Original 2D Hand-Drawn Animation Cels

Original 2D Hand-Drawn Animation Cels

Original 2D Hand-Drawn Animation Cels

Animation is a process that involves a sequence of images of inanimate objects, with each image positioned slightly different, that when viewed quickly one right after the other, there is an optical illusion of continuous movement.

Nowadays Animation is mostly digitally created using computer-generated imagery (also known as “CGI”). Prior to this digital era, however, television cartoons and animated films were produced entirely by hand using a technique patented in 1914 by animation director, Earl Hurd (1880-1940).

The Hand-Drawn Animation Process

A team of artists would hand-ink outlines of images on the front of a transparent flammable plastic sheet called a “celluloid” or “cel” for short. Then, a second team of artists flipped the cel over and painted the images on the opposite side of the cel.

After that, the cel was placed over a static background that a third team of artists drew. Once all the cels were layered over the background, they were stapled together, peg-punched for camera alignment capability, then filmed sequentially.

Wacky Races Cel Background layer1


Wacky Races Celluloid 1 Front Close Up

Celluloid Sheet 1 Front

Wacky Races Celluloid 1 Back Close Up

Celluloid Sheet 1 Painted Back

Wacky Races Celluloid Layer 2

Celluloid Sheet 2 Front

Wacky Races Cel Celluloid 1 and Celluloid 2

Celluloid Sheet 2 On Celluloid Sheet 1

Original Wacky Races Cartoon Production Cel

Celluloid Sheets On Background

Hand-drawn Animation Cels as Artwork

Several studios, after the animation process was complete, decided to sell the original Hand-Drawn Animation Cels as artwork.

Such artwork can sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the drawings and the subject matter’s popularity.

Hand-Drawn Animation is Replaced

Celluloid, which suffered from spontaneous decomposition and which burned easily, was eventually discontinued.

It was replaced by the Animation Photo Transfer (“APT”) process which photographically transferred lines or solid blocks of colors onto cels.

APT was first used by The Walt Disney Company for their 1985 animated adventure film, “The Black Cauldron”. Disney used the APT process until 1990.

In 1990 Disney switched to a 3D digital ink and paint system known as “CAPS” which stands for Computer Animation Production System.

This 3-dimensional CAPS animation process was used by Disney to create their 1989 feature film “The Little Mermaid”.

For a more detailed explanation and history of Disney’s animation processes, watch the YouTube video, “The Animation Process From 1938”.

Original 2D Hand-Drawn Animation Cels for Sale

Our Collectibles Store has original (NOT reproduction) Hand-Drawn Animation Cels for sale that were actually used in the making of Hanna-Barbera cartoons. They all: feature the signatures of both Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera; are stamped with the Hanna-Barbara Productions gold seal; include hand-written production notes (i.e. scene and/or sequence number); and have a Certificate of Authenticity.

You can view these rare and wonderful Hanna-Barbera Hand-Drawn Animation Cels by clicking on the following Collectibles And More In-Store links:

Versions of Hand-drawn Animation

There are some cels that were not used in the actual making of a cartoon but are instead “special” or “limited edition” versions of the Original 2D Hand-Drawn Animation.

These include printed “lithographed” cels which do not fetch as high a price as original “under-the-camera” cels but that are still considered valuable.

Our Collectibles Store also carries these types of cels. To see them, click on the links below:

This concludes our article about Original 2D Hand-Drawn Animation. Check out some related content by clicking on the following links:

About CGI Animation

A guide explaining CGI animation including the definition, the history, and examples

Read More…

The 5 Types of Animation

An informative video explaining the different types of animation and how each of them work

Watch Now…

Collectibles Empowerment

Crash course on everything you need to know about collecting collectibles

Learn More…

All character names and likenesses as well as company names and brand logos are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders, including such references which may not display the ™ and/or ® symbol. Their use does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

Collectibles Store New Arrivals

We add more items to our Collectibles Store every week. Signup now to get free updates delivered straight to your inbox