Animation Cels from 1960s and 1970s Saturday morning cartoons will hit the auction block on July 1. Heritage Auction based in Dallas will manage the sell, which features animation cels of Scooby, Cavey, Hong Kong Fooey and other favorites from the Generation X childhood.
According to Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art Auction at Heritage, the gold standard for collectors has always been classic Disney animation, but Generation X collectors want cartoon art from their era.
“We’ve seen a very decided and marked entrée into the market of Gen-X collectors hungrily demanding the material that populated the long Saturday mornings of their youth now that they are in a position to collect,” Lentz said. “It’s a fascinating shift to watch.”
Featured Saturday Morning Cartoons
Here are some of the animation cels on the auction block.
Challenge of the Super Friends Title Cel (Hanna-Barbera, 1978): After the success of Super Friends in 1973 and The All New Super Friends Hour in 1977, Hanna-Barbera brought to ABC this third installment of the popular franchise that pit the Justice League of America against the Legion of Doom. This show still shows on Boomerang in the US. This is the amazing hand-painted main title cel on an original background painting that features the entire cast of heroes and villains.
I totally loved the Super Friends! You can buy Challenge of the Super Friends along with many other Saturday Morning Cartoons on DVD via Amazon.
Star Trek Production Title Cel Setup and Master Background (Filmation, 1973): An original 12 field hand-painted title cel from the NBC Saturday morning animated series, a continuation of the live-action Star Trek series.
When this cartoon came on I went and poured another bowl of Lucky Charms and waited patiently for it to be over.
The Perils of Penelope Pitstop Presentation Cel (Hanna-Barbera, 1969): Penelope Pitstop was voiced by the Janet Waldo. The Hooded Claw was voiced by Hollywood Square’s favorite Paul Lynde and the Ant Hill Mob. This is a hand-inked and hand-painted published publicity cel.
This show ran from 1969 to 1971. I have no memory of it making it a super first-wave Xer fave. Click here to read more about Penelope.
Scooby Doo and Friends Publicity Cel (Hanna-Barbera, 1976): A very rare hand-inked and hand-painted in-studio publicity cel of Yogi Bear, Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble and Scooby Doo. An outstanding image, placed over a clay-coated color background.
I loved Yogi and Scooby. I also loved Wilma, Betty, Bam-Bam, Pebbles and Dino. But, I though Fred was a chauvinist grouch and Barney, not the sharpest tool in the shed. Click here for a post I wrote about the Flintstones smoking cigarettes.
Symphony of the Stars Flintstones Jetsons Scooby Doo and More Signed Limited Edition Cel Artist Proof (Hanna-Barbera, 1988). Try not to hyperventilate while you read this. Symphony of the Stars features 49 major character from Hanna-Barbera cartoons all in one glorious color image. It covers the gamut from Fred Flintstone conduction the symphony to Winsome Witch on clarinet, and all points in between.
Scooby Doo Where Are You? Publicity Cel (Hanna-Barbera, 1969): Original hand-painted publicity cel featuring Scooby Doo along with Freddie, Thelma, Daphne and Shaggy in the MYSTERY MACHINE. Used for press and publicity purposes for the Hanna-Barbera marketing team, this 12 field cel is placed over a great Scooby Doo print background.
I still want my very own Mystery Machine. Scooby was always my favorite of all the Saturday morning cartoons I watched growing up.
Laff-A-Lympics Yogi’s Yahooeys Mini-Pan Production Cel (Hanna-Barbera, 1977): Hanna-Barbera launched this cartoon parody of ABC’s Battle of the Network Stars reality show with a cast of more than 45 Hanna-Barbera characters, and it is a cult favorite among die-hard Saturday morning cartoon watchers. The series starred three teams of competitors and this rare hand-painted publicity cel features Yogi’s Yahooeys, which included 15 Hanna-Barbera characters from the early 1960s. This cel was used in almost all of the marketing efforts for the show.
I always watched the Laff-A-Lympics. Great fun and great memories!
Hong Kong Phooey Cover Page Cel (Hanna-Barbera, 1974): Hanna-Barbera launched the Hong Kong Phooey series, featuring the voice of Scatman Crothers, to take advantage of the kung fu craze of the 1970s. This is one of the rarest pieces associated with the series, a hand-painted cel used to create a cover page for script development for the new show in 1973, featuring the working title “Kung Fooey.” A true treasure of Saturday morning cartoon history.
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels Captain Caveman Publicity Cel and Background (Hanna-Barbera, 1977): This fan-favorite debuted on Sept. 10, 1977. Captain Caveman was voiced by none other than Mel Blanc. This is a rare hand-painted publicity cel of Captain Caveman that has been placed over a striking Hanna-Barbera hand-painted production background.
I adored this show. Cavey and the Teen Angels fed my love for Charlie’s Angels. I always thought Cavey was the Boz.
Inch High Private Eye Cover Page Cels (Hanna-Barbera, 1973): One of the favorite cult shows in the Hanna-Barbera library is the Saturday Morning NBC series about a private eye who is only an inch tall. This pair of rare hand-painted cels was used for early script development covers; the first one is titled “Danger Plus Two,” which was the original series title, and the second one with the final title but showcasing a different color scheme for our hero. The latter also has a revised character design. Both are 12 field cels, created circa 1971/72.
This is another show I can only vaguely recall. What about you? Do you remember the Inch-High Private Eye.
Interjections! Schoolhouse Rock Storyboards (Walt Disney, 1974): HEY! Wow! Cool. “Interjections!” is one of the most loved and remembered of the classic first season of Schoolhouse Rock. These six pages of storyboards from that episode have graphite notations on them, and many panels have been partially hand colored as well. Each page is signed by Director/Designer Phil Kimmelman.
What Are Animation Cels?
CEL is short for celluloid. It’s a transparent sheet on which objects are painted or drawn for traditional animation. Actual celluloid was used during the first half of the 20th century, but since it was flammable and dimensionally unstable it was largely replaced by cellulose acetate. With the advent of computer-assisted animation production, the use of CELs has been practically abandoned in major productions. Disney studios stopped using CELs in 1990.
How To Bid on Your Saturday Morning Cartoons Memories!
Check out the Bidding Tutorial on the Heritage Auctions website. Internet bidding is available. After it closes, live bidding takes place through www.HA.com/Live. Your secret maximum bid placed prior to the live event competes against live bids. Good luck in capturing your favorite Saturday morning cartoons memory!
What were some of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons?