Friday, August 26, 2011

Cel Set-Up from "The Band Concert" (1935)

"The Band Concert" (1935) was Walt Disney's first full-color short that featured Mickey Mouse. The Walt Disney Studios had been producing spectacular color cartoons ever since "Flowers and Trees" (1932), but Mickey himself remained in old-fashioned black and white for a few more years because he was already exceedingly popular and people would happily see his cartoons even without color. In other words, new technology was expensive even back then, so you used it sparingly where you needed it most.

For me, "The Band Concert" remains one of the best Disney animated cartoons ever, and I suspect most collectors and fans would go along with this assessment. That sly phrase in the lot description, "For advanced collectors," is meant to entice. It suggests just how exclusive this item is, and it implies not very subliminally that whoever purchases it will have moved up to the exalted rank of a truly elite collector. Indeed.

The cel set-up is just gorgeous, showing the entire band on stage taking a bow at the beginning of the cartoon. This restored artwork sold at Heritage Auctions on February 25 for $44,812.50, a lofty price, but if the lot description is accurate, the successful internet bidder snagged it for less than half what collector Kerby Confer had paid for it. So it goes.

Mickey Mouse The Band Concert Production Cel Animation Art (Walt Disney, 1935).... (Total: 1)

2011 February Dallas Signature Vintage Comics & Comic Art Auction #7030

Lot 92001

Sold for:$44,812.50 (includes BP ) 
Bid Source: Internet

Auction Ended On:Feb 25, 2011
Item Activity:8 Internet/mail/phone bidders 
3,078 page views

Mickey Mouse The Band Concert Production Cel Animation Art (Walt Disney, 1935). For advanced collectors focusing on early Walt Disney material, here is one of the most important Mickey Mouse items you could ever hope to acquire. The Band Concert was the very first color cartoon to feature Mickey and his gang, save for an earlier promotional appearance, and has long been cherished by Disney fans worldwide. It is a intensely funny short, crammed with colorful gags involving Mickey's ragtag orchestra (who never stop, no matter what is happing around them), and the efforts of soft drink salesman Donald Duck to subvert the program by playing "Turkey in the Straw" on his piccolo. The film climaxes with an intense windstorm, just as the band plays "The William Tell Overture."
This charming and beautiful cel set-up shows Mickey and company at the beginning of the cartoon, greeting their audience. It's the "pie-eye" Mickey at his best, and this incredible scene has never looked better. Professional restoration has been done by Ron Stark of S/R Laboratories. The image area measures approximately 12" x 9.5", professionally matted and framed to an overall size of 26.75" x 22.75". Please note that the areas of white visible in our image are not defects, but light reflected from the acetate, which has warped a little along the edges. The set-up looks fine in person.
This piece is thought to be the only production setup in existence from the first Mickey cartoon that features Mickey and the entire band. It was the cover lot for the December 4, 1985 Christie's East auction. Between that time and its acquisition by Kerby Confer circa 2001 it reportedly changed hands more than once, commanding a six-figure sum each time.
The most notable animation art item that Heritage has offered to date. From the Kerby Confer Collection.

Walt Disney Studios, Cel Set-Up from "The Band Concert" (1935)

Walt Disney Studios, Framed Cel Set-Up from "The Band Concert" (1935)

Mickey Mouse & Friends - 

The Band Concert (1935)

Note:  My previous post on Disney is here.


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