Fantasia Set of 2 Centaur and Centau...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionFantasia Set of 2 Centaur and Centaurette Animation Drawings (Walt Disney, 1940). One of the undisputed masterpieces of animation, Disney's 1940s opus, Fantasia, reached artistic heights that few others films ever have, animated or not! Selections from the world's most beloved music were given the Disney treatment in this lavish roadshow spectacle, complete with concert programs and assigned seating. Fantasia became the first commercial film released with a stereophonic soundtrack. In the relatively few theaters that were equipped for Fantasound, the revolutionary stereo process developed by Disney, the full concert experience could be enjoyed in just the way it had been intended. Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony" is reimagined as a Greek bacchanal, replete with a host of mythological figures including gods and goddesses, winged horses, cupids, and others. One of the more famous subplots within the "Pastoral" sequence makes use of the second movement of the symphony. It concerns the matchmaking efforts of a gaggle of baby cupids (or putti, if you want to get technical), and the courtship between a merry band of centaurs and their female counterparts, the centaurettes. (Fun fact: In Greek mythology, female centaurs were more historically referred to as "centaurides" rather than "centaurettes.") Many of the female characters were originally intended to be topless (in keeping with much of Classical art), however the Hays Motion Picture Code in place at the time, ultimately prevented this. Therefore, most of the centaurettes were "censored" - and garbed in flower garlands, as is seen here in the character of Melissa. These two featured characters (both blue-skinned!) need a little extra help from the cupids; they have somehow missed each other in all of the chaos of the day's festivities - and must be led to one another, through a bit of pan pipe music, by the cupids. The image of Melissa is taken from the very moment at which she decides to trust the little angels; she closes her eyes, stretches out her arms, and follows the music - to where she spies the lovelorn Brudus. Brudus, meanwhile, has been sitting listlessly on the riverbank, his head in his hands, sighing heavily, wishing for a romantic prospect. Much in the same way that Melissa is guided over to him, he follows the little cupids until he also discovers her. It would seem the cupids are practiced matchmakers; luckily, the two centaurs take an instant liking to each other and are cured of their loneliness. Very large drawings of both characters; Melissa measures roughly 5" x 6", and Brudus is 8" x 5". Both are rendered in graphite and colored pencil on 16 field 5-peghole paper. Drawings are in Fine condition.
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