(Click on images above for larger version) The painting above left is original art from Fleischer Studios Technicolor two-reel special The Raven and how it may have looked on screen in 1942. The image at right is a blurry 16mm frame grab of the same shot – the way it looks today as it sits unrestored and essentially unavailable to view. ASIFA-Hollywood is working with the UCLA Archive to help preserve neglected films like this (and in fact, The Raven may be ready later this year). It’s a real crime that these animation classics are allowed to rot in the vaults of the mega corporations who own them. The Raven is one of the Fleischer’s lesser efforts, but can we really judge it in the horrifying condition as it now exists?
If you’d like to see a larger, more complete version of the gorgeous background painting above, click here. And for those of you who might like to own it, the piece is being sold at auction by S/R Labs sometime during October 22-23, 2007, along with more than 250 fine pieces of animation art like it. S/R is an animation art conservation center that specializes in restoring vintage cels and paper (as well as doing ceramic, porcelain and oil conservation). They do good work.