Since the advent of computer animation, animation cels have gradually become popular collectibles. And one of the most important animation cels featuring Mickey Mouse is due to go under the hammer later this month. The piece in question is The Band Concert production cel from 1935.
Just to brush up on some Mickey Mouse history, The Band Concert was the first colour cartoon featuring Mickey and his friends. Prior to this, Mickey and gang appeared in colour only for a promotional. Thus, The Band Concert is a pioneering cartoon short. The short focuses on Mickey and his band-mates playing music non-stop irrespective of whatever happens around them. Donald Duck is the villain of the piece as he tries to bring down Mickey’s orchestra.
The The Band Concert cel is of the cartoon’s opening scene. The cel has been professionally restored by Ron Stark of S/R Laboratories. The piece is framed without glass to a size of 26.75″ x 22.75″. The original image is about 12 inches long and 9.5 inches wide.
It is believed that this is the only existing production cel from this first cartoon of Mickey Mouse and his gang. In December 1985, this rare, early production setup auctioned off from Christie’s. After that, the The Band Concert cel was sold more than once. The price was always a six-figure amount. The piece was acquired by Kirby Confer around 2001.
Heritage Auctions is set to auction off this Disney collectible from the Kirby Confer Collection at their Signature Comics and Comic Art Auction on 24 and 25 February. Experts estimate that the cel will sell for $100,000.