To understand animation art, one must understand its terminology. The vocabulary involving animation cels is very specific. The difference between a master, key production, printed or publication, production, and studio background can mean thousands of dollars in value.
A “cel” is an animation drawing on celluloid. One second of film requires more than 20 animation cels. Multiply the length of a cartoon in minutes times 60 times 24 in order to approximate the number of cels used in a single cartoon strip. The vast quantities of individual cels produced are mind-boggling. While Walt Disney animation cels are indisputably the most sought after, the real bargains in the field exist elsewhere. Avoid limited edition serigraphs. A serigraph is a colorprint made by the silk-screen process. Although it appears to be an animation cel, it is not.
References: Jeff Lotman, “Animation Art: The Early Years, 1911– 1954,” Schiffer Publishing, 1995; Jeff Lotman, “Animation Art: The Later Years,” 1954–1993, Schiffer Publishing, 1996.
– Harry L. Rinker
“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”