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Auction Results for 20 Pieces of Animation Art

Sleeping Beauty

Last weekend, Profiles in History in conjunction with Van Eaton Galleries (disclosure: they are an advertiser on Cartoon Brew) staged a massive animation art auction. I’m not a collector, but found it fascinating to browse through the auction results and see what prices the lots commanded as well as what pieces didn’t sell (for example, lots of Fantasia art).

Here’s a sampling of twenty pieces and how much each sold for. The last few prices are staggering.

Original MGM Studios Barney Bear model drawings
Sold for $354
Barney Bear

Frank Thomas original production layout drawing from Pinocchio
Sold for $354

The Ren & Stimpy Show complete 135-page storyboard for the episode, “Stimpy’s Fan Club”
Sold for $944
Ren & Stimpy

Four drawings of Adolf Hitler from Scrap Happy Daffy
Sold for $944
Scrap Happy Daffy

Tex Avery’s Blitz Wolf original title background
Sold for $1,121
Blitz Wolf title card

Bart Simpson panoramic multi-cel background setup from The Simpsons
Sold for $1,416
The Simpsons

“Once Upon a Winterime” cel and production background from Melody Time
Sold for $1,652
Once Upon a Wintertime

Original model sheet from Mickey’s Mechanical Marvel
Sold for $2,006
Mickey's Mechanical Marvel

Doug Wildey Jonny Quest original model sheet
Sold for $2,124
Jonny Quest model sheet

The Flintstones Pebbles original model sheet (drawn by Gene Hazelton?)
Sold for $3,540.00
Pebbles Flintstone

Mickey’s Service Station production background
Sold for $7,080
Mickey's Service Station

Original Tim Burton artwork for Jack Skellington as “Santa Jack” from The Nightmare Before Christmas
Sold for $7,080
Nightmare Before Christmas

Original production cel of Dick York from Bewitched, signed by Dick York
Sold for $12,980
Wow, is Bewitched really that popular?

Pinocchio original production cel with preliminary background
Sold for $12,980

Mary Blair original concept painting of Peter Pan on beach w/ Lost Boys, Hook & Smee from Peter Pan
Sold for $14,160
Mary Blair

Original production cel and production background from Song of the South signed by Walt Disney
Sold for $14,160
Song of the South

Key matching cels and production background from A Charlie Brown Christmas
Sold for $41,300
Is this some kind of a record for TV animation artwork?
Charlie Brown

Gustaf Tenggren original concept painting for Pinocchio
Sold for $70,800

Sleeping Beauty production cel and large pan background
Sold for $94,400
Sleeping Beauty

1924 Walt Disney letter to Ub Iwerks
Sold for $247,800
(Note: Jerry posted this letter a few months ago on Cartoon Brew.)
Walt Disney Letter

  • Profiles in History has always had some great animation or special effects-related items in their auctions. (I didn’t bother to check recently, but at their previous auction, they had some original, decades-old silkscreen posters from Disneyland.) But alas, they’re for super serious collectors who can actually shell out some cash for those items.

    I would love to have that model sheet for Jonny Quest, but $2,100 to spend I do not have.

  • A quarter mil for the letter is a surprise! I guess we don’t know who paid that?

    When they say “original model sheet” it’s not the original hand drawing, but a copy that was in use during the original production, right?

    • amid

      According to the auction descriptions, all the model sheets listed above contained the original drawings.

  • I would’ve wanted those Stimpy’s Fan Club boards. Sure, they’re out of my price range, but they’re still pretty damn cheap.

    I REALLY hope they’re scanned in and put online.

    I’d also like to see the Lair of the Lummox board, because that’s how far Spumco got before Games took over the episode.

  • Wide Eyes

    I would love to see the works from Fantasia that didn’t sell – I’ll take a few of those, thank you. Would also love to see the artists get a cut of that money.

    • Would also love to see many of the artists crawl out of their graves to accept that money.

    • Dana

      My thoughts exactly. If the Fantasia stuff is in the bargain bin now, I’d be happy to take a look myself!

    • amid

      If you look through the auction results linked above, you can see all the artwork that didn’t sell.

  • Raphael S

    Funny how popularity of certain characters drives up the value. That Disney letter should have sold for that much. It’s the rarest thing in the collection.

  • I browsed every piece in that auction and drooled over most of them. Unless you own a major studio, who can afford this stuff? Insane.

  • Geez, animation art collectors appear to have twisted priorities. I can’t believe the Pebbles model sheet went for ten times the amount for the Barney model sheet.

  • Geoff

    I can’t say I’m surprised the Bewitched cel went for that much. “Is Bewitched that popular” isn’t really the right question. It certainly was one of the most popular shows of its time, and has had one of the longest lifespans in syndication. And it’s not a cel from an animated series… those titles were made once and used week after week (well, at least until York’s departure from the show) and are still instantly familiar. Add the actor’s signature… oh, and weren’t those titles produced by Hanna-Barbera? Now you’ve got something.

  • Bill

    I was with the seller when he got that Bewitched cell signed. I got one too!! My luck, if I tried to sell it I’d get $200. Some amazing and historical items in that auction. Glad I’m not rich or I’d be broke… you know what I mean.

  • Emm

    How much did the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car sell for?

  • Marc Gagnon

    Geez, I can’t believe Disney would part with some of that stuff, particularly an original Gustaf Tenggren.

    • amid

      Disney isn’t selling any of its artwork. These pieces were owned by private collectors.

  • Bill

    Looks like the Chitty card didn’t get it’s opening bid of one MILLION dollars.

  • Toast

    It was intense scrolling down to see which is the most expensive. As it turns out, it was a document that ruled all, hehe.

    I admire some of the buyers’ taste, because these are wonderful! Still, I kept scrolling back to the Gustaf Tenggren artwork for some reason.

  • Agree those Stimpy’s Fan Club boards were a steal. I’d have morgaged one of my legs for those. I used to stand at the foot of my parents’ bed reciting that episode verbatim, to the entertainment (or likely embarrassment and concern) of my mother.

  • Brandon Pierce

    I want the Sleeping Beauty one. I don’t like the movie, I just like any shot of Aurora barefoot.

  • The BIG question is who bought the Walt Disney Letter? I hope the Walt Disney Museum got it, crazy money!

  • Mike C

    $350 for the Frank Thomas/Pinocchio drawing? Is it me, or does that seem like a steal?

  • Even though it’s not exactly animation related, a single Everlasting GobStopper from the Willie Wonka movie with Gene Wilder went for over $50,000! This is more incredible considering that the starting price was a mere $15,000.

    It’s on page 21 of the auction results. Amazing…

    And I agree, some of the animation art on sale was a great bargain. I would have thought that some of those items would have gone for much more.

  • Number two looks like Les Clark, not Frank Thomas to me.

  • What got me was the fact that most of these prices seem like about half of what they would have been in the l990’s era.