Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Social Lion New York City Production Painted Background by Thelma Witmer (Walt Disney, 1954). "This is the big city. My, my, what a lot of things to scare here." The Lion is King of Beasts and feared by all in Africa; yet when he allows himself to be captured and taken to America, he escapes and finds (according to Alan Mowbray's narration) "the city was not impressed with his highness. No one paid him the slightest attention." This original background painting of New York City was created by Disney background artist Thelma Witmer and it was photographed during the making of this stand-alone cartoon directed by Jack Kinney. Thelma Witmer is credited for "Backgrounds" and this original is her work. The background appears in the film at the 1:29 mark as the ship carrying the Lion enters New York Harbor. Thelma Witmer joined The Walt Disney Studios in the early 1940s directly into the background department. She received screen credit for the short Donald's Off Day (1944) and her first feature film credit came on Cinderella (1950). She created background art for shorts and features through The Jungle Book (1967). The art is in opaque watercolor on 15.5" x 11.75" skimmed illustration board. Tape stains along the bottom edge, with minor handling/edge wear. Very Good condition.

    Auction Info

    Bidding Begins Approx.
    23rd Monday
    Auction Dates
    11th-13th Friday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Begins Approx.
    26 Days
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: N/A
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 15
    Auction Type
    Signature®:  Heritage Live®:After Internet bidding closes, live bidding will take place through Your secret maximum bid placed prior to the live event will compete against the live bids. To maximize your chances of winning, enter realistic secret maximum bids on our site. Many of our proxy bidders are successful at winning lots in these auctions, and usually below their secret maximum. You can also place last minute bids directly with us by e-mailing or calling 1-866-835-3243. (Important note: Due to software and Internet latency, live bids may not register in time, so enter realistic proxy bids.)

    Signature® Floor Sessions
    Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session. During the live auction event, bidding in person is encouraged, and Heritage Live includes streaming audio and often video during the event.
    Track Item