Monday, December 3, 2012

Orphan's Benefit Redux

Like many fans, I'm intrigued by the great black-and-white Disney images and the scant surviving original artwork. Many of these, like the painted celluloid from the opening scene of "Orphan's Benefit" (1934), are delightful but way too expensive for all but the wealthiest collectors to go after. So it makes sense to commission a contemporary Disney artist to recreate a classic Disney image in another medium. The medium, in this case watercolor, distinguishes it from the original acetate cel over a key master background. The artist, Patrick Block, has signed the work, which makes it clear who, and to an extent when, it was created.

I don't really understand how these commissions work. Copyrights to the work are retained by Disney, but surely one can make a private arrangement with a Disney artist who is not on company time. It's possible that Disney, which has a reputation for not paying its artists terribly well, may look the other way when its artists supplement their income in this manner. They face a similar issue in the case of convention drawings created by Disney artists of copyrighted characters.

All of this is speculation on my part. What I am sure of is that this is a charming watercolor which has not yet found a buyer on eBay.

Patrick Block, "Orphan's Benefit" Opening Scene

Walt Disney Studios, "Orphan's Benefit" (1934) Cel of Opening Scene

"Orphan's Benefit," eBay Winning Bid



"Orphan's Benefit," EBay Item Description

"Orphan's Benefit" Film Still
Patrick Block, "Orphan's Benefit" Opening Scene, Cropped Photo


"Orphan's Benefit" (1934)

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