Several of the Disney cel setups Stan collected included the original hand-painted backgrounds from the film production, and none are as magnificent as those created by Disney artist Eyvind Earle. You can see them in the above cel setup from Sleeping Beauty, and also in the scene with Prince Phillip in the Dungeon, Princess Aurora with King Stefan and Queen Leah, the Three Good Fairies on the castle stairs, and in the setup with the enraged Maleficent stabbing her fingernail at the viewers. His signature style made excellent use of glowing, saturated colors and exceptional detail and texture to skillfully convey the mood and emotion of the scene.
It’s particularly interesting to see how his style differed from other Disney artists at the time. Here is a really neat short film released by Disney that illustrates some of the diverse personal styles displayed by their talented pool of artists. In this film, four Disney artists each undertake the paint or draw a picture of the same tree. The results are wonderfully varied, and show each man’s distinct point of view.
Eyvind Earle died in Carmel, California July 20, 2000 at the age of 84. His years as a Disney artist during the 1950s created an enduring legacy for us all to enjoy. You can read more about him and see great examples of his non-Disney work on the Eyvind Earle Official Website.
The Eyvind Earle Disney Production Cel setups in this post are now at auction!
Visit Heritage Auctions to view and bid.