Getty and Disney Team Up to Study Cels

Snow White cel

The Getty Conservation Institute and Disney’s Animation Research Library (ARL) division are partnering to study why the plastic in certain cels deteriorates more quickly than others and to find ways of slowing down the deterioration process. The study is expected to take three years to complete. Like the Tim Burton exhibit currently at MoMA, this is another encouraging example of animation artwork receiving serious consideration from an art institute. According to the LA Times which broke the story:

The Getty said the initial phase of research will involve an assessment of the best methods for the identification of the actual plastics used in the cels, and for monitoring the condition of cels made with cellulose nitrate and acetate. Scientists at the Getty will also examine the physical and thermal properties of the plastics. The new collaboration is part of the Getty’s “Preservation of Plastics” project that was initiated to study signs of deterioration in plastic objects in museum collections.

Another take-away from the article is that Disney’s ARL houses 65 million pieces of Disney art. Granted, the drawings and cels add up quickly in animation, but wow, that’s still a whole lot of artwork!

(Thanks, Alexander Rannie)