Albert Hurter’s concept drawings for ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (Disney/Bonhams)
By Andy Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter
Ever wonder if Walt Disney considered other names for the Seven Dwarfs in Snow White? (He did). Or who came up with the catchphrase “yabba dabba do” for Fred Flintstone? (It was legendary voice actor Mel Blanc). These questions and others are answered in the cool animation items up for sale at the upcoming Bonhams/Turner Classic Movies Drawn to Film auction.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was Disney’s first feature-length animated film and the animators worked to give each of the seven dwarfs a distinct personality. The concept sketches (see above) include such familiar ones as Doc, Grumpy, and Dopey, and the not so surprisingly dropped dwarfs, Deafy and Baldy. Other unused dwarf names included Jumpy, Wheezy, Tubby, and Sniffy. The estimate for the sketches is $3,500-$4,500.
Also up for sale is a cool looking black and white celluloid of Minnie and Mickey Mouse from Mickey’s Steam Roller (1934), estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
‘Mickey’s Steam Roller’ (Disney/Bonhams)
Other highlights include Jungle Book and Sleeping Beauty concept art ($8,000-$15,000), 71 animation drawings from the Silly Symphony series (1929-1939), which were wordless shorts that accompanied classical music. Another really cool item—and relatively cheap, at a $1,500 estimated price—is 13 manuscripts from the mandatory weekly classes Walt made the entire art department at Disney take in the early 1930s on things like animation theory and drawing.
Non-Disney items up for sale include a Mel Blanc-annotated script for an early The Flintstones pilot (then called The Flagstones), estimated at $1,500-$2,000. Twice in the script Blanc, who voiced Fred, crossed out the line “Yahoo” and replaced it with “Yabadabadoo,” which, of course, became Fred’s signature catch phrase.
There is also a collection of paintings putting Mr. Magoo in famous works of art like Picasso’s “Girl in the Mirror,” “American Gothic,” and Van Gogh’s "Self-Portrait.”
“Collectors are always interested in the mode of production: how did the filmmakers achieve the final effect? This sale allows us to take a peek behind the scenes at our favorite animation studios, from the early concept drawings, scripts, and storyboards, character designs, and finally to the finished cels,” said Bonham’s Specialist of Entertainment Memorabilia Lucy Carr.
More information on the auction, which will be held on June 13, can be found at the Bonhams website.
Watch a clip of Disney history, from the 1928 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short, ‘The Hungry Hobos’: