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Walt Disney Pinocchio Original Production Cel 1939

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Original 1939 Production Cel for Pinocchio

If you are a Disney or animation collector , than no one needs to tell you the significance of this historical Disney piece. A genuine, original 1939 production cel for the Disney masterpiece “Pinocchio”.   And, simply gorgeous !

This Walt Disney production cel titled "Pinocchio & The Cat" with pencil notation in lower left "From Pinocchio". It measures 7" x 7 3/4" image size and 14 3/8" x 15 1/4" framed and matted under glass.

Has the original 1939 Walt Disney Production label on the back. Many of these cels from major Disney productions are in museums. And, when they get into the hands of gallery owners they easily exceed $10,000 to own.  That includes much less significant and relatively unknown Disney productions.  A cel from a major Disney classic like "Pinocchio" with an important scene and extraordinary close-up of Pinocchio himself is extremely rare and desirable.

Condition is very good. Colors are bright and beautiful.  It is amazing and even better in person.  Figaro (the cat) has moved from his position (originally in front of Pinocchio). This is quite common with vintage cels as they were glued down. But can be easily positioned back. However, we choose not to make any alterations and leave that up to the new owner.  Also, it is obvious when seeing this treasure in person that it has been framed and sealed for the past 70 years and we want to keep it that way.  However, if you prefer to have Figaro positioned to his original location, we can refer you to a professional that specializes in vintage animation cels.

Below is the actual scene this cel was used for.


Pinocchio proudly declares to Geppetto: “Someday Iʼm going to be a real boy.”

Geppetto: “A real boy, itʼs my wish - itʼs come true. Look, heʼs alive, he can talk! (and Geppetto swings Pinocchio off the shelf
down to Figaro) Say hello to Figaro.”

From “Guthrie Courvoisier was a leading San Francisco fine art dealer in 1937, the year Walt Disney released ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’ Although the Disney brothers were masters of character merchandising by that time, it was Courvoisier who convinced them to market the art used to make their animated films. Courvoisier had been looking for a unique line of artwork to represent, and he believed in the Disney product as work of important artistic expression with enormous sales potential if promoted at the fine art level. It was his plan to market the original art from ‘Snow White’ through art galleries and museums in major cities all over the world. On July 19, 1938, he came to an agreement with the Disneys, granting him the exclusive right to market their original animation art … A special 20-person crew of Disney artists from the animation department was set up at the Disney studio under the direction of the late Helen Nerbovig to assemble and prepare the art…

“Helen and her crew took great care with the art they prepared. ‘Walt wanted every piece to be reminiscent of the film,’ she recalled. ‘I would look at the film and decide how each set-up was to be made, and I’d make the first one. Then everyone would follow my pattern.’ To meet the challenge, the crew developed their own original and inventive methodologies, and the results were indeed works of art. Some of the finest and most beautiful pieces of vintage animation art seen today originated in the Courvoisier program. They have a style all their own and characteristics worth noting...”

At Heritage Auctions on August 5, 2010, an unsigned Courvoisier color cel set-up of Brer Rabbit from “Song of the South” sold for $7,767.50.

At Heritage Auctions on May 3, 2007, an unsigned Courvoisier color cel set-up of Mickey Mouse and Pluto from “The Pointer” sold for $5,676.25.

At Christie’s New York, on June 8, 1988, an unsigned Courvoisier color cel set-up of the Wicked Witch on her Peacock Throne from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” sold for $52,800.

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