Animated cels auction a boon for collectors

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 22nd September, 2015

Mossgreen will auction one of the largest collections of hand-painted animated cels ever assembled in Australia from 2pm Sunday September 27 at the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart.

Mainly limited edition, there are about 300 cels featuring such cartoon classics as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and The Flintsones – and family favourites such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Jetsons, Top Cat and The Simpsons.

Recent blockbusters Lion King, Star Wars, Frozen, Toy Story and Avatar also are included.

Short animated films debuted in the 1930s with the first full length animated feature – Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – released in 1937.

With the move to digital media, old style hand-drawn animation cels are becoming increasingly rare and commensurately expensive.

Some of the big studios (like Disney and Lucasfilm) – along with some of the more enterprising independents – realised there was a market for limited edition artwork based on the most popular characters, films and TV shows.

Mossgreen collectables specialist Richard Gordon said limited edition animated cels (usually numbering 200 to 1000 copies) created specifically for the collectables market first appeared in the 1980s.

“It was driven by a huge increase in animated movies and the demand for the corresponding collectables,” he said.

“Limited edition cels filled the hole for collectors who weren’t in a position to afford the originals used in actual productions.”

The cels being offered at auction (by a single vendor) are hand-painted and show scenes and characters that resemble the original versions.”

The collection, which also contains smaller limited edition runs of five to 50 and prized artist and publisher proofs, features works signed by leading animation artists like Toby Bluth, Jim Salvati, Christian Waggoner, Jerry Vanderstelt, Alex Ross, Chris Wahl, Will Silvers, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.

Among the rarest is a cel from The Simpsons with signed pencil drawings by 10 of the show’s directors and a Lion King cel with original artwork from the movie. 

Warwick Oakman Antiques 62 Sandy Bay Road, Battery Point

10am-5pm Friday and Saturday

Henry Jones Art Hotel 25 Hunter Street, Hobart

10am-noon Sunday

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