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Disney, Hanna-Barbera, The Beatles and Charlie Brown in 1,400+ lot Heritage Auctions' Animation Auction
Joe Barbera's First Cartoon Storyboard Group (c. 1935).

BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- Two rare Disney treasures — a 1940 Walt Disney Pinocchio hand-painted Key Master production cel and background featuring Geppetto, Pinocchio and Figaro and a 1959 masterpiece Sleeping Beauty Pan Production background attributed to legendary animator Eyvind Earle — and the first cartoon drawn for a studio by animation legend Joe Barbera are the anchors in Heritage Auctions' upcoming Nov. 20 Animation Art Signature® Auction and could all bring more than $25,000 apiece.

"We knew that we had to follow-up our $1+ million inaugural auction in February with something spectacular," said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art at Heritage. "I'm confident we have. This auction features something from every corner of animation, from Disney to Bugs Bunny to The Beatles, Peanuts, Windsor McKay, Hanna-Barbera and well beyond, spanning every era in animation history."

The 1940 Pinocchio, Geppetto and Figaro Hand-Painted Key Master Set Up cel is one of a small group of surviving three-character production cells from the landmark Disney cartoon, with this set-up being among the finest Heritage catalogers have seen while the epic, museum-quality Eyvind Earle Sleeping Beauty Background is a breathtaking example of the master's finest work. The majority of every background in the film was hand-painted by Earle himself, many of which took 10 days to complete.

Joe Barbera's first cartoon drawn for a studio in 1935 for Tery Toons, at 43 pages long, represents the first cartoon script written by the legend and the beginning of a career that would influence millions of kids across a 50 year career. This humble Kiko The Kangaroo story opened the door for the man that would bring the world Yogi Bear, Top Cat, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Superfriends, Grape Ape and hundreds more cartoon characters.

Another key component of the Nov. 20 auction is a grouping of more than 50 never-before-seen pieces of rare production artwork from the momentous 1968 animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine. The chief lot of the grouping is a superb and very rare Color Model Cel featuring all four of The Beatles in the full 1960s psychedelic glory of their animated avatars' "everyday outfits" as worn in the film. It is estimated at $12,000+.

There is no arguing that Charles Schulz's Peanuts is the most influential comic strip in history, or that Charlie Brown's impact on cartoons was any less spectacular. In that vein, the Nov. 20 auction presents what can only be viewed as the birth of that TV juggernaut with the offering of a superb range of material from the Peanuts Gang's first animated appearances in the 1959-1962 Ford Falcon ad campaign, with a Sequence Production Cel Set-up featuring Charlie Brown and Schroeder being a prime example from the period. The cel is expected to bring $5,000+.

More key modern lots include a 1966 "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Key Master Set Up cel, from the Chuck Jones Archives, estimated at $10,000+, featuring a classic moment from the beloved cartoon with the Grinch looking down at poor Max the dog over the lip of his sled, and a very early and rare 1987 Simpsons/Tracy Ullman Show key master Set Up cel from the first season episode "House of Cards." It is estimated at $2,500+.

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

Cinderella Key Master Set Up with Cinderella, Prince Charming and the Stepsisters (Walt Disney, 1950): A beautiful hand painted key master background set up with four characters. Estimate: $15,000+.

1937 Snow White All Seven Dwarfs Production Cel (Walt Disney, 1937): Rare Production cel to have all Seven Dwarfs in it. Estimate: $8,000+.

Mary Blair Peter Pan Ship Concept Painting (Walt Disney, 1955): The Jolly Roger takes off for London in this timeless painting by one of Disney's most legendary artists. Estimate: $7,500+.

Pinocchio Character Model Statue (Walt Disney, 1940): From the Les Clark Estate. Estimate: $5,000+.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Concept Art (Walt Disney/Touchstone, 1993): This Tim Burton-produced stop-motion animate film is considered a modern-day classic. This mini-masterpiece is an extremely rare concept sketch of Jack Skellington about to surprise some sleeping children who are awaiting the Christmas Eve arrival of Santa Claus. Estimate: $2,500+.

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