Snow White, Bugs Bunny Rarities Launch Animation Art to $1.7+ Million Record at Heritage Auctions

DALLAS—Animation art collectors weren’t joking around as they pushed Heritage Auctions’ spring offering of classic cels, animation drawings, and related artworks - including a selection from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bugs Bunny shorts - to $1.7 million April 9-10. The auction is the largest of its kind at Heritage and one of the largest the entire collecting genre has seen in more than 15 years, said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art.

“Animation art is back!” Lentz said. “This is one of the largest total dollar animation art auctions ever and by far the largest held in more than 15 years. These are truly historic results."

Top lot honors went to a Production Cel and Key Master Background Setup for the suspenseful moment before the Wicked Queen reveals herself as the Old Hag villain from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The cel sold for $47,800 following interest from nine bidders. “This cell was used just before the witch drops her cloak and reveals how the magic potion revealed just how ugly she was inside,” Lentz said. “It is absolutely memorable and I’m not surprised it sold for such a high price.”

A rare, surviving black and white Production Cel and Background Setup of Mickey Mouse from the 1935 classic Two-Gun Mickey sold for $41,825. Very few black and white nitrate cels exist from the early years of Walt Disney’s studios, let alone come to auction.

A touching Production Cel Setup featuring Snow White surrounded by woodland creatures sold for $29,875. The setup is composed of several layers of hand-inked, hand-painted cels placed on a Master hand-painted production background.

Fans of Golden Age Warner Brothers Bugs Bunny shorts spoke loud and clear when an iconic cel of the Wascally Wabbit as Brünnhilde and Elmer Fudd as Siegfried from the 1957 short What’s Opera, Doc? sold for $26,680. The cartoon was voted #1 in Jerry Beck's 50 Greatest Cartoons book and the 12-field cel saw interest from 19 bidders before the auctioneers hammer fell.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited by:

Pinocchio Production Cel with Master Painted Background, depicting the little wooden puppet as a real boy: Realized: $23,900.

Sleeping Beauty Maleficent Production Cel and Pan Master Production Background Setup by Eyvind Earle: Realized: $20,315.

A painting of Bugs Bunny by master animator Chuck Jones (circa 1989): Realized: $20,315.

comical Production Cel from The Little Mermaid: Realized: $15,535, against a $1,500 estimate.

concept painting of Cinderella and the Prince Concept for Cinderella by illustrator Mary Blair: Realized: $10,157.

A rare, Key/Concept Art Group for 101 Dalmatians by Walt Peregory: Realized: $8,365.

A rare, Production Cel Setup depicting Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone in Fred’s car, as used in The Flintstone’s October 26th, 1962 episode titled "The Buffalo Convention." Realized: $5,258.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 900,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

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