Fantasia Sunflower/Otika Animation D...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionFantasia Sunflower/Otika Animation Drawing (Walt Disney, 1940).
This rarely-seen young lady has the dubious honor of being one of the few characters edited out of all official rereleases of the original Fantasia. A pair of young centaurettes of African descent were envisioned by the Disney staff to act as "ladies-in-waiting" for the wine god, Bacchus, and some of the adolescent centaurettes. Named Sunflower and Otika, they were seen attending Bacchus' procession and assisting the centaurettes in their grooming. Fantasia has been rereleased many times since its debut in 1940; as of 1969, all shots of Sunflower and Otika have been removed, however, due to concerns that they would offend modern-day viewers. The excised scenes can be easily seen on YouTube. Though these young ladies do look remarkably similar, subtle differences between the two exist: Sunflower has two pigtails and wears a bright yellow flower in her hair; Otika has four pigtails and no flower. Both wear gold hoop earrings. Oddly, a pair of glamorous, respectfully-drawn Nubian centaurettes are also depicted in the god Bacchus' procession during the same sequence. These, however, are fully-mature young women, without any overtly offensive design elements, who seem to possess a measure of free agency - and to be of higher standing than either Sunflower or Otika. A good-natured, humorous character in the film, nonetheless, Otika's appearance is not in-line with current standards of acceptability. This drawing is taken from a scene in which she originally appeared (she was digitally erased for the 1991 video release). The shot takes place during the 3rd Movement of Beethoven's symphony, as Bacchus makes his way into the festivities and is about to be seated on his throne. The red carpet, which now unrolls itself, was originally laid out by Otika. As the drunken god fails into his seat, Otika leaps out of the way, uncertain of whether he will topple over, or stay upright. An important and very rare piece of animation history, this fascinating drawing features Otika rendered in graphite and colored pencil on 16 field 5-peghole paper. She measures roughly 5" tall. The paper has some minor creasing and handling, as well as light toning. In Very Good condition.
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