Disney Lithographs Value – Are They Worth Money?

Princess Jasmine Painting” by Steven Miller licensed under CC BY 2.0

Disney art is valued by fans and serious collectors alike. Many fans love to collect Disney lithograph prints of their favorite characters or movie scenes. These Disney lithographs value can vary greatly, depending on the number of prints made, the size of the prints, and the popularity of the subject matter or artist.

Determining Disney Lithographs Value (TLDR)

Unlike when we discussed the topic of Mickey Mouse watch value, it’s a bit more difficult to determine a lithograph’s true worth because of a variety of factors.  Unlike a watch’s value, which can easily be determined based on the year it was made, the manufacturer, and its physical condition, a Disney lithograph’s value is based on everything from the art its depicting, to the artist’s popularity, to how many prints were manufactured.  

For example, the great Disney artist Tim Rogerson’s giclee canvas print entitled “Happily Ever After” (from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”) has two notable versions—and both are valued at two widely different prices.

The cheaper version, selling for $150, is 16” x 12” in size and limited to 1500 prints in total.

The more expensive version is twice as big (32” x 24”) but four times more expensive ($595).  Why is that?  Well, while this same giclee canvas print is double in size, it’s limited to just 195 prints (all of which are hand numbered).  On top of that, each print comes hand signed by Rogerson himself.

So as you can see, this is a great example of how the value of Disney art can fluctuate based on a variety of small factors, which we’ll talk more about next.

Factors for Evaluating a Disney Lithographs’ Worth

So as mentioned earlier, the value of Disney lithographs can depend on a few factors. First, the condition of the print is important, as well as the age. The older the print, it might have a higher value simply because it is less likely that giclee prints of the same artwork were ever made.

Also, limited edition prints tend to have a higher value than “open edition” prints. “Open edition” just means that the prints weren’t numbered, and there was no limit on how many prints were made initially.

When it comes to limited edition lithographs, value can be affected by how many prints of a particular piece of art were released. For example, if a print only had 150 prints created, it will inevitably be higher in value than a print that had 800 prints created.

Not only can the number of prints created affect the value, but the number your particular lithograph is, too.  This usually doesn’t have a dramatic impact on the value of Disney lithographs, but if you’re buying or selling one on the used market, it’s not uncommon to see ar art collector covet a print that’s #2 out of 100 or #10 out of 100 over #80 out of 100 or #99 out of 100.

Ultimately, the exclusivity of a lithograph can also help determine its value. There are some lithographs that have been produced solely for members of D23 (Disney Fan Club) or for members of Club 33–Disney’s very exclusive private members’ club.

Popular Disney Artists

Here are some of the most notable Disney artists that have created some fabolous original paintings, as well as awesome Disney lithographs:

Thomas Kinkade

We can’t talk about Disney art prints without mentioning Thomas Kinkade. Well known as the “Painter of Light”, Mr. Kinkade’s Disney art features idyllic landscapes, fantasy movie scenes, and beautifully rendered portrayals of Disney characters. 

Although he passed away in 2012, Kinkade Studios continues to create Disney art. Currently, the art prints offered on their website are all giclee prints, however, there are lithographs that were produced of Mr. Kinkade’s past creations. These lithographs are often found on online auction websites such as eBay and Mercari.

Paige O’Hara

Not only is Paige O’Hara an award-winning Broadway actress and the voice of Belle in Beauty And The Beast, but she’s also a talented Disney artist! She has had a lifelong love of painting, and before her Broadway career took off she sold her artwork as a street vendor in New York. 

Her artwork depicting scenes from Beauty And The Beast is very popular with fans of the iconic movie. Who wouldn’t love a painting of Belle, created and signed by Paige O’Hara herself?

Jim Warren

Jim Warren is another popular Disney artist. His artwork features classic Disney movie scenes and characters, often with splashes of bold, bright colors as focal points. His work, both originals, and prints, are found in various galleries as well as on disneyfinearts.com.

Patrick Block

For those who collect Disney comic book art, Patrick Block has a dedicated fan following. Known for working with another legendary Disney comic artist, Carl Barks, Mr. Block’s lithographs are lovely nostalgic interpretations of Carl Barks’ classic comic scenes and stories. They are prized by collectors who focus on Donald Duck and “Duckburg” memorabilia, as well as lovers of Disney comics.

Larry Dotson

Larry Dotson is a fan favorite at the annual Epcot Festival of the Arts. His artwork is available at stores in the Disney parks, as well as during signing events at The Art of Disney Store in Disney Springs. His signing appearances are very popular and always draw a crowd.

What Is A Lithograph Print?

Before we get into the value of Disney lithographs, it’s important to have an idea of what a lithograph print actually is. Lithography is a printing technique that was first invented in 1798. The process has undergone a lot of changes and modernizations since then. 

Today, you will usually find two lithograph techniques used to create fine art prints: hand lithography and offset lithography. If you’re buying any lithograph, you might want to consider if the piece is done by hand or the offset technique when thinking about the value.

Hand lithography is a process where an artist creates a piece of artwork directly onto a printing plate. That plate is made of stone or some type of metal. Using a chemical process, the artwork is inked, and printed directly onto the paper or canvas from the plate.

Each color layer is printed separately, one color at a time. Hand lithography is an art form unto itself, and requires skill and patience on the part of the artist. It’s not done frequently as a means to mass-produce original art, but many fine artists use this method to make very limited reproductions of their work.

Most of the time, however, if you find art listed as a lithograph, it’s probably done by offset lithography printing.Offset lithography, often simply called offset printing, is done at a commercial print shop.

The original artwork is photographed, converted into four main colors, then the image is transferred to printing plates. The inked images are transferred (ie. offset) to rubber sheets, which then apply the colors to the paper or canvas.

The prints are created all at once on high-speed printing machines. In addition to making prints of artwork, offset printing is most widely used to create colorful brochures, maps, packaging, postcards, etc.

Offset lithography isn’t currently used as much as giclee printing when making high-quality art prints anymore. When you buy Disney prints (or any art prints) and you see the description as being a “giclee print”, that’s not the same as a lithograph. Giclee is fast becoming the print reproduction of choice for many fine artists, making offset lithographs a bit less common.

Lithograph Art Prints vs Giclee Art Prints

A giclee print (pronounced “zhee clay”) is produced by taking a high-resolution digital photo or scan of the original artwork, which is then printed with a specialized inkjet printer onto paper or canvas, using highly pigmented archival inks.

The result is a print reproduction of the original artwork that is nearly perfect in matching colors and saturation. It has made it easier and more affordable for artists to have prints of their artwork created in multiple sizes on both paper and canvas.

If you look at the Fine Arts section of ShopDisney.com, you’ll notice that most art prints are listed as giclee prints or digital art prints. At this time, the only lithographs on the website are a series of poster-type prints with an Epcot theme, created by Disney artist Stacey Aoyama.

Collecting Disney Lithographs

Since giclee printing seems to be the art reproduction process of choice for many artists, there aren’t as many new Disney lithographs being produced. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty available, though. New designs are sometimes produced for events like the various festivals and celebrations at the Disney parks or new movie releases.

What type of Disney lithographs are “collectible” is entirely a matter of personal preference. Some people collect based on favorite artists, while others look for prints of their favorite movies or characters. Lithographs depicting popular theme park attractions are very popular, too.

The lithograph art prints and posters that are sold framed and/or matted are targeted toward the art collectors’ market. You can find these online at ShopDisney.com, Disney Art on Main, Stage Nine Entertainment Store, or at stores in the Disney theme parks, as well as on auction sites such as eBay and Mercari. They are usually described as “fine art”, and this is where you will find limited edition and even signed lithographs.

Additionally, Disney produces smaller lithographs (usually 5” X 7” or postcard size) that are marketed more toward the general buying market.

Remember “back in the day” when Disney stores were in actual shopping malls? Many times, the store would have small lithographs not only for sale but as a giveaway item with certain purchases. These were usually tied to a new movie premier or film anniversary. Since physical Disney stores don’t exist anymore, these small lithographs might become a sought-after collectible item.

If you ever bought a Disney movie on VHS or DVD, you might have a small lithograph that was included inside the case.  Disney Movie Club also occasionally has small lithographs that are included with the purchase of a new release movie. These lithographs are exclusive to the Disney Movie Club members.

Both the Disney Movie Club prints and the prints included when you bought a movie don’t have a particularly high dollar value (averaging $15-$20 on eBay), but they’re fun to collect. They’re nice enough to be displayed in a frame, but also small enough that you could store your collection in a photo album.

Where to Buy Disney Lithographs?

Chip Foose Paintings” by Steven Miller licensed under CC BY 2.0

The website disneyfineart.com is an excellent source to find art prints from licensed Disney artists. The overall selection is periodically updated to reflect new collection releases and new works from each of the artists.

Most of the artists featured on the website sell giclee prints of their work as opposed to lithographs. Currently, only one artist on the website, Heather Edwards, has lithograph prints for sale. Her artistic interpretations of Disney characters and movie scenes are beautifully rendered in a soft, realistic style, with an affordable price of $50 for a 16” X 12” print.

Where to Sell Disney Lithographs

If you have Disney lithographs you want to sell, there are a few options you can try. Of course, the tried and true website is eBay. I know there are hundreds if not thousands of people selling all manner of Disney memorabilia on that site, and collectors do browse the listings frequently. If nothing else, eBay can be a good resource to get an idea of what Disney lithographs are currently selling for.

Mercari is another auction website that is frequented by Disney collectors. It’s not as big as eBay, but it’s another site where you can research current selling prices on Disney artwork.

A few other auction houses I like for selling Disney lithographs are:

  • Live Auctioneers
  • Lelands Auction
  • Bradford’s Auction Gallery
  • Hughes Auctions

On top of that, if you have a large collection of Disney lithographs to sell, or even a few you think might be especially valuable, “Everything But The House” has appraisers who can help you determine the value of your items and sell them to interested collectors.

The key to selling any collectible item is to find someone who collects what you have. Keeping that in mind, social media groups, such as the Disney Collectors and Disney Collectibles groups on Facebook, and the Disney Collectors Forum on Disboards.com, can help you find not only interested buyers but people who are knowledgeable about the value of Disney memorabilia.

Most Expensive Disney Lithographs

Princess Tiana Painting” by Steven Miller licensed under CC BY 2.0

The most expensive Disney lithographs are going to be ones that are rare and in excellent condition. It’s challenging to find truly rare lithograph prints, but searching eBay and animationgallery.com are usually decent sources for finding some of the rare prints.

If there is one artist whose work is most valued by Disney lithograph collectors, it is probably Disney Legend Charles Boyer. Mr. Boyer worked for Disney from 1960 until his retirement in 1999. He has the distinction of having been the first full-time artist hired at Disneyland.

One of the most expensive vintage Disney lithographs found is a piece by Charles Boyer titled “Partners” (featuring Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney holding hands). It was a cast member exclusive, issued in 1981 to celebrate Disneyland’s 200-millionth guest. This piece is signed by the artist and is labeled number 772/2500. This special piece has an asking price of $1,000. 

Another vintage, limited edition lithograph by Charles Boyer, titled “Walt’s Dream”, sold for $400. This particular print was only available at a one-day event at Disneyland on July 17, 1999. This was Charles Boyer’s final piece of artwork for the Walt Disney Company, and the prints completely sold out in an hour.

Carl Barks is another prominent Disney artist whose work is highly sought after by collectors. He is best known for his work illustrating Donald Duck comics and is the creator of Scrooge McDuck.

Recently a Carl Barks Signed Limited Edition Lithograph titled “Menace Out Of The Myths” has an asking price of $495 on eBay. This particular piece is framed, comes with a certificate of authenticity, and is number 42 of 595. 

So Are Disney Lithographs Worth Anything?

Well, the truth is that Disney lithographs (especially signed and numbered lithographs) are worth whatever price a buyer wants to pay for it.  If a buyer sees a Disney lithograph of Simba on Pride Rock, and wants to pay you $300 for it—then it’s worth $300.  And if you have that same print available for sale for months on end, and no one offers you more than $50.00 for it—then it’s probably a sub-$50 art print.

The best thing I can say is this: buy a Disney lithograph because you alsolutely love it—not because you’re hoping it’ll go up in value like Disney stock and you can pay off your student loans. 

Remember, a Disney art lithograph is a print—not an original—which means that (technically speaking) the print could theoretically be re-printed (perhaps with a different edition size or small hand embellishments to the print).  And, if this were to happen, it would very likely lower the value of your art print—simple supply and demand.

So my advice is this: if you want to sell your Disney lithograph print for money, your best chance for success is to do the following:

  • Make sure the print is in good physical condition, with no bends or tears or rips
  • Ideally, your prints has a low edition size
  • Ideally, your print is both signed and numbered
  • Ideally, your print is from a coveted artist

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