Peter Ellenshaw

The images above are taken from a book on the Disney artist Peter Ellenshaw, sent to me by Neil Vessey. It shows a frame from the high camera shot of Nottingham Square in The Story of Robin Hood, before and after Ellenshaw’s magical matee work. It is a fine example of not only the huge talent of this wonderful artist, but what could be achieved before the age of computer generated imagery.

3 comments:

Clement of the Glen said...

Peter Ellenshaw
The Story of Robin Hood
Matte work

neil said...

Peter Ellenshaw was the Matte genius of the world - so Ken Annakin says in his autobiography and I would certainly agree with that. Ken says that 'many of the matte shots in The Sword and the Rose are breathtaking and as in all Peter's work it is impossible to tell where the real picture ends and the painting begins. Later on Third Man on the Mountain, Peter Ellenshaw painted thirty two mattes of down angles on the mountain climbing sequences to such effect that when the movie was first shown in Kansas, half of the audience suffered vertigo and had to cover their eyes. I can recommend the book 'Ellenshaw on Glass' It shows some of his work to great effect as well as his paintings and narrative of days at Denham. On The Story of Robin Hood there are a couple of incredible shots where the matte technique of Peter Ellenshaw makes the scene. His contribution to Walt Disney's Live action films made in England in the early 50s cannot be overstated. Not only did he save the company a lot of money on location trips, more importantly he helped give the film a classic story book feel that is always missing from later films, particularly the later Robin Hood films. For many years I looked and wondered how these scenes had been achieved. Now I know I can also see why none of the later films measure up. There are no locations in reality that can take you into the realms of storybook legend - unless you have an artist of this stature and sadly they do not exist.

Clement of the Glen said...

His 102 matte paintings for the award winning 'Mary Poppins' are also worth mentioning.

For more information on Peter Ellenshaw and his work, click on the label'Peter Ellenshaw' in the right hand column of this web site.