Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Heritage Animation Art Auction

Heritage is running an animation art auction and you can see the complete, illustrated catalog here.

The art that is in this catalog is increasingly limited to the nostalgia market.  People growing up now will see this material as old fashioned and they don't have equivalent art to buy from the shows they grew up watching.

There was a time when animation art auctions were common, but since the field has gone digital, whether 2D or 3D, there is no longer any original art to sell.  The art that goes into pre-production is generally now available in the books that seem to accompany every animated release.  However, the animation business has lost a revenue stream and they seem to have lost interest in the high end collectibles market.

I don't follow the collectibles market closely, but is Disney still putting out limited editions and expensive pieces?  With DreamWorks diversifying and looking for revenue wherever it can, I'm surprised that they haven't tried to develop this market.  With cgi and 3D printing, I can see a market for turning out limited edition figurines that are actual poses from films.  The characters from the How to Train Your Dragon films seem a natural for this.

It will be interesting to see if animation art returns to being a small, esoteric piece of the art market or if studios figure out a way to get back into it in a big way.  If it remains a nostalgia item, it will eventually have its customer base die off.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. Do you have any sense of the range of prices some of the mid-range items here might go for? Are there past auctions that might provide some guidance?
I'm not a collector and have no sense of whether I might have any chance of getting something with my modest means.

Mark Mayerson said...

I haven't bought animation artwork for decades, so I don't know what current prices are. However, if you go to the Heritage website and do a search for "Disney animation art," you can see what previous items at auction went for. That may give you an idea.

Molasses said...

Re: 3D printing actual poses, Im really surprised this hasn't appeared yet. Spielberg & Jackson et al missed the boat on Tintin with this idea. Example of the look they could have gone with to enable this: http://bit.ly/1DlTjPp