Animation Cel of "Dopey" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
n.p. Walt Disney. n.d. [1937].

An animation cel (short for celluloid) on a Courvoisier background (135x140mm), mounted on cream card and set in a wooden frame (327x380mm). The bottom right corner of the mount has "©W.D.E." stamped in blind. This was "Walt Disney Enterprises", the Disney company entity which handled the licensing of character merchandise during the 1930s. Aitken Dott (The Scottish Gallery) label on the back of the frame reads "Walt Disney Exhibition. Dopey. Drawing on Celluloid. No. 35". The Aitken Dott booklet accompanied this exhibition which showed 75 Disney cels. The booklet explains that these were the "original water-colours on celluloid that were actually used in the filming of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". These were the first Disney cels to be placed on the market, earlier ones for Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphony films having been destroyed.
This water-colour of "Dopey" has been cut out from its original background and placed on a new wood veneer ground. This technique was developed by Guthrie Courvoisier in collaboration with Disney specifically for these Snow White images. As the Aitken Dott booklet says: "These water-colours for Disney's first full-length film are perhaps the first works of really creative art to come out of the cinema, and are a new a distinct artistic expression". They are certainly highly distinctive and beautifully realised with all the vivacity one would expect from the Disney studio. This is a particularly fine example with one of the most charming of Disney's earliest characters.