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Animation Art Glossary

Buying Animation Art

It's always best to buy animation cels and other artwork from knowledgable galleries dealers like Rainbo Animation Art. We stand behind the authenticity of all of the art we sell, and back it with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. You can certainly shop online on sites like eBay and local estate and moving sales are often sources of great bargains. Just be careful to buy only quality pieces that have been properly framed, matted, and cared for. Buying cartoon art in person is a joy, of course, because you get to see it all right in front of you. You can find art galleries in small shopping centers around the country. While they're not generally focused on animation art, they do often offer some real treasures.

Caring For Animation Art

Like any piece of valuable art, you need to use some care to preserve your animation art so that it will continue to give you pleasure for many years. Animation cels were never meant to last, so they require even more care than traditional artwork.

Never hang animation art in direct sunlight or close to a direct source of strong light. Bright light can damage the pigments in the paint and cause the color to fade. Make sure that the temperature and humidity of the room where the art is kept or displayed stays close to 70°F and 50% relative humidity. If the room is too dry, the paint on the cels and the paper backgrounds can become brittle and crack. If it's too humid, the art can be damaged by mold and mildew.

If you decide to store your animation art instead of displaying it, store it flat and not rolled up. Store the artwork in acetate or mylar envelopes and make sure that you do not store anything on top of the art. If you want to store more than one cel together, just be sure to place a sheet of clear acetate or acid-free paper between each cel.

When handling the animation cels themselves, be sure to only handle them by their edges because the paint and outlines are fragile and easily damaged, and because it is difficult to remove fingerprints from cels.

Repairing Animation Cels

If a cel needs cleaning, your best choice is to take it to a skilled conservator who is experienced in working on animation art. If you want to try to clean a cel yourself, use a dry, soft cotton cloth and use very light pressure to remove dust and smudges from the non-painted surface only. Avoid touching or rubbing the paint and outlines. Do not use any kind of liquid cleaner on a cel, and do not use compressed air to remove dust and dirt. The oldest animation cels - those created before World War II - used cellulose nitrate cels which were fragile and flammable. Those nitrate cels require expert handling, and you should not try to clean them yourself. Companies like Ron Barbagallo and S&R Labs specialize in this service. They have the experience and the quality materials required to restore your cels.

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This page was last updated on November 15, 2017.

The contents of this website are the copyright © property of the Walt Disney Company®, other studios, Disneyland®, Walt Disney World®, Thinkway Toys®, and Rainbo Animation Art. The images are intended only as illustrations of the art and collectibles being offered for sale and may not be reproduced in any form for any other purpose without the permission of the owners.

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