Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Oscar sells for 25% increase on estimate

An Oscar presented to Allie Wrubel, writer of the Disney song Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, in 1947 has sold for $125,000 at Nate D Sanders.

The lot headlined the online sale, beating its $100,000 estimate by 25%.

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah appears in Disney's controversial Song of the South (1946). The film features the character of Br'er Rabbit, a morally ambiguous trickster similar to the spider Anansi, who originated in folk stories told by enslaved West Africans in the United States.

Oscar Wrubel
Pre-1950s Oscars can be complicated to sell

The film is rarely shown today and was never released on video, in contrast with other Disney films from the era.

This is largely because it presents an idealised view of the South during the time of slavery.

Ironically, it represented something of a leap forward in its casting of African American actor James Baskett - who became the first live action star of a Disney film.

Even more ironically, he couldn't be at the film's Atlanta premiere because no hotels would take him in.

The sale of pre-1950 Academy Awards is something of a legal minefield, due to a clause that remains in effect today. Technically, the Academy must be offered to buy the award back for the sum of $1.

This was the case in a recent sale at Briarbrook Auctions, where the lot was withdrawn.

However, an Oscar presented to cinematographer Gregg Toland in 1939 and another to art director Joseph C Wright in 1942 both sold recently without incident.

It could be that the legal confusion surrounding pre-1950 Oscars that ensures they remain scarce and holds up a booming market.

We have this copy of Walt Disney's America signed by 20 of the company's key animators and voice artists.

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