Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Dopey & Doc Courvoisier Cel Set Up From The Diamond Scene
Size: 9" x 7"
Vintage Animation Cel Set up actually used in the production of this animated feature film.
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Image © Disney
What is an Animation Cel?
A cel (short for celluloid) is a blank clear plastic sheet used by the studio artist to paint an animated character or object based on the animator's original pencil drawing. The cels are then placed over a background and photographed in sequence to produce an illusion of life in the completed film or cartoon short. Every cel is different but this does not mean that every cel is unique. Often multiple copies of a cel were created by the Inkers as colour models in order to advance their technique and skills.
What is a Courvoisier Setup?
A cel setup created and marketed through Courvoisier galleries between the late 1930's and 1940's. Courvoisier galleries of San Fransisco were Disney's agent for the marketing of the studio's animation art between this period. They prepared production backgrounds to complement the cels and other art.
The Courvoisier setups share a few distinctive features; a simple presentation or woodgrain background, a cream coloured matt with the title of the production (or the name of the character) inscribed in pencil below the matt opening, a "WDP" stamp or a 3" x 5" label stating the name of the production. Generally, characters are trimmed to the size of the image and attached to the backgrounds, and ocassionslly were enhanced with airbrushed shading or dry brush effects. The backgrounds ranged from basic airbrushed techniques depicting stars or dots, to detailed watercolour backgrounds created by the Disney background department. Often the cels from Dumbo, Bambi and Fantasia were laminated.
What is a Production Background?
A background created for use in a production of an animated film. It must be noted that a production background may not necessarily originate from the same production that the cel is from.
What is a Master Background?
A background originally painted by a studio artist, and actually photographed in the production of the final released version of the film or cartoon short. A background painting sets the scene in which the animated character appears.
What is a Matching Master Background / Keymaster Setup?
This is often referred to as a key master background setup, but is simply a cel or cels with the background from the same scene that were originally photographed. When framed these will look exactly as they do in the original film or cartoon short.