Saturday, October 8, 2016

Original draft of Disney's 'Steamboat Willie' is up on the auction block

The draft of one of the most famous Disney film shorts is on the auction block.

The first four pages of the first draft of "Steamboat Willie," the first animated sound cartoon created by the Disney Studios and starring the one and only Mickey Mouse, is up for auction by f S/R Laboratories Animation Art Conservation Center.

The short not only saved the" Disney Studio after the loss of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but singlehandedly gave animation itself, which had been showing serious signs of having outlived its novelty, a shot in the arm so powerful it saved the entire industry and propelled both it and Walt's new star into one of the great forces of modern times," Ron Stark, director of S/R Laboratories Animation Art Conservation Center, said in a new release.

The pages were discovered in 1981 by the current owner of the pages. The four 8-1/2 x 11″ pages, created by Disney legend Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney on May 19, 1928. It wan't until 2013 that the pages could be authenticated.

David Iwerks, Ub Iwerks's son and the world's principal authority on his father's work "spent a considerable amount of time examining all the pages of the draft from every aspect, applying his first-hand knowledge of his father's artistic style and thinking, as well as what he knows of the history of that time," Stark said in the release. "His conclusion was definitive: the draft and its drawings are unquestionably authentic."

The auction is part of the 40th Anniversary of the company. The catalog is available at

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