Mickey Mouse Art from First Appearance Up for Sale

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Mickey and Minnie Mouse are two of the most recognizable characters in pop-culture. Since Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created them, they've appeared in countless films, comics, TV series and video games. All of that originated with a test screening of the short Plane Crazy in 1928, and now House of Mouse lovers can buy art from that first appearance. 

Heritage Auctions is taking bids on two pieces of animation art and a cel from Plane Crazy. Currently, the price for the set is hovering around $2,400 USD, but the historically important pieces are expected to fetch much more.

The lot includes two original hand-drawn animation drawings from the short. One of the drawings shows Mickey and Minnie trying to stay on the plane. The other image shows the plane swerving through the air. The lot also contains a hand-painted cel of the former scene.

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The history surrounding Mickey and Minnie's debut is a bit confusing. They first appeared in a test screening of Plane Crazy, which was a silent film, several months before Steamboat Willie, which is widely recognized as the first appearance of the famous cartoon mouse. However, Plane Crazy wasn't picked up for distribution. Disney and Iwerks didn't give up on the iconic pair and eventually created Steamboat Willie, which became the first film featuring them to be distributed. That short was actually the third to be produced.

Eventually, Plane Crazy did find wider distribution, a history that the auction's description for the items sums up well. "The Mickey Mouse short Plane Crazy was first shown as a silent film to a test audience on May 5, 1929, technically making it the first-ever Mickey Mouse cartoon," the description reads. "It was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks (who reportedly worked six straight weeks on this film, with the help of Hugh Harmon and Randolph Ising). Sound was added later and the film was released to the general public on March 17, 1929 as the fourth short following the release of Steamboat Willie."

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There are also pieces of original art from Steamboat Willie and several other animations, including Fantasia, on the website.

(via Bleeding Cool)

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