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Disney Animation Art

The Walt Disney Company revolutionized the world of animation in the 20th century, not only producing cherished animated films but also pioneering the preservation, archival, and reproduction of its company’s works.

In 1923, animator Walt Disney and his businessman brother Roy Disney founded the Walt Disney Company, originally called the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. After creating a number of successful Mickey Mouse short films, the company produced the world’s first fully animated feature film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” followed by nearly 30 more using traditional animation techniques. After 1989, studio crews adopted computer animation almost exclusively, and the last film Disney produced using hand-inked and hand-painted production celluloid (cels) was “The Little Mermaid.”

For vintage Disney art collectors, original production cels are becoming rare and highly collectible, particularly anything produced from the 1920s through the 1950s. Also revered are original backgrounds, drawings, concept sketches, and storyboards. Any pieces signed by a Disney artist or Walt Disney himself will hold high values.

Aside from original production art, Disney has produced and marketed a variety of limited-edition prints, including hand-painted cels, lithographs, and sericels. Although these pieces are not considered vintage, some have recorded high earnings in the art marketplace.


Quick Facts

  • Disney’s Animation Research Library (ARL) holds 65 million pieces of animation artwork; over 200,000 of these are original production cels. The library is open to employees and designated members of the press, and its exact location is not publicly disclosed
  • Walt Disney jokingly called his group of supervisory animators the “Nine Old Men.” These individuals assisted Disney in creating and producing films from the 1960s through the 1970s
  • Heritage Auctions held a record-breaking animation art auction in April 2015. Several top-sellers included production cels from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” ($47,800), “Pinocchio” ($23,900) and “The Little Mermaid” ($15,535)

Recommended Items at Auction

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(DISNEY) KEN DUNCAN (1954-) Aladdin: Jafar.
Jun 20, 12:00 PM EDT
(DISNEY) KEN DUNCAN (1954-) Aladdin: Jafar.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $400- $600
$3001 Bid
Walt Disney Donald Duck Color Animation Cel SIGNED
Jun 26, 12:00 PM EDT
Walt Disney Donald Duck Color Animation Cel SIGNED
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid
Mickey Mouse as Sorcerer, Disney Fantasia Sericel.
Jun 15, 11:00 AM CDT
Mickey Mouse as Sorcerer, Disney Fantasia Sericel.
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Disney, Goofy Soccer Limited Edition Sericel Animation Art Cel
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney, Goofy Soccer Limited Edition Sericel Animation Art Cel
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $300- $400
$1500 Bids
Disney, Cruella De Vil 101 Dalmatians Limited Edition Sericel
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney, Cruella De Vil 101 Dalmatians Limited Edition Sericel
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $200- $300
$1500 Bids
Disney, Signed Sericel Tarzan Surfing Vine L/E 1999
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney, Signed Sericel Tarzan Surfing Vine L/E 1999
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $450- $500
$3000 Bids
Disney, Lady And The Tramp Sericel Limited Edition Animation Art Cel Bella
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney, Lady And The Tramp Sericel Limited Edition Animation Art Cel Bella
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $200- $300
$1500 Bids
Disney, Winnie The Pooh & Friends Limited Edition Sericel Animation Art Cel
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney, Winnie The Pooh & Friends Limited Edition Sericel Animation Art Cel
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $300- $400
$1500 Bids
Disney Winnie the Pooh Cel, "Tigger"
Jun 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney Winnie the Pooh Cel, "Tigger"
by Kaminski Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
DISNEY STUDIOS Donald Duck and Nephews comic strip gag idea.
Jun 20, 12:00 PM EDT
DISNEY STUDIOS Donald Duck and Nephews comic strip gag idea.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $700- $1,000
$5000 Bids
DISNEY STUDIOS Dodger and Oliver.
Jun 20, 12:00 PM EDT
DISNEY STUDIOS Dodger and Oliver.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $600- $800
$4500 Bids
DISNEY STUDIOS Daisy Duck animation drawing and model sheet.
Jun 20, 12:00 PM EDT
DISNEY STUDIOS Daisy Duck animation drawing and model sheet.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $500- $700
$3750 Bids
DISNEY ANIMATION CEL, WINNIE THE POOH AND PIGLET
Jun 26, 10:00 AM EDT
DISNEY ANIMATION CEL, WINNIE THE POOH AND PIGLET
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Disney, Original Minnie Mouse, 90'S Styled, Cel Art Animation
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney, Original Minnie Mouse, 90'S Styled, Cel Art Animation
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $400- $600
$3000 Bids
(DISNEY) OLLIE JOHNSTON (1912-2008) Baloo.
Jun 20, 12:00 PM EDT
(DISNEY) OLLIE JOHNSTON (1912-2008) Baloo.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $500- $700
$3750 Bids
Disney Winnie the Pooh Cel, "Winnie the Pooh"
Jun 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney Winnie the Pooh Cel, "Winnie the Pooh"
by Kaminski Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Disney Winnie the Pooh Cel, "Roo"
Jun 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Disney Winnie the Pooh Cel, "Roo"
by Kaminski Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Disney Animation Art


Joshua Kodner

Joshua Kodner

Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Auction Galleries

Kaminski Auctions

Kaminski Auctions

Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.

Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.