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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 doo!” 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 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.
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. Other really cool (and relatively cheap at a $1,500 estimated price) items are 13 manuscripts from the mandatory weekly classes Disney made the entire art department at his company 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 “Yabba dabba doo!,” which, of course, became Fred’s signature catchphrase.
There is also a collection of paintings putting Mr. Magoo in famous works of art, such as Picasso’s “Girl in the Mirror,” Grant Wood’s “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?” says Lucy Carr, Bonham’s specialist of entertainment memorabilia. “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.”
More information on the auction, which will be held June 13, can be found here.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins