This past weekend, I spent some time reliving my childhood by watching countless Disney films. Hey, it was raining outside and you’re never too old for a Disney…
Having not really seen any of the films since I was a kid, I was amazed at how the scenes were still firmly imprinted in my mind, every lyric to the songs instantly flooding back. I’d imagine it’s the same for every grown kid who was raised on the Disney diet.
But what I didn’t realise while gawping at the colourful images as a boy was quite the level of artistry that went into the production of these movies (pre-teens aren’t exactly known for their connoisseurship, I know). Of course, it’s something that Disney is renowned for, but is too often taken for granted as the films become as familiar as Mickey Mouse’s ears.
And it’s not just with Disney films, the exquisite art of many of the top animation houses is simply mind-blowing. It’s not hard to see why collectors clamour for original production cels and drawings from their favourite films.
The skill and dedication required to make an animated movie are perfectly demonstrated in Heritage Auctions’ forthcoming Animation Art Signature Auction, led by a cel from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Disney’s first full-length movie and one of the finest animated movies of all time.
Also included are works from Eyvind Earle, the master animator behind Sleeping Beauty, who reportedly took 10 days to complete each hand-painted background for the film. Disney spent much of the 1950s in production for the film, resulting in a masterwork that, despite bombing at the box office, remains a firm favourite of dedicated fans today.
For me, these are pieces of art that easily rival my favourite works of fine art – especially when compared to some of the monstrosities I’ve seen in galleries that I would only vaguely describe as “art”. Combine this artistry and skill with the nostalgia you feel then looking at the original art or cels from your most beloved movies and you have a brilliant collectible, all at a fraction of the price of a Picasso!
Even at the top of the market, these works seem undervalued. Iconic, beautifully crafted and rare, animation art could see a boost in value once collectors realise its worth.
Take a look at our animation art for sale.