Amid 95% Loss of Classic Animation Materials, Disney Shares Surviving Pencil Drawings

lady and the tramp 1995 hand drawn pencil animation cels walt disney animation
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Research Library

It has recently come to light that The Walt Disney Company was utterly careless when it came to the preservation of its earliest animation cells. The delicate, now vintage art was handled very indelicately at the time. Classic animation canvasses were routinely thrown onto the floor after they were finished and sometimes even used to skate around on the floor of the animation offices! While modern Disney fans were horrified at these anecdotes, enthusiasts will be happy to see these pencil drawings survived!

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lady and the tramp 1995 hand drawn pencil animation cels walt disney animation pound

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Research Library

In celebration of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 1955 feature film Lady and the Tramp, Disney shared hand-drawn line art from the film’s opening sequence. A pencil was used to draw directly onto the animation cels, and luckily these four were preserved and reside in the Walt Disney Animation Research Library.

Throughout this article, you can see the four cels and admire a classic animation style that existed long before computer animation became the norm. The first drawing shows each title character, Lady and Tramp, outside in the backyard with a bone sitting between them. In the next frame, the Disney animator depicted the dogs Lady meets inside the dogcatcher’s pound.

lady and the tramp 1995 hand drawn pencil animation cels walt disney animation chasing birds

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Research Library

Next, you can see Lady jubilantly chasing a flock of birds in one still of many that, when combined, would show her in motion. Finally, admire a pencil animation of Lady and Tramp’s shadowed silhouettes snuggled atop a grassy hill. The hand-drawn animation will bring you back to a different era of Disney film and technique.

These few animation cels are just a part of bringing an animated character to life. Lady and the Tramp follows the love between a privileged American Cocker Spaniel and a streetwise stray. After sharing an iconic spaghetti dinner, Tramp must rescue Lady from the dogcatcher’s pound. The couple has puppies and happily lives as a family with Lady’s original owners, Jim Dear and Darling.

lady and the tramp 1995 hand drawn pencil animation cels walt disney animation snuggle on hill

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Research Library

Fans enjoyed getting a glimpse into Disney’s classic animation days and fervently hope that the spaghetti scene escaped those destructive office skates.

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!