Friday, May 30, 2008

SR Labs Update

Seems having an auction on Memorial Day is a bad idea. Perhaps that explains some the number of unsold and lower-priced lots in the SR Labs Spring Auction.

This is an email from 'S/R Laboratories, Inc.'


Hi, Everyone.

Seems like more of you were traveling during the Memorial Day holiday than expected. And many of you have emailed me asking for the link to the catalog because you were out of town during the auction.

Well, we won't have an auction over a holiday again...that's for sure. And we don't want you to be disappointed either.So, If you check back tomorrow there will be a link for you to access the Spirng 2008 Lab Listings© catalog for a little while longer.And, we are, of course, beginning to accept consignments for our October, 2008 sale. Please email us to let us know what you'd like to offer.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

SR Labs Top Sellers

Sold = 5800
Sold = 5800

Lot #057 ARABIAN FISH from FANTASIA $2400-$3200

Sold = 4910

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wednesday Night Roundup

From ebay
Baloo from The Jungle Book
Sold: $662

Nice image of Baloo with a really interesting inclusion of the leaves. Some cracking apparently but still a really nice shot of this beloved character. It was picked up by a gallery, so don't be surprised if this one is back on the market in the not too distant future.

From ebay

Briar Rose from Sleeping Beauty

Sold: $510.00

Small image but a really nice set up. As highlighted in previous posts, Sleeping Beauty is highly desired by collectors. Cel is in decent condition, though in this case, size matters. A larger image of Briar Rose may have fetched more on ebay.

Monday, May 26, 2008

SR Lab Best Buys

Be sure to get your bids in for SR Labs Spring Auction.

Going over the catalogs, here were the ones I thought were the best buys. My reasons for picking these items vary greatly. Some are rare, classic characters. Some are reasonably priced master setups. Others are just good values.

Lot #151 CRUELLA DE VIL from 101 DALMATIANS $1600-$2400
Lot # 130 URSULA from LITTLE MERMAID $700-$1000
Lot #113 JAQ from CINDERELLA $600-$900
Lot #117 MICHAEL AND BEAR from PETER PAN $300-$600
Lot #250 OLIVER AND DODGER from OLIVER & COMPANY $300-$600

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons

From ebay
Prince John from Robin Hood
Sold: $255.73
One of Disney's most underrated villains, Prince John is perhaps the most entertaining characters from Robin Hood. This image appears to be wavy, which is unfortunately not uncommon for cels. The pose is slightly awkward, because in the film, he's sitting in a throne. Still, notice all the rich colors in this image - from the rings to the inside of his robe. A solid buy! Frame included, which raises a question: When you buy, do you prefer it framed or not? Let me know!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What We're Watching

Full wrap up of the SR Labs Auction next week. In the meantime, its been slim pickings on ebay this past week. However, this gem popped up at Wonderful World of AnimationFrom WWA gallery
Dopey and chipmunk from Snow White
Price: $3,400

Smaller image of Dopey, as the site says the piece is 3.25" h x 2.25" w. But what a cute expression of Dopey. Look at his eyes and how they are slightly off-center from his nose. And the chipmunk here is extremely cute.

A Cel-er's market?

So all the talk in the news is of an economic slowdown. The market for cels already seems to have taken a dive from its heydays in the late 80s and early 90s. But what do you think?
Is it a buyers' or sellers' market? Will it be harder to sell pieces in the next few months? Will there be better deals for buyers? Or is the market pretty fixed at this point?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Roundup

From ebay
Dumbo from Dumbo
Sold: $2501
Adorable action shot of Dumbo, in amazing condition. The owner says it was purchased a few years ago for double the price.

From Philip Weiss Auctions
Donald and nephews from The Hockey Champ
Sold: $2,300
Great poses of Donald and his nephews from this classic film. I understand the high price due to the Vintage nature of the item and yet considering the selling price of another Donald piece at the same auction (see below) and the waviness of this cel, I am a little surprised.
From Philip Weiss Auctions
Pegasus family from Fantasia
Sold: $4,500
Amazing cel. Its rare to see a cel with multiple members of the Pegasus family. Also, notice the stunning reflection cel being sold with this. The highest selling Disney cel from this auction.

From Philip Weiss Auction

Captain Hook from Peter Pan

Sold: $1,350

One of everyone's favorite Disney villains being caught by surprise. The exaggerated pose is classic. Like a lot of classic villains, Hook cels typically go for as much as, if not more than, the main hero.

From Philip Weiss Auctions

Ostriches from Fantasia

Sold: $2,300

Another amazing cel from Fantasia. The item says it's on a "studio background." Great condition. Really a fantastic buy.

From Philip Weiss Auctions

Donald and Daisy from Don Donald

Sold: $1,300

Donald and Daisy from this classic cartoon. Daisy, one of the angriest Disney characters, is off in a huff as Donald - at his most charming - chases after her. Again, considering how much the cel of Donald and his nephews sold for, this seems almost like a bargain. Any thoughts on the thousand dollar difference between these items?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Why Should I Worry" about Oliver

I would like to thank one of my readers for this topic idea...
Why are Oliver and Company cels so cheap/affordable?

The Disney company has dismissed Oliver and Company as a "training" film for the generation of animators who would go on to revive the Disney brand. In short, the film has been sidelined by Disney and hence collectors.

If you had to describe Oliver in one word, it would be "scruffy." From the storytelling to the art itself (by all accounts, it was a stylistic decision), the film feels as unpolished as any cartoon the studio ever released.

But Oliver and Company marks some key transitions in Disney animation, as captured in the cel below. (Currently for sale at Wonderful World of Animation for $395.

First, it advanced the use of computer animation. Take the stairs here: designed in a computer but painted by hand. Of course, at the time, the studio swore computers would never replace humans. And while 2D is coming back, hand-painted production cels are not. Oliver and Company is the second to last full-length Disney feature to release cels.

Second, Oliver and Company aggressively promoted the use of celebrity voices in animation. One of the key selling points of the film was that Billy Joel and Bette Midler (along with Cheech Marin, Joey Lawrence, Richard Mulligan, etc) were starring in it. Disney executives - hungry for a hit - wanted to make a movie which would appeal to as many people as possible and decided stars would be one way to do that. Sure, there are celebrity voices in previous Disney cartoons (especially in the 1970's) but Oliver went for "cool" stars. Billy Joel and Better Midler were riding a second wave of popularity at the time and their participation gave the film the street cred it needed.

Third, it was a hit, albeit a modest hit. While it was not as successful as Roger Rabbit, it gave Disney animation some much needed momentum. When promoting Rescuers Down Under and Beauty and the Beast, Disney used the success of Oliver and Company to show The Little Mermaid was not an anomaly but part of a trend.

So, why can you pick up the following cel (great image of Jenny and Oliver with cool effects) for $250 at Van Eaton Galleries? Sure, age is a factor, but Little Mermaid cels can fetch as much as any Disney film from the 1950s.

Well, Oliver and Company is not a perfect film. Despite its attempts to be cool, the storytelling makes it hard for anyone over the age of 12 to fall in love with it. And really, the best Disney films (the one whose cels still command top dollar) appeal to people of all ages.

However, it's also worth noting that after the success of The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast (and the failure of the exciting Rescuers Down Under), Disney decided to focus on creating "timeless" classics. It no longer made sense to promote Oliver and Company since it takes place not in a fantasy world, but in our own time.

So, where does this leave the collector? It's a buyer's market. If you love Oliver and Company, as many people who grew up in the '80s do, go ahead and buy a great cel. Cel collecting should be about love (and, if you so choose, money).

So why not go for one of these great cels also from Van Eaton Galleries:

Oliver and the gang for $400.
Tito, at his most appealing, for $125.
And my personal favorite: Jenny, Winston and Oliver waving goodbye for $200! (Much better than the $200 spent on a Roscoe and Desoto cel highlighted in a previous cel).

So, do you collect Oliver cels? Or do you avoid them? Is my analysis fair or way off? Please chime in!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SR Lab Preview

The website for SR Lab's spring auction will be up and running next week. In the meantime, Scoop has a preview of some of the beautiful pieces which are up for auction. Take a look at the stunner from Fantasia's Nutcracker sequence. These fish with translucent tails - in a formation akin to Busby Berkeley - are absolutely gorgeous. Also, note the effects included in this set-up.

And then there's this cel of Cruella. Look at the devilish look on her face as she laughs to herself over her diabolical plan. While she's not wearing her classic coat and her eyes are closed, this is sure to be a hugely popular item.
One more interesting note about the cel on the cover of the article. It's currently for sale on We know from their website that this setup includes a production background.

Speaking of Animation Celection, their website is one of the most disappointing online galleries. First of all, as a collector, I hate websites which don't tell you their prices. What are they hiding? A gallery as well known as Celection should really have its act together. They rarely update their website. Hence, an item like this one is being sold in a couple weeks at a different auction but they still have it listed on their own website. I don't say this to bash Animation Celection. They have one of the best collections online. But they really need to care more about their own website.

So, are you excited for this spring's SR Lab auction? What kind of cels are you hoping to see there?

Also, how do you feel about Animation Celection and other galleries which don't share their prices until you contact them? Am I being too harsh?

Tuesday Night Roundup

From ebay:
Roscoe and Desoto from Oliver and Company
Sold: $200

Really?? Sure a framed Disney production cel is worth something. But I'd be hard-pressed to think of two characters less desirable from any Disney film than Roscoe and Desoto. Is that harsh? Considering you can pick up a cel of Oliver and the entire gang for $200 on ebay, it seems odd to me that this cel would have been snatched up. Am I wrong? (Not rhetorical, tell me if I'm wrong).

From ebay
Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore
Sold: $15.50

A cel of Winnie the Pooh from the last featurette (though made with the new generation of Disney animators). A steal for the price. The really cool thing about this item is not that it was being sold with a drawing of Pooh, but that it includes a rare production overlay of the pages in which Pooh and his world exist. The "book" is what helps give the original Pooh series its magical feel.

From ebay:

Peanuts gang from A Charlie Brown Christmas

Sold: $1,534.00

While Disney cels are the main focus of this blog, a treasure like this cel cannot be ignored. Recently sold on ebay, this is a great cel from this holiday classic. Similar cels without Snoopy and Linus have sold for between $1400 and $1900.

From ebay

Two cels from Small One

Sold: $324.89

Interesting pairing from Disney's attempt at a holiday classic. Small One has its fans but the short has been all but forgotten when Disney animation is discussed. Still, a great cel of the two main characters with another cel thrown in for the deal.

From ebay

Mickey in Brave Little Tailor

Sold: $2,800

An amazing cel of classic Mickey in one of his last appearances before his Fantasia makeover. Great Courvoisier set-up. I'm sure a gallery would charge more than this price for the cel, especially because it appears to be in good shape and Mickey has a cute pose.

From ebay

Jiminy Crickey in Pinocchio

Sold: $999.00

Jiminy gets ready to knock some sense into the boys in Pleasure Island. A great scene from this animated masterpiece. There is some paint missing from Jiminy's foot. Interestingly, once the reserve was met, the bidding stopped.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Get ready for one of the most exciting animation auctions of the year! S/R Labs hosts a Spring and Fall auction every year. You can buy a catalog or wait til May 19th when the auction goes online. Always has a few great surprises and lots of rare pieces.
From ebay
Donald Duck and Jose Carioca from Saludos Amigos
Sold: $975.55
Great pose by Donald (is there a more classic Donald pose?) and interesting cel of Jose. Clearly this set-up has seen better days. The waviness is customary for a cel this old. However, with great character poses and renewed interest in Saludos Amigos (a new DVD and the film festival premiere of WALT AND EL GRUPO), its easy to see why this vintage cel was bought up for this price.

These two classic cels were taken off of ebay late last week. It will be interesting to see if they pop up elsewhere. Two great pieces. Hopefully, we'll see them real soon.


Sold on ebay for $2,729.99. As stated earlier on this blog, this is a great cel from one of the most cherished moments in Disney animation history. Briar Rose dancing with the "Owl Prince" is highly sought after. I admit I was slightly surprised the cel went quite as high as it did though. I guess I learned there are some hungry ebayers out there after all. They are willing to pay for the right piece.