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a transparent celluloid sheet on which a character, scene, etc., is drawn or painted and which constitutes one frame in the filming of an animated cartoon: may be overlapped for change of background or foreground.
Historical Examples

short for celluloid (sense 2b), celluloid (sense 2c)

“celluloid sheet for an animated cartoon,” from celluloid; became current by c.1990 when they became collectible.


A celluloid sheet made for an animated cartoon, now prized by collectors: Cartoon lovers have been buying drawings and celluloids, or ”cels” (1990s+)


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