Currently offered on eBay is this cel set-up with master background from Walt Disney's "Tarzan" (1999). No painted character cels were created in the production of this movie, or indeed for any Disney animated movie after "The Little Mermaid" (1989). Instead digital imaging techniques were used to transfer the artwork directly from original animation drawings to the master print. In order to create desirable character cel set-ups for the animation art market, the now somewhat obsolete Ink and Paint Department at Walt Disney Studios specially created character cels from the original animation artwork retrospectively to match what such artwork would look like had traditional animation techniques been used. This ploy also allows the original master background artwork to be sold at a premium.
Some 150 such pieces were offered for sale at Sotheby's New York on June 29, 2000. This particular one, lot 59, depicts Tarzan playfully wrestling with Terk. It is a two cel set-up. Its estimate back in 2000 was $2,000 to $2,500, but it sold then for a strong hammer price of $4,750. Now it is on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $15,995, or roughly three times the cost in 2000, slightly less when the buyer's premium is included in the original purchase price. Presumably a little something could be shaved off this hefty price with the Make Offer feature, but it's still likely to be quite expensive. In addition, the $500 shipping cost is not insignificant.
The question is, has this kind of piece really trebled in value over the past decade, particularly as Disney is only rarely producing traditional animated features now? Or is this merely an example of a greedy seller setting the price too high and seeing if someone will bite? Perhaps it's a little of both. Prices have come up in the intervening years, and some dealers do ask truly outlandish prices as a matter of course. The economy limits what even devoted fans can pay, and one should bear in mind too that this is an investment. If one were to pay $16,000 to own this piece, what are the chances of being able to recoup your money or even make a profit should you decide to sell in the next ten years? Not very high, I would think. This item is one of the few really collectible works of animation art from "Tarzan," so it might induce someone to make the stretch. My final opinion, though, is that one could put $16,000 to better use in the animation art marketplace.
The seller's photo (tmqposters)
My scan from the Sotheby's catalogue, which I've included because the seller's photo doesn't meet my minimal standards for a blog post. And I don't have $16,000 riding on this!
The Sotheby's catalogue
Here's the eBay listing, pretty much in full as it appeared on October 2. I've shrunk some of the type on the biographical information because, really, it's a lot of words but not much worth reading unless you're seriously thinking of buying. With auction house listings, I've generally included the full lot description. EBay listings are a bit more unruly and subject to the quirks of the individual seller:
|Item location:||St. Michaels, MD, United States|
|Ships to:||United States|
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
Last updated on Sep 01, 2011 12:02:10 PDT View all revisions
Shipping and handling
Item location: St. Michaels, MD, United States
Shipping to: United States
Excludes: US Protectorates, APO/FPO
TARZAN AND TERK with ORIGINAL KEY MASTER HAND-PAINTED PRODUCTION BACKGROUND from DISNEY'S "TARZAN"
TARZAN,TERK WRESTLING 1215070 SCN19 SEQ. 8.6 (ORIGINAL LABEL ON BACK) WITH ORIGINAL GREEN LOT AUCTION STICKER 059 SOTHEBY'S NEW YORK
ORIGINAL DISNEY CELS, ESPECIALLY ORIGINAL PRODUCTION BACKGROUNDS, ARE IN COLLECTIONS IN THE MAJOR ART MUSEUMS OF THE WORLD, INCLUDING THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
A HAND PAINTED ORIGINAL KEY MASTER PRODUCTION BACKGROUND FROM DISNEY'S "TARZAN". IT MEASURES A GIANT 12 1/2" X 30 1/2" WITHOUT THE MATTING AND FRAME WHICH ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE. IT IS IN EXCELLENT/MINT CONDITION. "TARZAN" IS PART OF THE DISNEY RENAISSANCE FEATURE LENGTH ANIMATED FILMS AND THE MAGNIFICENTLY PAINTED BACKGROUNDS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE THE MOST SPECTACULAR AND BEAUTIFUL EVER CREATED BY THE DISNEY ANIMATION ARTISTS. (NOTE: THIS IS A TWO CEL SET-UP, ONE OF WHICH IS AN UNDERLAY), IT ALSO HELD THE RECORD FOR BEING DISNEY MOST EXPENSIVE ANIMATED FILM AT $150 MILLION, UNTIL IT WAS BROKEN 11 YEARS LATER BY "TANGLED". TO CREATE THE SWEEPING 3D BACKGROUNDS,TARZAN'S PRODUCTION TEAM DEVELOPED A 3D PAINTING AND RENDERING TECHNIQUE KNOWN AS"DEEP CANVAS". IN THIS SPECTACULAR HAND PAINTED BACKGROUND, TARZAN AND TERK PLAYFULLY WRESTLE EACH OTHER. SINCE THE DISNEY STUDIO DID NOT PRODUCE ANY CHARACTER CELS ("THE LITTLE MERMAID" IN 1989 WAS DISNEY'S LAST FEATURE FILM TO USE THE TRADITIONAL HAND-PAINTED CEL METHOD OF ANIMATION OF CHARACTERS), THE CEL OF TARZAN AND TERK WERE HAND INKED FROM THE ORIGINAL ANIMATION TO EXACTLY MATCH THIS "KEY MASTER PRODUCTION BACKGROUND" BY DISNEY ANIMATION ARTISTS FOR THE SOTHEBY'S AUCTION IN 2000 WHERE I ORIGINALLY PURCHASED IT. THIS BACKGROUND COMES WITH A NUMBERED CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY FROM "DISNEY ENTERPRISES INC." . THIS IS A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO OWN A PIECE OF ORIGINAL FILM HISTORY AND DISNEY ANIMATED ART THAT ACTUALLY WENT "UNDER CAMERA" IN THE FILMING OF "DISNEY'S TARZAN".
"WHY THE FULL NELSON?!!! THE BACK - CAREFUL!! OH!!!"
PROVENANCE: SOTHEBY'S NEW YORK THE ART OF DISNEY'S TARZAN tm AND FANTASIA 2000. THURSDAY JUNE 29, 2000. LOT # 59
"never live with regret"...
Hello. By way of introduction and for your information, I am TMQPOSTERS. Everything that you will see on my EBay Selling List is from my personal private collection. I started collecting NEW and VINTAGE ORIGINAL MOVIE POSTERS (especially GONE WITH THE WIND, STAR WARS, all SPIELBERG, DISNEY, ACADEMY AWARD WINNERS, BATMAN, LORD OF THE RINGS, HARRY POTTER, CLASSICS, CULT, CAMP, TRASH, ETC!!!) since I was a 27 year old in 1976 when I moved and lived in NYC. All the posters (even the originally folded ones) have been rolled in tubes and stored in a temperature controlled environment from the time I purchased each one. Needless to say, it is a diverse and eclectic collection of over 650 POSTERS. I also collected ANIMATION ART, specifically ORIGINAL DISNEY HAND PAINTED PRODUCTION BACKGROUND PAINTINGS that went under camera in the filming of Disney movies. I will not knowingly misrepresent the pieces I put on EBay. All the photographs you see of my posters and art are ones that I have taken, not downloaded from other online sites. I will gladly answer all questions, discuss shipping, etc. Whether you're a fan, collector, dealer, and/or looking for an investment piece I know what I have and the values of what I am offering. The Movie Poster and Animation Art I offer will be interesting, diverse, original and in many cases a rare opportunity for any collector. Yes, some are Museum quality pieces, or obviously will be. I am now 62 years old, downsizing, and divesting myself of this collection just as enthusiastically as when I started accumulating this wonderful brilliant trash. Thanks for your interest. And wait till you see what will be "COMING SOON TO A THEATRE NEAR YOU!!!"
Too often in life we regret not doing things that we are able to do, for whatever reason, when we are presented with the opportunity to do so. I say “Never live with regret”. TMQPOSTERS.
I ship all purchases over $500 by REGISTERED INSURED US MAIL, which requires your signature on arrival. If you are not there to sign the US Postal Service will leave a delivery notice so you may claim the delivery at your local Post Office. The US Post Office does not leave REGISTERED INSURED MAIL at your door unattended.
The purchase you make will be shipped in a sturdy package and fully insured. To protect both parties I will insure all items for the full amount. We are aware that accidents can happen. Our items will be insured thru the US Postal Service. Should something happen during shipping, please take individual digital photographs of the damaged item and the packaging and contact me thru Ebay so I can handle the claim and give you additional instructions.
|No questions or answers have been posted about this item.|
December 19, 2011 Update: The Buy It Now price has been reduced to $12,995.00 through Christmas.
January 22, 2011 Update: The But It Now price is still $12,995.00, $3,000 less than the original price. In addition, the hefty $500 shipping charge has been reduced to $350, perhaps in part because less insurance will be required.
February 8, 2013 Update: The seller has posted a far better photo. The Buy It Now price is still $12,995.00, but the expedited shipping is now free. The Make Offer option is still available Three offers have been declined, most recently about six months ago.
"TARZAN" KEY MASTER DISNEY PRODUCTION BACKGROUND
Note: My most recent post on Disney art can be found here along with the history of how I came to be a blogger.
Link to the eBay sale: