Getty partners with Disney to preserve animation cels

The Getty Conservation Institute announced today it is partnering with Disney to study deterioration in historic animation cels.

The collaboration is part of a long-term project to develop ways to protect the collection at the Disney Animation Research Library, which houses about 65 million pieces of animation art created over the past 80 years by the Walt Disney Animation Studios.

"Knowledge of how best to treat and stabilize artwork containing plastic is relatively new territory for the conservation profession,'' said Getty senior scientist Tom Learner.

The goal of the project is to help preserve Disney's animation cels and other objects made from the same types of plastic, he said.

A number of cels in the archive — including some from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'' (1937) and "Fantasia'' (1940) — are showing signs of deterioration, including yellowing, warping and cracking, Learner said.

The expansive collection includes original plastic animation cels and backgrounds, as well as conceptual design work, animation drawings, model sheets, layouts, exposure sheets, models, audio and video tapes, reference photographs and books.

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