How many cels are used in a typical cartoon? Print this pagePrint this page

A film runs at 24 frames per second. That number never changes. Therefore the most any cartoon can be animated to is 24 fps. Budget films usually run at 12 cels per second, each cel being shot twice. However, lower budget cartoons can, and usually do, use the same cel three or more times. The more a cel is used, the "jerkier" the final cartoon will look. For a high budget cartoon, that runs for 8 minutes, there are roughly 11,520 hand painted cels used...which is a lot of hard skilled work (just think how many cels are used in a full length feature film). There is a whole new question that arises from this, and that is how many collectable cels are available from an 8 minute cartoon? Alternatively, if an 8 minute cartoon is animated at 24 fps, are there 11,520 collectable cels for sale? The answer is simply no. Firstly, you must consider that about half of the cels could never be sold, due to the main character's eyes being closed, they are passing behind another object, their back is showing, or it is just an awkward non attractive pose. Therefore, the majority of the cels have gone, and the remainder are left to be either destroyed, damaged through bad storage or sold to the collectors market. By this time there are only about 10% of the cels available to purchase.