Filed under: Auctions
Animation cels have become popular collectibles, combining art with a heavy dose of nostalgia. Cels are transparent sheets which the images are drawn and painted and they were used for early traditional animation. They are available at a wide range of price points from around a hundred dollars to many thousands depending on the complexity of the image and the significance of the final work that it is part of. Disney cels are often among the most prized with the flagship mouse, Mickey, being particularly important. Disney discontinued the use of cels in favor of computer animation several decades ago.
Heritage Auctions is selling off a Mickey Mouse animation cel, that they term the world's most valuable. The Band Concert Production Cel Animation Art, Walt Disney, 1935 – will be part of Heritage Auctions Feb. 24-25 Signature Comics and Comic Art Auction. The Band Concert is a funny, short cartoon, showing Mickey's orchestra of colorful characters playing, no matter what is happening around them. It is estimated to sell for $100,000 and is thought to be the only production setup in existence from the first Mickey cartoon that features Mickey and the entire band. The image area measures approximately 12" x 9.5", matted and framed to an overall size of 26.75" x 22.75" and has been professionally restored. The cel comes to Heritage via the Kerby Confer Collection. Confer is known to be one of the most serious collectors of original Disney material. Confer bought the cel in 2001. The cel appears on a list of most expensive animation cels which says that it sold for over $400,000 back in 1999.
"This cel is, in many ways, the ultimate Mickey Mouse item a collector could ever hope to acquire," said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations of the Comics category at Heritage. "The Band Concert was the very first theatrical Mickey Mouse cartoon in color, and has long been cherished by Disney fans worldwide."