Chuck Jones, Doctor Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Grinch and Max Production Cel and Key Master Background (MGM, 1966). estimated at more than $25,000. Image: Heritage Auctions
DALLAS— Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a Christmas classic. For 50 years, the story has captivated the soul of young people trying to understand Christmas, and adults who want to relive their childhood fantasies. First released in 1966, the animated Christmas special turns 50 this year.
In celebration of the Golden anniversary of this most beloved animated Christmas special, Heritage Auctions will be offering the largest trove of Original Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas animation art. Coming from the family of legendary animator Chuck Jones, the auction will be held on June 11 in Dallas.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Chuck Jones Center of Creativity in Orange County, CA.
Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art Auction at Heritage Auctions describes the collection as one of a kind. “This is an unprecedented offering and, more importantly than anything else, it comes directly from the from the Chuck Jones Personal Archives, chosen specifically by Jones’ daughter, Linda and his grandson Craig Kausen.”
In all, 27 original pieces, all relating to the genesis and making of Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas will be offered at the auction. Included are three exceptionally rare Key Master Set-Ups from the land mark cartoon, original artworks by Chuck Jones and Maurice Nobel used in the making of the cartoon. Also to be auctioned is a plethora of important animation cels along with original Chuck Jones Grinch paintings featuring the characters of the Christmas classic.
A major highlight of the sale is an exceptional hand-painted production cel of Grinch looking into a hand mirror held in the mouth of his faithful pooch Max as he completes his Santa costume. Beyond originality, this cel is absolutely significant. It is on the Key Master Hand-painted Production background from the scene, of which only one was made and used for the production. Lentz describes the cel as “a spectacular offering.” It is estimated at more than $25,000.
One of the first concept drawing of the Grinch by Chuck Jones is another major highlight of the Animation Art auction. Described as one of the earliest drawing for the Grinch character by the animator, Grinch is depicted with a larger belly. This drawing is accompanied by one of the first hand painted cels of the Grinch. It is estimated at more than $10,000.