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Disney’s beloved Beauty and the Beast is coming to life. 

The company’s Imagineers and skilled animators are set to unveil a new, immersive ride at Tokyo Disneyland in Spring 2020 that lets viewers interact with ultra-realistic animatronic versions of their favorite characters from the iconic 1991 film.

A new sneak peak of the ride shows that the Beast, Belle and her horse Philippe all make an appearance and, thanks to advanced animatronics, look strikingly real.

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Tokyo Disneyland is set to unveil a new, immersive ride in 2020 that lets viewers interact with ultra-realistic animatronic versions of their favorite characters from the iconic 1991 film

The ride, called ‘Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast,’ has people traveling through a series of animated vignettes in giant, autonomous teacups that tilt, swivel and glide as if they’re dancing along with the music.

In one vignette, the film’s heroine can be seen singing and holding a lantern up in the dark, presumably searching for her father, Maurice, who is locked away in the Beast’s castle.

Another vignette recreates the memorable ballroom scene from the film, where Belle and Prince Adam waltz along to ‘Tale As Old As Time.’ 

In what will likely be a highlight of the ride, its creators say they’ll let visitors dance along with the animatronic characters in the ballroom. 

A new sneak peak of the ride shows that the Beast, Belle and her horse Philippe all make an appearance and, thanks to advanced animatronics, look strikingly real

A new sneak peak of the ride shows that the Beast, Belle and her horse Philippe all make an appearance and, thanks to advanced animatronics, look strikingly real

The ride will also reimagine the iconic dinner table scene, wherein Chip the teacup, Mrs. Pott, Cogsworth the clock and Lumiere the candlestick sing ‘Be Our Guest.’

Once the ride is complete – and it’s currently unclear when it will open – it will mark the first ‘ride-through attraction of Beauty and the Beast anywhere in the world.’

‘Beauty and the Beast is a classic, timeless film that many around the world continue to love and watch, especially here in Tokyo,’ said Ted Robledo, executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering, in the video. 

In one vignette, the film’s heroine can be seen singing and holding a lantern up in the dark, presumably searching for her father, Maurice, who is locked away in the Beast’s castle

A number of large-scale and small-scale animated props and characters are situated throughout the ride, according to Disney. One vignette shows Belle holding a lantern 

A number of large-scale and small-scale animated props and characters are situated throughout the ride, according to Disney. One vignette shows Belle holding a lantern 

‘The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast is a unique ride attraction that really immerses guests in that story and we’re doing it in a brand new way that’s never been done before.’ 

A number of large-scale and small-scale animated props and characters are situated throughout the ride, according to Disney. 

Imagineers worked with artists and animators from Walt Disney Studios – some of which worked on the original Beauty and the Beast film – to bring the characters to life.

They used advanced technology and robotics to ‘bring the characters to life off the screen and actually have people experience them,’ said Megan Nowikowski, senior show mechanical engineer at Walt Disney Imagineering.

The ride will also reimagine the iconic dinner table scene, wherein Chip the teacup, Mrs. Pott, Cogsworth the clock and Lumiere the candlestick sing 'Be Our Guest' (artist's rendering)

The ride will also reimagine the iconic dinner table scene, wherein Chip the teacup, Mrs. Pott, Cogsworth the clock and Lumiere the candlestick sing ‘Be Our Guest’ (artist’s rendering)

In what will likely be a highlight of the ride, its creators say they'll let visitors dance along with the animatronic characters Belle and Prince Adam as they waltz in the iconic ballroom

In what will likely be a highlight of the ride, its creators say they’ll let visitors dance along with the animatronic characters Belle and Prince Adam as they waltz in the iconic ballroom

Imagineers worked with artists and animators from Walt Disney Studios - some of which worked on the original Beauty and the Beast film - to bring the characters to life

Imagineers worked with artists and animators from Walt Disney Studios – some of which worked on the original Beauty and the Beast film – to bring the characters to life

First, the Imagineers received the models and animations from Disney artists, which served as the foundation for when they actually programmed and built the figurines.  

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It all comes together with the spinning teacups, which the Imagineers say gives the sensation of dancing or ice skating along with the music as the figures move around, so much so that the vehicle ‘feels like it’s alive.’   

Eventually, the ride, which is meant to take place in the Beast’s castle, will become part of a larger Beauty and the Beast attraction at the theme park.

Eventually, the ride, which is meant to take place in the Beast's castle, will become part of a larger Beauty and the Beast attraction at the theme park. It will stretch more than 11.5 acres

Eventually, the ride, which is meant to take place in the Beast’s castle, will become part of a larger Beauty and the Beast attraction at the theme park. It will stretch more than 11.5 acres

The attraction will stretch over more than 11.5 acres, with towers that are as tall as 108ft, according to the Japan Times

The area will also include an indoor theater and an upcoming ride based on animated superhero film Big Hero 6. 

HOW WERE THE ORIGINAL DISNEY FILMS MADE?

Walt Disney productions was founded by Walt Disney, his brother Roy and a friend and fellow cartoonist called Ub Iwekrs. 

After a failed cartoon company called Laugh-O-Works in Kansas city and declaring bankruptcy in 1929, the trio moved to Hollywood. 

Here, they first drew up Mickey Mouse, his girlfriend Minnie.

In 1929 the first short film was released, called Steamboat Willie, which ran for nearly eight minutes. 

Steamboat Willie (pictured) was a short film made in 1929 by Disney. It is widely regarded to be the debut of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and was the first time sound had been added to a Disney production 

Steamboat Willie (pictured) was a short film made in 1929 by Disney. It is widely regarded to be the debut of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and was the first time sound had been added to a Disney production 

Disney produced its first feature length film in 1937, it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. 

To make these cartoon films in an age before computers, the creators would first make a storyboard.

After animators and directors talk about the whole film and produce a complete storyboard, the dialogue is recorded first. 

The animators had to know what the characters would say to correctly draw them. 

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Only after the story has been outlined and the dialogie is recorded to the characters start coming to life.

Rough sketches of just the characters are made, they have no background and no colour.

Some animated films have used over 50,000 individual drawings.

The top animators in the company would roughly sketch a few character drawings, leaving large gaps in between. 

An ‘inbetweener’ would finish the scenes, by drawing in between the areas that the animator had left.

After the entire film has been drawn on paper, the animation drawings go to the inking department. There, the inkers copy the animation drawings on to a clear celluloid acetate, called a Cel.

When the characters have been drawn without colour or filler, the unfinished Cel’s go to the Painting Department.

Here, the painters colour on the back of the Cel. This gave the characters a crisp outline.  

 Now, the backgrounds get added to the story. 

Backgrounds tended to be done with watercolour or Tempera but occasionally it was painted on glass, like it was in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  

Now the background and the Cel with the character on are both completed, it can be photographed. 

A special camera, that faced down on to a table top captured every single frame individually.  

Usually, the background is placed into a special mount, then covered with the Cel, then covered with a large piece of glass, then photographed.

Now the frames can be combined and dialogue added, and occasionally the film was edited at this stage.    

Walt Disney (pictured) released his first feature length film in 1937 and it was called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Here, Mr Disney holds one of the stills from the film which was created by being printed on a 'cell' made of cellulose acetate 

Walt Disney (pictured) released his first feature length film in 1937 and it was called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Here, Mr Disney holds one of the stills from the film which was created by being printed on a ‘cell’ made of cellulose acetate 



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