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Studio Hit : Classic Disney Drawings Stolen

Times Staff Writer

Officials at Walt Disney Studios are offering a reward for the return of Snow White, Peter Pan, Dumbo and Bambi.

Those characters, as well as others in the menagerie of Walt Disney cartoon creations, were reported among the missing from Disney Studios in Burbank last week after the theft of 13 “cels"--original drawings and paintings on acetate--from several classic Disney films.

The stolen cels are worth about $65,000, a Disney spokesman said. But officials at the studios view the artwork, which was used in the final production of animated feature movies, as priceless.

“Those drawings can never be duplicated,” said Erwin Okun, vice president of corporate communications.

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The drawings were in a display case in the studios’ Ink and Paint building. The entire case was removed Thursday, Okun said. An employee noticed that the case was missing and notified police.

No Suspects

The 8-by-10-inch cels were from such films as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “101 Dalmations,” “Bambi,” “Dumbo,” “The Sword in the Stone,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan” and “The Reluctant Dragon,” Okun said.

Police and Disney security officials have no suspects in the theft, Okun said. The grounds are patrolled but “people do go in and out,” he said.

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Each cel is worth about $5,000, Okun said, but he said that some might command a higher price. “A cel from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ would have a higher value than one from ‘The Sword in the Stone,’ ” he said.

Okun said the company is offering a $2,500 reward for the return of the cels and a larger reward--which he would not specify Monday--for the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the theft.


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