The sequence was set to Ponchinelli's Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda - a piece already famous in its day, for being frequently lampooned. This drawing of Ben is taken from the scene when he first sees the sleeping figure of Hyacinth from afar; he has chased away his band of men - and, transfixed by the hippo's beauty, moves in for a closer look. This original animation drawing features a wonderful full-body pose of this comic character, with a large eager grin on his face. It is actually featured on page 163 of John Culhane's 1983 book, Walt Disney's Fantasia. Ben is rendered in graphite and colored pencil on 16 field 5-peghole paper, and measures just over 5" tall. Paper has moderate toning and creasing and light edge-wear, as well as an ink spot near the top right corner. In Good condition.
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