#050 ORIGINAL UNPUBLISHED ARTWORK of ARIEL AND FLOUNDER

Running over with joy, this spectacular illustration, though camera ready and finished with printer’s marks, was never published. The action, as the two leap joyously against the setting sun, and the notation “page 24″ indicate the triumphant conclusion to a story. But what story? And with such a beautiful piece of art in question does it matter? Hand inked and painted on a 9 x 7″ cel, the image is 5-5/8 x 4-3/4′, with master acrylic background rendered on a larger 13 x 15” board to accommodate text. Disney, 2000.

#049 ORIGINAL ARTWORK of ARIEL AND FLOUNDER WITH TREASURE CHEST from “ARIEL’S CHRISTMAS UNDER THE SEA’ CD BOOKLET

Deep in her secret grotto, Ariel is enchanted to learn how humans celebrate Christmas and is inspired to create the holiday right here in Atlantica. Accompanied by her best pal Flounder, she avidly studies how it is done in this original artwork for page 7 of the read-along booklet accompanying the special holiday CD and cassette release. The camera-ready art is gorgeously hand inked and painted on a 9 x 7″ cel with original background rendered in acrylic on a 13 x 15″ board with printer’s marks. The top portion of the board is blank to accommodate the text of the story, but can be trimmed off for framing. Disney, 2,000.

#048 ORIGINAL CD COVER ARTWORK for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Belle ministers to Beast’s injured paw in this tender scene created for the cover of the Beauty and the Beast CD as part of the “Disney Dreams” limited edition box set collection of 16 film soundtracks released as a Christmas exclusive only in Japan. The finished camera-ready artwork is 18 x 18″, rendered in acrylic on board by veteran Disney artist Ron Diaz for the cover of the Beauty and the Beast CD as part of the “Disney Dreams” limited edition box set collection of 16 film soundtracks released as a Christmas exclusive only in Japan. Disney, 1991.

#047 ORIGINAL CD COVER ARTWORK for SLEEPING BEAUTY

Briar Rose waltzes with the Mock Prince in this classically beautiful original artwork created for the cover of the Sleeping Beauty CD as part of the “Disney Dreams” limited edition box set collection of 16 film soundtracks released as a Christmas exclusive only in Japan. The camera-ready painting is 13-3/8 x 13-1/2″, rendered in acrylic on board by long-time Disney master artist Ron Diaz. There is a bend in the lower left corner of the cover cel, which is not needed when the piece is framed. Disney, 1991.

#032 COVER PROOFS of PLAYTHINGS MAGAZINE for SALUDOS AMIGOS AND DER FUEHRER’S FACE

For more than 100 years, from 1902 until 2010, Playthings magazine was the premier authority for the toy and game industry, and Kay Kamen, Walt’s Disney’s merchandising master, knew how to use it.

Kamen, a young man blessed with more than his share of energy and enterprise, started a marketing company in Kansas City, Missouri, specializing in developing products based on movies and negotiating and handling the merchandising contracts involved. It is no surprise that Walt and Roy approached Kamen proposing he undertake his work on their behalf.

That was in 1932. By then Mickey had taken the world by storm and Walt was shattering the black-and-white barrier with “Flowers and Trees.” The opportunity was ripe and Kamen knew it. The story is the stuff of fable. He immediately withdrew his life savings and sewed the cash into the lining of his coat for the two-day train ride to Los Angeles. Upon meeting Walt and Roy, he spread the money on their desk and guaranteed them the entire amount plus 50% of the earnings he would generate for them. He quickly made good on his claim, bringing a steady flow of income to the struggling Studio and turning it into one of the world’s great merchandising forces. Among his many feats was the creation of the Mickey Mouse watch, which soon became the best-selling watch in America. Kamen held the exclusive Disney contract he secured that historic day for more than two decades, until his death in 1939 in a plane crash. He was 47.

In those days, there were few outlets through which Kamen could promote Disney. One of the few key venues was Playthings, and Kamen didn’t miss a beat, repeatedly securing the cover of the influential magazine for his client. These three ultra rare sheets are actual proofs printed from the magazine cover plates to be used as handouts at trade shows and conventions. The bright red, instantly recognizable Playthings appearance always caused a stir.  

The first two covers, for the December 1942 and February 1943 issues, heralded Saludos Amigos and are 9-1/4 x 12-1/4″. The third, hyping Donald’s Oscar-winning wartime triumph “Der Fuehrer’s Face” on the November 1942 issue is 9-1/4 x 9-1/4″, printed as here for hand-out with no header. The sheets are mounted on board and in excellent condition. Kamen made sure his name and contact information for licensing agreements were prominently featured, as you can see. Disney, 1942/43.