Heritage Auctions is holding its second sale devoted to rare original animation art materials on Wednesday November 20th – and this is an unabashed plug for you to examine the catalog, which has just gone online.
This auction features something from every corner of animation history, from Disney to Bugs Bunny, from UPA to Famous Studios; Yellow Submarine, Peanuts, Winsor McCay, Hanna-Barbera and beyond. Among the highlights: Joe Barbera’s first cartoon – drawn for Terrytoons in 1935, A Kiko The Kangaroo board, 43 pages long. Another key component of the Nov. 20th auction is a grouping of more than 50 pieces of rare production artwork from the 1968 animated feature, Yellow Submarine.
Heritage is offering of a cache of material from the first Peanuts animated appearances in the 1959-1962 Ford Falcon ad campaigns. This very first Schulz animation art was stored in a box and forgotten for decades, includes a Ford Show title cel set-up (above) featuring Charlie Brown and Schroeder.
Stored in a box at Playhouse Pictures for decades, before the company closed shop in 2003, the animation art and drawings in the trove made their way, in that same box, to a storage facility belonging to Gerry Woolery, the son of Playhouse Pictures founder, and animation legend, Abe Woolery.
“It was actually in a box marked ‘Ger’s stuff,’” said Gerry Woolery, who has consigned the art to auction with his brother, Ted. “I really had no idea that it was there.”
While Woolery may not have remembered that the art was in the box, he did remember the artwork quite well when he found it, and remembered that he and his brother had very specifically decided to save the art from the ignominious fate of most cartoon art of the time.
“Just like every studio – Disney, Warner Brothers, Hanna-Barbera – we threw most of it away over the years,” Woolery said. “There wasn’t much of the Peanuts art left, but we knew it was historical and we made sure to put it away.”
I highly recommend spending an hour or two pouring over the catalog yourself. Below are a few of the things I’m personally fond of (click thumbnails to enlarge). Original cels of Little Audrey (from Surf Bored), Bugs Bunny (from Hare-um, Scare-um), Fred Flintstone (from the titles), Snap, Crackle and Pop (from the 1950s!). The Disney Studio Menu, Cels from vintage Mr. Magoo, Famous Studios’ Land Of The Lost, Lobby Cards from Ub Iwerks cartoons, cel set ups from Private Snafu, Charlie Brown Ford Motors commercials, the titles from UPA’s The Man On The Flying Trapese; a signed letter from Leon Schlesinger to Harman and Ising (signed by them as well), Warner Bros. studio letters concerning Robert McKimson’s footage counts; and creating the bridging animation for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show; and original art for the opening of the Mr. Magoo cartoons.