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Press Release - March 1, 2013

Classic Disney Cels Lead $923,000+ New York Animation Event At Heritage Auctions

Hand-painted cels and rare animation drawings from artists' personal collections push auction to 97% sell-through rate in New York

DALLAS – A three-cel set-up from Walt Disney's classic Lady and the Tramp realized $33,460 and a cel featuring Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia sold for $26,290 during Heritage Auctions' Animation Art Signature® Auction. The Feb. 21 auction sold 93.9% by value and 97.8% by lot.

"Our formula was to auction primarily fresh material that had never before been offered for sale, with almost no reserves, and to cross promote it to a new generation of bidders as well as seasoned animation collectors," said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art for Heritage. "We plan to continue in this vein and also to continue emphasizing the whole range of animation from 1928-2000."

As expected, Disney animation from the 1937 classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs claimed the majority of top lot honors including a Snow White and the Old Hag production cel set-up, fetched $26,290, an Evil Queen production cel with signed card brought $25,095, and a production cel featuring Snow White surrounded by seven pint-sized heroes as she sings "Some Day My Prince Will Come," and accented with a hand-painted background, sold for $20,315. A rare character model sheet featuring concept drawings for each of the seven dwarfs, plus notations, realized $6,572.

The auction offered collectors a broad range of Walt Disney's imagination as a black and white nitrate production cel with presentation background from the 1931 Mickey Mouse short Traffic Troubles reached $19,120 and a pair of original maquettes of two drunken pirates created in the early 1960s to develop Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride, quickly sold for $20,315.

A number of rarities from Warner Brothers Studios proved popular with bidders as an original signed watercolor painting of Pepe Le Pew by Chuck Jones, brought $13,732, an early Wile E. Coyote concept sketch by Jones brought $9,500, and a series of rare 1955 Wile E. Coyote production cels fetched $3,107.

"Snow White and vintage Disney has animation art is roaring back," Lentz said. "It was great to see such an enthusiastic response to this wonderful art form. People loved the broad selection of hand-drawn and hand-painted animation art from all eras. They are already asking when we're holding the next auction!"

Interest was not limited to feature films as a pan production cel set-up from the 1969 television special It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown attained $12,547 and a production cel set-up with background from 1983's The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show ended at $10,157. A 1990 production cel and background from the first ever episode of The Simpsons sold for $2,031 and a 1962 concept drawing original art for what would become the animated series The Jetsons reached $2,390, while one of five known publicity cels featuring the entire Jetson's cast of characters and signed by the actors who lent their voices to the show's return to syndication in 1985 brought $2,151.

The auction also featured a selection of cels from cult classic rock and roll themed cartoons much to the delight of collectors as a three-production cel set-up featuring John Lennon, Jeremy the Boob and Chief Blue Meanie from The Yellow Submarine reached $2,031. A production cel set-up from Rankin-Bass' 1972 series The Jackson Five featuring the cast singing their hit "I Want You Back" brought $1,195 and a pan key master cel set-up of Michael Jackson being mobbed by fair maidens sold for $1,792.

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