Ferdinand the Bull Collection (1938)

This collection features original artwork and memorabilia from the Walt Disney Studios animation short, “Ferdinand the Bull.” The short was based on Munro Leaf’s The Story of Ferdinand (1936) and won the 1938 Academy Award for Best Short Subject.

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The first item is an original production drawing by animator Bernard Garbutt (Scene 3, Drawing 45). Garbutt worked on such Disney classics as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi. He was considered an expert draftsman, specializing in realistic animal locomotion. Disney legends Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston once remarked that his visual development work on Bambi was invaluable to the rest of the production team, claiming that he could “draw any animal, at any age, in any position, and he set the standard for everyone else to follow.”

The next item is an original copy of a model sheet titled “The Story of Ferdinand,” which was issued to animators for their use in drawing the “Tough Calves” sequence of the short. Those most involved in this particular sequence were Bernard Garbutt, along with fellow animators John Bradbury (Pinocchio, Bambi) and Bob Stokes (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Silly Symphony series). Lead filmmakers who signed off on the sketches and designs in the upper-right corner of the model sheet include director Dick Rickard, story director George Stallings, animator Hamilton Luske, layout man Ken Anderson, layout man Charles Philippi, and sketch artist/color coordinator Philip Dike.

Also featured is an original 11-panel comic strip titled “Ferdinand the Bull Becomes a Silly Symphony,” as it appeared in the November 22, 1938 issue of Look magazine, three days before the animated short was released. Of special note is the Matador, featured in Panels 7 and 9, as well as in the film itself. The character was drawn by Ward Kimball and represented a caricatured Walt Disney (who actually voiced Ferdinand’s mother in the short).

The final item is a Ferdinand the Bull storybook, released in conjunction with the animated short. The cover and pages are made of a linen-like material, rather than traditional printing matter, and feature full-color artwork from the short. The front-cover image features a Ferdinand in almost the very same position as the Scene-3 production drawing by Bernard Garbutt.

ESTIMATED VALUE: An authenticated production drawing such as this, from the Golden Days of Disney Animation (and an Oscar winner at that), would generally be valued in the $350 range. An original copy of a production model sheet from this era is worth around $125, while the clipped comic strip and storybook would each bring in about $30.

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