Heritage Marks Mickey’s 90th with Blowout Animation Auction

It’s time for another of Heritage Auctions’ budget-busting Animation Art auctions! The next one, taking place December 8-9 in Beverly Hills, will join in the Mickey Mouse 90th birthday celebrations with a trove of memorabilia from his films, as well as offering the largest collection of Mary Blair artworks ever pu on the block — many of which come directly from the Mary Blair Family Trust.

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse will feature in 66 lots, in what is believed by the auction house to be the single largest collection of artwork from his earliest films. Examples span well-known classics Steamboat Willie, Plane Crazy, Barn Dance and The Opry House, and rare lots from his greatest roles in Fantasia, Two-Gun Mickey and The Brave Little Tailor, up to his most recent video game Epic Mickey. Items include drawings, production cels, original paintings, bronze statues, and even the Walt Disney Studio Mousecar Award (est. $5,000). Highlights include:

  • Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse and Pete Animation Drawing (1928) Considered “Holy Grail” caliber Disney art, the image comes from the scene where Pete throws Mickey in a bin to peel potatoes. Est. $10,000+
  • Mickey Mouse Early Publicity Artwork Signed by Walt Disney (Early 1930s) Early character design including “pie slice” eyes and double brow; ink and gouache on lightweight board. Shows Mickey in standard waving pose with inscription “Best Regards to Erie St. Claire Walt Disney.”
  • Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse Animation Drawing (1928) Extremely rare 12-field, 2-paghole drawing from the scene where Mickey throws a pail of water over a disrespectful parrot. Est. $5,000+
  • Plane Crazy Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse Animation Drawing (1928-29) Rare 12-field, 2-peghole image which nods to Charles Lindbergh from the silent short, first screened in 1928 and later aired on the first Disneyland TV show in 1954. Est. $5,000+

Mary Blair was a 20th-century artist renowned for her concept artwork for Disney films and theme park attractions, which earned her a 1991 induction into the Disney Legends group and established her as Walt’s favorite artist. Some of her artwork in the auction comes from the Mary Blair Family Trust. Blair, whose artworks include distinctive designs for Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella, is notorious for her 90-foot-high mural that remains a focal point of Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida. The offered Contemporary Resort Hotel Tile Display Prototype (Walt Disney, 1971) carries a pre-auction estimate of $50,000+.

“The significance of this auction can not be overstated, when it comes to the appeal to serious collectors of animation art,” Heritage Auctions Animation Art Director Jim Lentz said. “This sale includes work from one of the most popular Disney artists of all time, and perhaps the most popular comic character ever created. This auction really does have something that will appeal to collectors of all levels.”

Highlights of the Blair collection include:

  • “It’s a Small World” Park Ride Penguin Prop (1964) Some would call this charming fellow a “Holy Grail” of Blair props! Refurbished and given to the Blair family when the ride closed for renovation in 2008, later given to the Trust by Marty Sklar and exhibited around the world. Est. $25,000
  • “It’s a Small World” Ride “Blue Hair Boy” Statue (1964) The character can now be seen in Disney parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong; also removed during the 2008 renovation, refurbished and given to the Trust by Sklar for exhibition. Est. $25,000
  • Cinderella Coach and Castle Concept Painting by Mary Blair (1950) Large original painting of Cinderella in her coach drawn by white horses, racing off to the castle in the moonlight. Gouache on illustration board. Est. $25,000
  • “The Lady in Red” Original Painting (c. 1930s) One of the artist’s early, pre-Disney works in watercolor and ink, done when she was still Mary Robinson. Est. $20,000+

This Animation Art auction also features a large collection of Peanuts and Charlie Brown items from the Bill Melendez specials, such as:

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Sally and Linus Production Cel Setup (1966) Est. $5,000+
  • The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show “Happy Dance” Snoopy and Charlie Brown Production Cel Sequence (7) with Pan Master Background (1983) Est. $2,500
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Lucy Van Pelt, Violet Gray and Charlie Brown Production Cel (1974) Est. $2,500
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt Production Cel (1964/70s) Est. $2,500

Other top lots from various favorites include:

  • Slue Foot Sue’s Golden Horseshoe Concept Art by Sam McKim (1955) Est. $25,000+
  • Haunted Mansion Stretching Room Disneyland Painting Original Art (1969) $25,000+
  • Lady and the Tramp Background Color Key/Concept Painting by Eyvind Earle (1955) $25,000+
  • Cinderella Production Cel Setup on Master Background (1950) $20,000+

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Steamboat Willie
Steamboat Willie



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Most Popular





    Print or Digital - Subscribe!
Already a subscriber? Access your digital edition