Geppetto Animator's Model, ca. 1939
As far I know, it's a model of Geppetto from Pinocchio, and I think it was produced at the studio approximately contemporary with the making of the film. I picked it up at an estate sale up in Winter Park, which is just north of Orlando. Uh, got a pretty fair price on it, I think. But I'd like to find out a little more about what it is exactly.
When you got it, what did you pay for it?
I paid $200 for it. It was what I could take out of the ATM the time, after running to it and telling him to put it on hold, and came back, and it was still there, and came away with a Geppetto.
Okay, great, well, obviously, it is Geppetto. In 1940, Disney Studios produced a full-length cartoon, Pinocchio. It was done after the book by Carlo Collodi, and this is an animator's model from that particular movie. At the time, Disney Studios had the best of the best in animators. You had Frank Thomas, Ward Kimball, Fred Moore, Art Babbitt, who was credited with doing the animation of Geppetto for that movie. These are quite rare, unusual to find, especially at a estate sale like that. When you look at the piece, you're really getting a feel for the way the artists wanted the character to look. And that's what the artists would do. They would use these to remind them of what they wanted to draw, how they wanted it to look. And if you look carefully here, you can see, sticking between his feet, is Figaro, his cat. Just a, it's just really a wonderful, wonderful piece. Condition is nice. Does have a little chipping, a little flaking. But remember, these were made out of plaster, so it's amazing that it even survived. Just to have the candlewick there with the flame still intact, it's amazing. A lot of people say, "Gee it's got chipping. It's got flaking, it's got some cracking. Should I restore it? Should I invest money and fix it up?" I'm a real firm believer in keeping things even in rough condition, but original, rather than restoring it and making it look new. Also, along the bottom edge, you'll notice it's marked W.D.P., which stands for Walt Disney Productions. So that verifies also the age of the piece, Walt Disney Productions being after the Walt Disney Enterprises. It's a remarkable piece of animation history. As far as value goes on it, I would put an estimate somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000.
For auction purposes. Yeah, I mean, you just don't see them. Vintage Disney collectors love this kind of stuff. It's a great buy, certainly...
Certainly well worth the run to the ATM that you made, for sure.
That's amazing. Absolutely amazing.
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