Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs production cel cackles its way to $26,290 to lead $1.3+ million in animation art at Heritage Auctions

Hand-inked and painted set-up from first full-length cel animated feature film leads more than 1,600 lots of production cels, drawings, and concept art Nov. 20 & 24 in Beverly Hills

November 27, 2013  - DALLAS – A single production cel set-up of the suspense-filled moment when the Old Hag gingerly pa sses a rosy – yet poisonous – apple to the fair Snow White sold for $26,290 to lead more than $1.3+ million in animation art, drawings and concept sketches at Heritage Auctions. Offered Nov. 20 and 24 in Beverly Hills, the art of Walt Disney dominated the auction’s top lots and an important group of cels and drawings from The Beatles’ 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine sold for a combined $112,573.

“This second successful Heritage animation art auction held in 2013 shows that hand-drawn and hand-painted classic animation art is really a force to be reckoned with,” said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art at Heritage Auctions.

A strong selection of art from Walt Disney studios, circa 1940s-1960s, took top lot honors in the auction, including a rare production cel of Geppetto and his “little wooden boy” from Pinocchio, which sold for $17,925. A rare concept paining Eyvind Earle produced for Sleeping Beauty hit $16,730 and a set of production cels from Cinderella, depicting a longing Price Charming, two evil step-sisters and the princess herself, ended at $16,730.

Concept art proved popular as bidders advanced prices for Mary Blair’s painting of what would become Disneyland’s famed “ It’s a Small World” attraction to $15,535, and her dramatic rendering of Alice tumbling down the rabbit’s hole as seen in Alice in Wonderland also to $15,535. Blair’s painting of Fairy Godmother from Cinderella fetched a strong $13,145.

Cels for classic moments in Disney films resonated with bidders as a Courvoisier production cel of the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sold for $14,340 and production cel of the dwarfs themselves, peering over a rock ledge as the Queen falls to her doom, also sold for $14,340.

A large collection made up of cels and drawings for The Beatles’ 1968 Yellow Submarine animated film was led by a color model cel featuring Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon. Used for ink and paint and animator reference, hand-painted color model cels are crucial to the overall style of an animated film, which helps explain the work’s $14,340 auction price.

A second important collection in the auction included original works from the very first time characters from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip were featured in animation. A Charlie Brown/Peanuts production cel for a 1961 Ford Falcon commercial sold for a strong $12,547. A group of three related cels from the commercial – the first time Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy did his “Happy Dance” for animation – sold for $11,950. A picture-perfect character size comparison pan model cel of nearly every Peanuts character to appear in an animated film also sold for $11,950.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited by:

A production cel from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Fantasia, 1940, sold for $8,962.


A Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner production cel from the animated short Zoom and Bored, 1957, fetched $8,365.


A production drawing by Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur, 1914, a pioneering animated short, brought $7,767.


A production cel set-up and background featuring Tom and Jerry from the MGM classic Little Orphan, 1949, sold for $5,676.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 800,000+ 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

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Noah Fleisher, Public Relations Director

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