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Original Disney cels actually used to make the studio's animated features are going up in price. A three-cel scene from "Lady and the Tramp" (1955) brought $33,460 and a "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) production cel set-up showing Snow White with the Old Hag sold for $26,290 at a Heritage auction in New York City on Feb. 21, 2013. The director of animation art at Heritage said after the auction that vintage Disney animation art is "roaring back." Other recent sales show the trend is continuing. But be sure you're buying an original production cel. Many later copies were made to sell at Disney gift shops and elsewhere.

lady and the tramp disney cell











Photo: Heritage Auctions



#1 Original vs. Copied Celsandy 2013-04-17 16:12
> But be sure you're buying an original production cel.
> Many later copies were made to sell at Disney
> gift shops and elsewhere.

Hear, hear... although I have to say, in my limited experience, the "later copies" make themselves fairly obvious in terms of posed characters, elaborate framing backgrounds and such.

The original production cels won't have a background of their own, might be incomplete in terms of lower body (e.g. for closeups where no one would need to paint the entire figure), or have an unusual mid-motion pose, but that can make them all the more interesting as a result. They may also have scribbled production comments or notations in the off-camera margins, again adding interest.

For example, one of my personal favorites, purchased back in the early 1980s, is a production cel of Fred Flintstone, only portrayed from head to waist, and looking down below the camera to something on his right. As near as I've been able to determine from watching the occasional episode in the hopes of seeing my cel, he was probably walking and talking with Barney Rubble, who's much shorter. Not as richly detailed as a "Limited Edition Collectible," but infinitely more interesting to own.

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