Animation Art & Original Vintage Movie Posters
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What is Animation Art?

Animation Art is a broad term which typically includes Concept Art, Production Cels, Limited Edition Cels, Publicity Cels and Sericels.

Concept Art is where many of our favourite characters begin. Artists will produce drawings and paintings as part of the creative process to bring to life the look and feel of the characters of that project. These drawings and paintings are now highly desirable with collectors. Take a look at our Artist Bio page for some examples.

Production Cels are the clear sheets on which artists hand paint the images used in the actual animation process. Each one is different and when they are added together it builds the moving picture we see on screen. These one of a kind cels (short for celluloid) are usually presented with a background to give the image context.

Limited Edition Cels were mainly created for the collector market. They are often produced by the studios in limited runs e.g. 92/500 (the 92nd of a limited run of 500) and can include artists or creator signatures as well as holograms or seals to confirm their provenance. They are generally created in a similar way to an original production cel. The outline of the character is drawn on top of the cel and then hand painted on the reverse and then put on top of a background. The images are usually iconic scenes and characters.

Publicity Cels are images of characters created in the same way as above but not used in the actual animation feature. However, these cels used for promotional reasons can find their way onto the collector market.

Sericels are not used in the actual production process but are collected. They are created using serigraphy, a silk-screen printing (not hand drawn) of characters onto the acetate and are generally issued in limited edition runs. These limited editions can number much higher than 500 and this is reflected in their lower value. They are not to be confused with serigraphs which can be printed in unlimited numbers.

What is an original vintage movie poster?

Exactly as it sounds, a poster which was produced by the movie studios for display in cinemas (or movie theatres to our US cousins) for promotion purposes. They are often the iconic images conjured up in our heads when we hear a movie title. Whether it’s that great white shark flashing it’s teeth in Jaws, James Bond with a female companion or a light sabre held by one of our heroes from a galaxy far far away, we instantly connect the image to the film. As a key part of promoting their movie, studios may issue posters in different styles. It could be for an overseas market or a teaser for a movie to be released in the coming year. All the better for collectors….gotta catch them all!

Posters, like people, come in different shapes and sizes and here we explain the more prevalent terms used when describing our inventory.

US One sheet – This is the standard size of poster for the US, measuring 27” x 41”. Since the mid 80’s this size has been reduced to 27” x 40” with the artwork often extending to the edge of the poster without a border. Printed on paper stock, portrait style they can be folded or rolled.

US Half sheet – Measuring at 22” x 28” these posters are half the size of a one sheet hence their name, they may also be described as “display”. Printed on card stock with either the same image as the one sheet or a variation, they are popular with collectors as their size can make them easier to frame and display.

US Insert – Printed on card stock and measuring 14” x 36” this size gave the studios more options as to how to advertise their movie within the cinema. In portrait style again it is popular due to its ease of framing and display.

Lobby Card – With each lobby card measuring 11” x 14” they were usually released by the studio in sets. Typically sets of eight but the sets can also be smaller or larger. One lobby card will feature the main movie image with actor and director credits and the rest of the set depicting scenes from the movie.

British Quad – These are the standard UK posters which measure 30”x 40” and differ from their US one sheet counterparts as they are presented landscape style.

UK Front of House – Like Lobby Cards these 10” x 8” posters come in sets of eight and were displayed around the lobby areas of the cinemas.