Walt Disney (1901 – 1966) was an animator, film producer and entrepreneur renowned for creating Mickey Mouse and establishing one of the world's most famous film studios.
Disney is regarded as one of animation's greatest pioneers, and he produced landmark feature films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo and Fantasia.
Disney currently holds the record for the number of Academy Awards won by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations.
In 1955 Disney also oversaw the creation of Disneyland, the world's most successful theme park, which to date has attracted more than 650 million visitors.
Today Walt Disney is regarded as one of the most significant and iconic cultural figures of the 20th century.
This hand-painted gouache-on-celluloid animation cel was created for the film Melody Time, the 10th theatrically released animated feature produced by Walt Disney, released in May 1948.
It was the last anthology feature the studio produced, and featured seven short animations set to popular songs, in the same manner as the classic Fantasia.
This animation cel and background is taken from the segment Once Upon a Wintertime, and depicts two ice skaters dancing together, along with a pair of rabbits dancing behind them.
Once Upon a Wintertime's stylised backgrounds were created by Mary Blair, the highly influential Disney concept artist who worked on features such as Cinderella and Sleeping beauty, and who helped design the popular Disneyland ride It's a Small World.
The mount of the image is signed and inscribed "To Ann Shelton, All Best Wishes, Walt Disney", and is dated circa 1951.
Anne Shelton, OBE (1923 - 1994) was a British singer renowned for her work entertaining troops during WWII.
Shelton performed for soldiers throughout the war, touring military bases and hosting the radio show Calling Malta which was broadcast throughout Europe.
She later recorded several hit songs including ''Galway Bay' and 'Be Mine', which were also popular in the U.S and led to her touring America in 1951.
It's believed that Shelton acquired this animation cel as a gift from Walt Disney during that tour.
Disney's inscription and signature are signed in pencil. The image has been mounted, framed and glazed to an overall size of 39.3 x 43.7cm (approx. 15.4" x 17.2").