Take a ride down Hollywood Blvd with the newest release in the Studios Ink and Paint Collection with Jessica and Roger Rabbit! In the new limited edition of 1000 cel, Hop In, Jessica!, Jessica Rabbit has been hand painted by the talented Studios Ink and Paint team. This release came as a complete surprise, and is the first new Jessica animation cel to be available in over 20 years. The price was a higher-end tag, and the cel came with a few extras. Does this Jessica Rabbit piece live up to expectations? Find Out!
Jessica Rabbit, back in her animated glory. Could it be? Well, almost. A friend of the site sent over the information that a new Jessica piece was on the way. Surprisingly, it was an animation cel. With animated movies, the cartoon characters are hand drawn on a piece of paper. The finalized outline is then transferred to a transparent sheet of celluloid acetate (or cel for short). An artist will draw a character many times with a slight movement to their limbs or mouth. A few hundred thousand of those cels later and you have a movie like Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Image Via Heritage Auctions
Disney had re-created animation art in the past with a line of Serigraphs, which were high-quality copies of an image printed onto an animation cel. It was similar to silkscreening, but was done with great detail to give the art a genuine look. However, the Serigraphs were not hand painted, and often, they did not come with any background image. These are not to be confused with Sericels, which were also Limited Edition copies of a frame, but were hand painted and came with a background - such as the Jessica's Debut piece (above). The Ink and Paint Collection cels are different in that each one is painted by hand, much like a Sericel, and has some added bonuses.
The Ink and Paint Collection dates back to 1997. Some of the more recent cels to be offered are Off To Neverland in 2008, Fantasmic! 2009, Bone Appétit in 2010 and Key To The Kingdom in 2011. Each cel had the option to come framed or unframed, and the first 750 frames purchased came with a limited edition pin.
For the December 2012 release, Disney decided to feature Jessica Rabbit in the collection. A special release event was held on December 15th at Disney's Hollywood Studios where artists Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent were on hand to sign specially printed postcards for the piece. Sharon Vincent shared a technique for painting the cels, called floating, where she does not touch the brush itself to the cel sheet, only the paint makes contact to the reverse side of the cel. After that, the cels are inspected to ensure each one is perfect.
In the case of Hop In, Jessica!, the title for the piece, it's clear that a great deal of time and artistry is put into the cel. An announcement was made of the piece, and two slightly different images appeared, making it unclear as to exactly how the final artwork would look. The first image showed Jessica with some "sparkle" dots added to her dress, a highlight on her lower lip, and The Magic of Disney Animation logo above. The second showed her without that, no sparkle dots or highlight, and with her dress a slightly different color - however, it was a much more crisp and clean image.
Either way the work looked amazing in photos, and Disney allowed for orders over the phone for the cel if you could not make it to the event. When I ordered mine, I was told that it would take six to eight weeks, so I wouldn't get it until February. That was a long wait - but I ordered anyway. There were options to order the piece unframed for $125, in a black frame which came with the pin and signed postcard separate for $215 (a steal if you ask me), in a black framed with the pin framed along side it for $245, in a black frame with the postcard and pin framed with it for $255, or in a gold frame for $285. I chose the black frame with the pin and postcard separate. Much to my surprise, it showed up only a week after the event!
It's a sitting pose we have seen many times before used for Jessica pins, but seeing other pins that have been released along with a cel in the past, this pin is done fairly well. The "Hop In, Jessica!" logo is in purple at the bottom bumper. Around Benny the Cab's spare tire reads "Animation Gallery 2012."
The pice also comes with a postcard, which you could have framed or separate as well. The card is signed by the artists - Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent. The back of it is a standard postcard with space to write and the Disney logos. The front has all the actual signatures of the artists around the borders. The picture on it is the same as the cel. The printing is good but it's not the best it could be I think.
The background art is the palm tree lined streets of Hollywood Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Tower of Terror ominously looms in the far end. A Red Car Trolley car is approaching from around the corner. Roger Rabbit is there with Benny the Cab waiting to give Jessica a lift - Hop In, Jessica! The background art is also very well done. Even though Roger and Benny are not part of the cel, it still mixes together well enough. It highlights Jessica as the cel portion, and is still very complimentary as great background artwork.