pecoscell pecoscell

Disney Cels at Roy Rogers auction

My old friend Mark Trost went to the Roy Rogers auction at Christies today and took some snaps of interest to us at Cartoon Brew. For some reason, Roy was in possession of the original art for the sheet music to Walter Lantz’ Chilly Willy. Does anyone have any theories as to why he would have this? (click thumbnail at left and below to see a larger images). Roy, of course, appeared in Disney’s Melody Time (1948) and narrates the story of Pecos Bill. Below are photos of three cels up for auction from the Roger’s estate: an unusual one representing Pecos Bill, and two production cels signed by Walt to Roy’s agent, Art Rush: Willie The Operatic Whale from Fun and Fancy Free Make Mine Music (1946) – perhaps given to explain that Roy would appear in a musical package film? And a Three Caballeros cel – perhaps symbolic that Roy would appear in a live action animation segment?? Mark also reported that the auction included “a number of letters from Walt to Roy on personal stuff”. There’s also a Mickey Mouse piece. Don’t fret, there’s still time to bid… this material goes up for bid tomorrow (Thursday July 15th) and the estimated prices are relatively low. Let us know if you win something.

  • Peter H

    No explanation for Roy Rogers having Chilly Willy sheet music artwork but here is another Rogers/Willy connection:
    “Film stars Dale Evans and Roy Rogers work out with members of the Chilly Willy team of the Sherman Oaks Little League in preparation for NBC’s coast-to-coast ‘Salute to Baseball’ telecast, 1956.”

  • Hey, I don’t know anything about this, but Willie The Operatic Whale is from Make Mine Music and not Fun and Fancy Free, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Brian Reynolds

    As to why Roy Rogers would have original art for Chilly Willy sheet music – I just looked it up and there was a Roy Rogers Music Company existant during that time period, which may have been the publisher of the song. Just a guess.

  • Peter H

    Re the Rogers/Willy connection: The Chilly Willy song was written by Mary Jo Rush, wife of Roy Roger’s agent, Art Rush. The Rogers and the Rushes were good friends (the Rushes were Best Man and Matron of Honor at Roy and Dale’s wedding). These memorabilia may have been originally Art’s.

    • Amy W

      You are very close to the answer! Art Rush’s wife was Mary Jo Matthews…….and my great aunt :). Wish I had that sheet music.

  • this is great you post this, would be cool if you linked more authentic cel pieces, really hard to believe some online places if its real or not

  • Brad

    This site has a link to a photo of Roy with the Chilly Willy softball team –

    Here’s the photo:

    Maybe the team was sponsored by Lantz and the artwork given as a thank-you?

  • lampshade

    Gasp! A rare unused Three Caballeros cel!!! Too bad I can’t afford such things.

  • Scarabim

    I saw the list of items at the Christies website, and you really have to wonder about the Rogers family member who’s selling this stuff…one of the items is a letter Walt wrote to Roy and Dale concerning the death of their daughter…I mean, that is personal family stuff!!!! Why the HELL would that be up for auction??? Tasteless!

    Glad to see that ol’ Trigger was bought by someone who cares about the Roy Rogers legacy…the old cowboy was a good guy, from all reports, and his marriage to Dale was long-lasting and a happy one. The last of a golden era has truly passed away…

  • This sale is part of the liquidation of the Roy Rogers Museum which closed in December 2009, several years after it moved from Victorville California to Branson Missouri. The sale included everything that was in the museum, including the stuffed Trigger (which sold for $266,500). The sale was undertaken by the Rogers Family, although it was announced by Roy (Dusty) Rogers Jr. (Roy’s son with his second wife). According to Rogers his father always said, “If the museum starts costing you money, then liquidate everything and move on.”

  • Norman

    Roy must have loved the name Willy. So why didn’t he do a cameo in “Free Willy?” He was still around.

  • The liquidation of the Roy Rogers Museum is symptomatic of the lack of respect that pop culture of all types gets in the country of it’s birth. Where is the Autry Museum in all this? The Rogers collection should have merged with the Autry, so that we all could continue to enjoy Roy’s unique and sometimes strange collections forever. For instance, he saved every piece of fishing tackle he ever owned, and mounted three monkeys he shot in Aftrica in the “See-Hear-Speak No Evil” positions! Roy had a cartoony sensibility even in his personal life. Does this bode well for the Motion Picture Academy’s Museum, now on “hold” because of the “economy”? Hollywood NEEDS that museum, we ALL need it!

  • Bill Turner

    The Autry Museum did acquire some items. From the Autry website: “The approximately 120 boxes include newspaper clippings, programs from the Rose Parade and the Roy Rogers Show, sheet music, promotional materials, licensed objects such as puzzles and coloring books, photographs, and business files.” In other words, the stuff that probably wouldn’t sell. It’s not clear if this was donated or bought by the museum.

  • Rhea Williams

    someone sent me a email of some of the items auctions at the roy rogers museum. I was very interested to see him with some airman in VietNam. One of the airmen in the picture looks like my father. Chief Mastsr Sgt. Rhea Williams who served four tours in Vietnam.
    He passed away year ago, but the picture sure looks like him Is there any names or anyway for me to find out the names on the picture of Roy In Viet Nam holding his guitar and talking to three airman. Respectfully Rhea Williams Jr.

  • Ann Roberts

    Walter Lantz had a home not far from Roy Rogers in Apple Vslley, Ca. I live in that home now. I think it was jsut a weekend home for Lantz. I recently had a lady that lived across the street at that itme stop to tell me that Lantz had lived in my home. I just found this out and have not done the necessary research to verify.

  • Amy w

    Mary Jo Matthews was Married to Art Rush, Roy’s manager. She was my great aunt and wrote that theme song.