Special Editions and one-of-a-Kinds Beginning with  The Rescuers Down Under in 1990, the Disney Studios inaugurated a sophisticated, Academy Award-winning computerized production system, known as CAPS (Computer Animation Production System) for use in its animated features.  This system does not generate animation but allows handmade drawings to be copied, colored, and combined electronically with a painted background.  Since it produces finished imagery that can be electronically transferred directly to film, frame by frame, the need for cels is thereby eliminated. 
That being the case, there are no actual production cels in existence for any Disney feature made after 1990, and collectors should be aware that all post 1990 Disney cels ere produced specifically for the collectibles market. Actually, Disney had had a formal limited editions program in place since 1973 when the Disney Art Editions program was established.  In 1974, four handsome portfolios, covered in velvet and taffeta, were released in editions of 275 copies.  These contained specially produced hand-inked and hand-painted cels with images from Snow White, Pinocchio, Cinderella, and  Lady and the Tramp. There was then a gap of several years until the Disney Art Program was initiated to develop xerographic-line limited edition cels, beginning with a two-cel set from  Song of the South. 
In 1996, Disney announced the formation of a new fine art division, Walt Disney Art Classics, essentially a merger of two existing units-Disney Art Editions, publishers of Walt Disney Studios Art, and Disney Collectibles, creators of the Walt Disney Classics Collection.  The new division assumed responsibility for presenting an annual auction of original, one-of-a-kind artwork from contemporary Disney animatied films.  This program, starting with the sale of pieces (hand-painted cels married to production backgrounds) from Who Framed Roger Rabbit  in 1989, has been a collaboration with Sothby's auction house, and the 1995 sale of artwork from The Lion King  fetched two million dollars, setting a record for the highest-grossing animation auction in history.  These contemporary auctions tend to draw quite a different audience from those of vintage animation art.  The latter category is apt to be made up of more committed collectors, interested in historical and aesthetic value, while the former is made up more of collectors interested in obtaining attractive setups that they can frame to match precisely the film images they see on their video players. Each limited editon in the Walt Disney Studio Animation Art portfolio bears a seal and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. 
 
Three main types of special editions are on the market, which, in the case of Disney, all begin in the Ink and Paint Department.  They are:
 
Hand-inked limited edition cels:  These are made using traditional animation techniques, which include tracing an animation drawing onto acetate by hand, using different colored inks, and hand-painting it with specially formulated gum or acrylic-based colors.  Most hand-inked cels are combined with backgrounds, a small number of them hand-painted presentation backgrounds.  Hand-inked and painted cels, released in editions ranging from 275 to 350 are the most expensive of the limited editions.
 
Xerographic-line limited edition cels:  Instead of being hand-inked, these are created by transferring the outline of the original animation drawing to the acetate cels by a six-step xerographic process pioneered by Disney in the 1950's.  Many of these cels are then enhanced with hand-inked lines before being hand-painted and combined with a lithographic background.
 
Sericels:  The least expensive form of limited editon artwork is the serigraph, or sericel.  To produce these silkscreens, artists create a hand-inked, hand-painted color model of animated characters, which is then transferred to the acetate cel by a silkscreen printing process known a serigraphy.  The sericel is usually sold without a background and in considerably larger numbers (1,000 to 5,000) than the others.  Among the many Disney sericels that have been made avaiable are images from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Whinnie the Pooh, Jungle Book, The Lion King, and Alice in Wonderland. I hope this explaination helps you in your adventure into Disney Art collecting!
Donald Duck Playing Golf Golfing Framed Animation Art Stamped Sericel

Donald Duck Playing Golf Golfing Framed Animation Art Stamped Sericel

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DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE PLUTO THE POINTER Limited Edition Sericel Animation Art Cel

DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE PLUTO THE POINTER Limited Edition Sericel Animation Art Cel

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Mickey Mouse Pluto Disney Sericel Cel Mickey Mouse & Pluto Takes a Trip

Mickey Mouse Pluto Disney Sericel Cel Mickey Mouse & Pluto Takes a Trip

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REN AND STIMPY SERICEL  LTD  TO 2500

REN AND STIMPY SERICEL LTD TO 2500

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1996 WB Warner Bros. Superman Animated Cartoon SERICEL Cel Promotional Item

1996 WB Warner Bros. Superman Animated Cartoon SERICEL Cel Promotional Item

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BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD "THE GREAT CORNHOLIO" Animation Sericel Cel by MTV

BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD "THE GREAT CORNHOLIO" Animation Sericel Cel by MTV

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2002 Limited Edition SERIGRAPH Sericel of SYLVESTER Framed 9 x 11 w  COA FREE SH

2002 Limited Edition SERIGRAPH Sericel of SYLVESTER Framed 9 x 11 w COA FREE SH

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Warner Bros BUGS BUNNY STANDING Limited Edition Sericel Cel Animation Art

Warner Bros BUGS BUNNY STANDING Limited Edition Sericel Cel Animation Art

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WALT DISNEY WINNIE THE POOH & PIGLET BLUSTERY DAY Limited Edition Sericel Cel

WALT DISNEY WINNIE THE POOH & PIGLET BLUSTERY DAY Limited Edition Sericel Cel

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Coca Cola Polar Bears sericel from the commercial "Polar Bears" # 1975 2000

Coca Cola Polar Bears sericel from the commercial "Polar Bears" # 1975 2000

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