Heritage breaks record $ 2.1 million with huge anime art auction

Considered the first dedicated auction of its kind, the Heritage Auctions event from June 25 to 27 The art of anime and all that is cool saw bidders push the selling prices on cels of some of the genre’s most iconic and award-winning films to over $ 2.1 million – and a record 2,853 bidders watched the block around the world. The sale boasted a sale rate of 100% in value and 99.8% in lots sold. Record prices have been set for film collection cells such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Akira.

“The successes and highlights of this sale came from everywhere,” said Jim Lentz, Artistic Director of Heritage Auctions Animation. “Record prices were observed for lots of Astro Boy, Dragon Ball, Ghost in the Shell, Pokémon, Vampire Hunter D, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and all Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki films. We are already planning ‘The Art of Anime and Everything Cool II!’ ”

Outside of Japan and in English, “anime” is familiar to Japanese animation and specifically refers to animation produced in Japan. The cornerstone of the inaugural auction was the famous Glad Anime Museum collection, created by Mike Glad, the Oscar-nominated photographer and film producer who amassed original artwork from some of the greatest anime creators. .

A perfect cel setup with a main background of My neighbor Totoro (1988), depicting the characters Mei and Satsuki, drew 69 bids before reaching $ 84,000, nearly 17 times his pre-auction estimate. The original hand-painted production airframe setup can be seen at the 48:13 mark of Studio Ghibli’s beloved classic. This stunning piece is masterfully rendered and attributed to famous art director Kazuo Oga, who was challenged by director Hayao Miyazaki to raise his standards for the film.


The configuration of a production cell Akira, featuring a thrilling scene featuring the character of Kaneda (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988), which netted a winning bid of $ 78,000 against a pre-bid estimate of $ 5,000. This extremely rare master setup from the sequence depicting Kaneda on his iconic red motorbike, can be seen at the 1:52:48 mark in the film and on page 25 of the German Film Institute’s gallery exhibit book Ga-Netchu! The manga and anime syndrome. Attributed to art director Toshiharu Mizutani, these vivid and rich futuristic city backgrounds are a defining feature of the film, and full Key Master setups like this are extraordinarily rare.

Bringing the same result of $ 78,000 was Akira Kaneda Production Cel Sequence of 4 with Key Master Pan Background (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988), an original hand-painted production sequence featured on its breathtaking Key Master Pan background from Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterpiece . This incredibly rare footage, a crown jewel in any anime collection, can be seen on page 52 of Ga-Netchu!

My neighbor Totoro Mei, Satsuki and Catbus Production Cel Key Master Setup (Studio Ghibli, 1988) drew 45 bids before reaching $ 72,000, nearly 29 times its pre-auction estimate! This cel captures the unforgettable moment of the film’s climactic scenes, in which Satsuki reunites with his missing sister, Mei, with the help of the Catbus in Hayao Miyazaki’s classic.

Another Akira play – Kaneda Production Cel Setup with Master Background (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988) – won a bid of $ 63,000 for an estimate of $ 5,000. The cels are featured against a detailed Master backdrop featuring an elaborate and futuristic cyberpunk urban sprawl that prevails throughout the film. The background is rendered in two-layered gouache, and the film’s vivid and atmospheric sets and backgrounds are attributed to Toshiharu Mizutani.

Kiki's delivery service

Kiki’s delivery service

Other highlights of the anime include:

  • My neighbor Totoro Mei, Chibi-Totoro and Chu Totoro production cell with production history (Studio Ghibli, 1988) $ 48,000
  • Akira Kaneda Production Cel (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988) $ 48,000
  • Akira Kaneda and Kei’s production cell setup with the Key Master background (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988) $ 31 2,000
  • Kiki’s delivery service Kiki Production Cel Setup with Key Master Background (Studio Ghibli, 1989) $ 30,000

The “Everything is cool” section also recorded record prices of TRON, peanuts original comic book and animated superheroes, The simpsons and so many others.

In fact, the best lot of the entire sale was a Charles Schulz Peanuts Original Daily Cartoon Art dated 9/10/51 (United Feature Syndicate). The band more than doubled its pre-auction estimate when it sold for $ 102,000. The episode features early versions of the characters, as evidenced by Charlie Brown’s smaller feet and massive head, as well as Snoopy’s smaller, more puppy-like appearance. Early Peanuts the artwork is coveted by collectors, and this band arrived a year and a week after October 2, 1950 Peanuts first.



Original 1994 collectible card art by master film poster artists Greg and Tim Hildebrandt of fan favorite character Wolverine, created for the popular Marvel masterpieces series of cards, sold for the astonishing sum of $ 26,400, against an estimate of $ 6,000.

Making his auction debut, original concept art by Peter Lloyd for the feature film TRON (Walt Disney, 1982) finished at $ 20,400, against an estimate of $ 5,000. Lloyd worked on the creation and refinement of the digital effects for the 1982 film and this rare work of art comes from the personal collection of TRON producer Donald Kushner.

The cool factor hit the charts when a surfboard featuring original artwork by the hand of Lilo & Stitch director Chris Sanders sold for $ 15,600. Never seen before at auction, the Rocket Fish tri-fin six-foot surfboard features a more mature Lilo, beautifully rendered with incredible brushstrokes and gorgeous soft tones.

Ten lots of rare production cels from 1965 Peanuts holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas and its sequel from 1992, It’s Christmas Charlie Brown again, sold for a combined price of $ 44,412. At the head of the offering was a cel of Charlie Brown himself, carrying the famous disheveled Christmas tree from the 1965 program. The rare inked and hand-painted production film by Charlie Brown from the end of the year. Episode sold for $ 14,400.

Other “Everything Cool” highlights include:

  • Original 1994 art by the Hildebrandt brothers for Marvel Masterpieces Holofoil Trading Card # 8 Spider-Man (Fleer, 1994), $ 19,200
  • Set of two original animated drawings of Gertie the Dinosaur by Winsor McCay (1914), $ 12,000.

The next Heritage Auctions animation auction will take place August 6-8 with over 1,600 lots on offer, featuring “The Art of Sleeping Beauty from Walt Disney and Eyvind Earle, The largest collection of artwork from this iconic 1959 animated feature film to ever hit the market.


A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

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