So, we animation historians learned last week that it was Disney who purchased Hungry Hobos for over $30,000. This was a good thing: it showed that a huge corporation was willing to spend some of its lunch money on a very early facet of its intellectual property. This also means we will probably get to see the film in some form. Such is not oft the case for items purchased by private collectors (yours truly excluded!)
I still think having paid such a high price has set a bad precedent for early animated films and art or memorabilia related to those films. Thankfully, auction houses seem to be siding with those of us who feel this way about the Oswald sale. The firms are turning away films and other items being touted by hopeful profiteer collectors/dealers. Good on them.
Discussion on this situation continues to surface on the internet...friend and fellow early animation historian Valentin Moretto of France has now posted about Hungry Hobos on his blog (in French, no less!). Thanks for the mention and link back, Valentin!