Mary Blair ‘It’s a Small World’ Piece Helps Heritage to Record $2M Auction

Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas has reported a big winning bid for the castle façade concept art for the “It’s a Small World” Disneyland attraction. Setting the all-time record for the house’s highest grossing Animation Art auction, the sale surpassed $ 2 million over the June 15-16 event.

The painting 1964 by legendary artist Mary Blair secured a $ 66,000 winning bid against a $ 10,000 estimate. This sum also set a new world artist auction record for Blair’s work, surpassing the $ 60,000 record set by Heritage in 2018.

An important group of rare art from Lady and Tramp also proved popular in an auction successfully featuring art from every major animation studio, including Hanna-Barbera Productions, Warner Bros., artwork by the legendary Bill Melendez, MGM and more, with strong sale results across the board.

“This $ 2+ million sale puts us firmly at the top of Animation Art auctions,” said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation at Heritage. “We work all year long to bring collectors the very best lots.”

Among Blair’s most iconic artwork, generating top bids this sale was a Cinderella Coach and Castle Concept/Color Key Painting, completed in 1950, which sold for $ 38,400. An Alice and Flowers Concept Painting for Alice in Wonderland sold for $ 31,200, a surfers concept painting for “It’s a Small World” ended at $ 28,800, and paintings for key scenes in the 1950 film Cinderella and a serene concept painting for the feature film So Dear to My Heart sold for $ 22,800 and $ 21,600, respectively.

Additional concept paintings for Disney classics commanding big price tags included Gustaf Tenggren’s painting for Bambi, sold for $ 31,200, and an Eyvind Earle painting for Sleeping Beauty, featuring a beautiful Princess Aurora, sold for $ 24,000.

Hand-painted cels from fan favorite productions brought several bids:

  • A production/color model cels and key master pan background for 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sold for $ 32,400.
  • Cels from beloved Peanuts holiday programs generated multiple bids as a pair of 1965 production cels from A Charlie Brown Christmas, by master animator Bill Melendez, sold for $ 18,600.
  • Two highly desirable production cels featuring Snoopy depicted as the WWI Red Baron flying ace from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown sold for $ 16,800.
  • A 1933 production cel and key master background for the iconic Mickey Mouse film The Mad Doctor sold for $ 14,400.
  • Winsor McCay’s 1914 animation drawing of Gertie the dinosaur, an important piece of inked production artwork from the early landmark animated short, sold for $ 13,200.

Additional highlights from the auction include, but are not limited to:

  • An embellished portrait print of the for “Quicksand” Stretching Room from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion sold for $ 28,800.
  • A poster for Disneyland’s “Santa Fe Railroad” park attraction from 1958 ended at $ 15,000.
  • A circa 1960s original maquette used to design the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean attraction brought $ 11,400.

Heritage Auctions’ next Animation Art Auction is scheduled for Dec. 14. Consignments are welcomed until Oct. 31 and bidding will open around Nov. 24.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Mickey Mouse - The Mad Doctor

Mickey Mouse – The Mad Doctor

Mary Blair - It's a Small World

Mary Blair – It’s a Small World

Mary Blair - Cinderella Castle

Mary Blair – Cinderella Castle

Gustaf Tenggren - Bambi

Gustaf Tenggren – Bambi

Mary Blair - Alice in Wonderland

Mary Blair – Alice in Wonderland

Animation Magazine

FMX 2019: ‘Aquaman,’ ‘Fantastic Beasts 2,’ ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Join Lineup

The 2019 FMX Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Immersive Media (April 30 – May 3, Stuttgart) is quickly approaching, but there are still new additions filling out the program. Tickets can be purchased at for an early bird rate until March 29.

John Gaeta (Senior Vice President Creative Strategy at Magic Leap) is an inventor, innovator and an Academy Award-winning designer. He is best known for his work on The Matrix trilogy where he explored groundbreaking techniques like Virtual Cinematography and Volumetric Capture. These approaches foreshadowed today’s XR platforms. Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri’s career in digital technology and visual effects spans over 20 years. Prior to Epic Games, he was the Chief Strategy Officer at Lucasfilm, responsible for the company’s Star Wars technology strategy and innovations in interactive storytelling. For The Matrix, he and Gaeta were among the team of artists responsible for the film’s signature “Bullet Time effect.” At FMX 2019, they will trace the path from The Matrix — and from even earlier — to look at what is happening now and into the future in the realm of storytelling, entertainment and human experience, with imagination, innovation and transformation at the core of that discussion.

Gary Wu, Creature Supervisor, and Rachael Dunk, Look Development Lead (both Industrial Light & Magic) will talk about the effects of DC superhero movie Aquaman. The VFX behind the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be the topic of a talk by Thomas Hullin, VFX Supervisor & Head of Munich Studio, Rodeo FX. Christian Kaestner, VFX Supervisor at Framestore, will give insights into the studio’s work on the Annie Awards winner Mary Poppins Returns. For the Coen Brothers’ latest film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Alex Lemke and Michael Huber (both Co-Founders and VFX Supervisors, east side effects) supervised the creation of over 700 visual effects shots.These VFX maestros will recount the creation processes behind these projects, from script and storyboard to filming and post-production.

The Storytelling track at FMX 2019 will shine a light on practitioners and academics who bridge the gap between the universal basics of story-building and the latest world-building happening on screen and in immersive experiences. Trisha Gum, Head of Story on The LEGO Batman Movie and Co-Director/Animation Director on The LEGO Movie 2 will be walking the audience through the importance of story in an animated feature. Craig Caldwell, Professor at The University of Utah, will dedicate a session to character development in storytelling. Jörg Ihle will shine a light on Voletarium, Europe’s largest flying theater, offering a highly immersive storyworld. Jan Pinkava, director of Oscar-awarded Geri’s Game, will review Google Spotlight Stories‘ greatest hits and biggest learnings, bringing the visitors up to date with an in-depth look at the Oscar shortlisted Age of Sail.

Ray Tracing is changing the way content is being created. FMX curators Jon Peddie and Kathleen Maher (both of Jon Peddie Research) will conduct three consecutive panels on how it is used in the film production pipeline, including conceptualization and design, realization and marketing. Blue Sky Studios’ CTO Hank Diskill, Davide Pesare (Allegorithmic), Brian Savery (AMD), Mauro Van der Vlasakker (MAXON) and Philippa Carroll (Glassbox Technologies) will talk about how pitch-viz is changing, tools being used and how having fast, full-resolution rendering is impacting the process. Hugo Guerra (fire without smoke), James Jeffers (Intel) and Emily Paige (e?d films) will explain the cost benefit of good pre-viz. Paige and Savery will also discuss the challenges that teams are facing during early production stages in another panel.

The Digital Humans track will explore the very best of both cinematic and real-time digital humans. Mike Cozens (Weta Digital) will – in addition to his Alita: Battle Angel talk in the The State of VFX track – elaborate on Alita’s facial pipeline. Justus Thies (Technical University of Munich) will present facial performance capture using commodity hardware (such as a standard webcam). Akihiko Shirai (Director, Gree VR StudioLab) will share his knowledge and a future forecasting of the new ecosystem Reality in VR 4.0. Doug Roble (Digital Domain) will discuss how new machine learning techniques can be applied to the creation of digital humans and how these characters work in real time. Track curator Mike Seymour (fxguide) will host a panel discussion on the ethics of virtual humans, the role of identity and the nature of who can represent you, impersonate you and even pass themselves off as you.

The organizers also confirmed that Backstage will be supporting FMX as a Main Partner once more. The Marketplace will be extended with AMD, Fraunhofer IIS, Gravity Sketch and Wacom. Industrial Light & Magic invite the FMX visitors to their Company Suite and booth at the Recruiting Hub. Esri and Intel will be offering workshops.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald



Animation Magazine

Q+A: Mary Jane Had a Little Lamb, And Edibles Baked by Sara Rivas Are Sure to Go

By, Charlotte Wilson Langley Sara Rivas may seem like the prototypical girl next door. She likes hip-hop, plays soccer, sings in a choir, but there is a delightful twist to this Los Angeles resident: she’s a talented gourmet baker with a not-so-secret-ingredient — weed. But Rivas doesn’t want to simply please your taste buds, she […]

Lit History: The Magical Life of ‘Brownie Mary’ Rathbun

Lit History is a weekly series that celebrates cannabis history by sharing some of the long forgotten stories of weed’s contribution to culture, community, medicine, and science. Today, writer Brian Applegarth shares about cannabis pioneer and patient rights activist Mary Jane Rathbun, known as Brownie Mary, and her significant role in the cannabis legalization movement. […]

Guru Studios EVP Mary Bredin Moving On

Mary Bredin

Mary Bredin

Mary Bredin will be leaving Toronto-based Guru Studio after serving as Executive Vice President of Content and Strategy for over 10 years. The industry veteran, who has also held posts on both sides of the Atlantic working with the likes of Disney ABC TV and Nelvana, plans to launch her own consultancy to develop new children’s TV and film projects.

During Bredin’s tenure at Guru, the studio began to create its own original content, delivering such hit series as True and the Rainbow Kingdom, Dinopaws, Big Blue and Justin Time.

The longtime EVP’s departure follows last fall’s expansion of the senior management team at Guru, when former Disney executive Kara Lord Piersimoni joined as VP of Production along with Daniel Rattner (former Spin Master global brand manager) as Senior Director of Marketing; Portfolio Ent. international sales alum Jonathan Abraham also recently came on board as Senior Director of Sales.

Before joining Guru Studio, Bredin’s job history included eight years at the Disney Channels in London, England, as Director of Programming + Acquisitions for the Worldwide Programming Strategy group; and Director of Acquisitions for Viasat, the broadcast division of the Modern Times Group. She held a variety of production and business affairs/legal jobs with producers including Nelvana. Bredin returned to Toronto in 2007, after 15 years in Europe in both Paris and London.

[Source: Kidscreen]

Mary Bredin

Mary Bredin

Animation Magazine

Daily News Bytes: ‘Breadwinner’ Tix on Sale, Mary Hidalgo’s VO Advice, Vanessa Morrison Makes EBONY Power 100 & More!

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

’LEGO Ninjago Movie’ Casting Director Mary Hidalgo Talks Casting for TV and Film
The Emmy-winning maven of voiceover casting shares her career experience, observations and words of advice with

Fox Family Prez Vanessa Morrison Named to EBONY Power 100
The recently appointed family films head and long-time overseer of Fox Animation joins the magazine’s star-studded list of heroes and leaders of the African-American community, which also includes actors Viola Davis and Dwayne Johnson. Full list here.

LA Times Issues Note to Readers on Disney Dis
In a time when billionaire buyers are shutting down unionized news sites, the paper has made it known that the Mouse House has declined to offer it advance screenings for its Holiday Movie Guide in retaliaton to reporting on its business ties with the city of Anaheim. … Not quite as entertaining as the Papa Johns/DiGiorno Twitter war, but important to flag.

Call for Entries: NYICFF Introduces Stop-Motion Award Category
The Oscar-qualifying New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival is introducing a special stop-mo award for the 21st edition with a $ 2,500 prize! Submissions are open through Nov. 20 for short films (fee discount for stop-motion films with code StoMoNYICFF) and Dec. 1 for feature films. NYICFF will be held Feb. 23 to March 18, 2018.

Tickets on Sale: ‘The Breadwinner’ in Theaters Nov. 17
Nora Twomey’s highly anticipated animated adaptation opens in two weeks at the Landmark Nuart in LA and IFC Center and Landmark at 57 West in NYC, followed by a nationwide rollout to select cities. The IFC Center will host a Q&A with Twomey on Friday at 7:20 p.m., and exclusive giveaway at the Saturday matinee screening. Read more about the film in our story from the December issue!

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

Animation Magazine

Studio Ponoc Teases ‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’


An ex-Ghibli reunion is heading to Japanese theaters next summer as Studio Ponoc — founded by former Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura — will release its first animated feature film, Mary and the Witch’s Flower. The project is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who helmed Arrietty and When Marnie Was There.

According to Anime News Network, Yonebayashi is also writing the script with Riko Sakaguchi, who penned the screenplay for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Nishimura is producing.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Mary to Majo no Hana) is based on Mary Stewart’s book The Little Broomstick. In the book, a young girl named Mary is whisked away to a training college for witches by an enchanted broomstick when she follows a cat into the woods and discovers some strange flowers. When she discovers the cat may have fallen prey to the witches’ twisted experiments, she must free him and his fellow animal captives.

Studio Ponoc was founded April 15, 2015, named for the Croatian word for “midnight” to signify “the beginning of a new day.”

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Animation Magazine

The 420 Smoke Break: Jilbril IL “Oooo Mary Jane”

smoke break 1Ah yes, it’s that time of day when we gather around the office conference table and partake in The 420 Times’ mandatory smoke break while taking in a music video or two.

For todaze #SmokeBreak we’re checking out a tune from fellow puffer of the trees Jilbril Il titled “Oooo Mary Jane”.

So, lets bust it out, break it up, load it up, light it up and puff along with The 420 Times and Jilbril IL for your 4:20 ?

Toke on and take it lite!

The 420 Times

Video: Inside the Pot Edibles Kitchen of Colorado’s Sweet Mary Jane Bakery

Sweet Mary Jane Cooks Up Cannabis Success in Denver from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

For the second of Westword‘s video series about pot edibles in Colorado (following our profile of Dixie Elixirs), the team sat down with Karin Lazarus, owner of the award-winning Sweet Mary Jane Bakery — and also ventured into the kitchen, where the magic is made.

More links from around the web!

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Toke of the Town

Hot Discs: ‘Despicable Me 2,’ ‘Futurama,’ ‘Mary Poppins’


Since there are only a couple of weeks left until the holidays, the studios are releasing some of their big titles on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Among the many hot new animated titles available this Tuesday (Dec. 10) are Despicable Me 2 (Universal Home Ent.), Futurama Vol. 8 (Fox) and a special 50th Anniversary edition of Mary Poppins (Disney).

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, Despicable Me 2 returns to the world of Evil mastermind Gru and his three young adopted girls, who are brought in to help a crime-fighting agency to stop a nefarious super-criminal. Voice talent includes Steve Carell, Kristen Wig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan, Kristen Schaal, and Coffin and Renaud as the hugely popular Minions. The movie is the No. 2 most popular movie of 2013 in the U.S., and has made over $ 918.6 million worldwide. Despicable Me 2 is available on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D Combo Packs, DVD and Digital HD including UltraViolet. In addition to more than 45 minutes of bonus features, Blu-ray Combo Packs will include three all-new mini-movies starring the film series’ breakout stars, the Minions.

Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2

The new 2-disc Futurama: Volume 8 release from Fox showcases the popular series’ 8th season on Comedy Central. The 13 episodes featured are “2-D Blacktop.” “Fry and Leela’s Big Fling,” “T.: The Terrestrial,” “Forty Percent Leadbelly,” “The Inhuman Torch” “Saturday Morning Fun Pit,” “Calculon 2.0,” “Assie Come Home,” “Leela and the Genestalk,” “Game of Tones,” “Murder on the Planet Express,” “Stench and Stenchibility” and “Meanwhile.” As usual, the release comes with “mind-altering, brain-exploding” extras not shown on TV. Come on, you know you want to relive the show’s homage to Game of Thrones, Zoidberg’s romance with a flower show girl who can’t smell his unpleasant odor, and the grand finale which features Farnsworth’s time traveling button that takes everyone 10 seconds back in time.

Futurama: Volume 8

Futurama: Volume 8

The folks at the Disney Home Entertainment have also released a special 50th anniversary edition of Mary Poppins on Blu-ray, timed with the theatrical arrival of the new Tom Hanks-Emma Thompson starrer Saving Mr. Banks, which details the making of the beloved classic movie. The all-new digitally restored musical follows the adventures of the magical nanny Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) who flies out of the windy London skies and into the home of two mischievous children. With the help of a carefree chimney sweep named Bert (Dick Van Dyke), the spirited nanny turns every chore into a game and every day into a “Jolly Holiday.” The movie received 13 Academy Award nominations and won 5 Oscars for Best Actress, Best Song, Best Music Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Special Visual Effects. It also received a special scientific award for the creation and application of Color Traveling Matte Composite Cinematography, which helped make the combination of live action and animated actors in the film possible. The Blu-ray features lots of extras, including behind-the-scenes docs about the making of the movie, its music and its pioneering effects, which blended animation with live action.

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition

Animation Magazine

Mary! Your message in a bottle has arrived…28 years later

ZAGREB | Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:42am EDT

ZAGREB (Reuters) – A Canadian man’s message in a bottle honoring his promise to write to a woman named Mary has finally washed ashore 28 years later in Croatia.

Surfers cleaning the debris from a beach at the mouth of the Neretva river in the southern Adriatic came across a half-broken bottle with a paper inside, Croatian newspaper Dubrovack Vjesnik said on its website on Wednesday.

A 23-year-old local surfer, who gave her name as Matea, nearly threw it away when she spotted a wet paper inside, which contained a message from Jonathon in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, which lies on Canada’s eastern coast.

“Mary, you really are a great person. I hope we can keep in correspondence. I said I would write. Your friend always, Jonathon, Nova Scotia, 1985,” said the message, which the daily carried in English.

Reuters: Oddly Enough