While animators obviously play an extremely important role in the creation of animated features, they’re not the only artists responsible for creating Disney movie magic. A wide variety of artistic and technical disciplines all work together to create everything that appears on screen, including what is typically referred to as “the background.” However, just because their work isn’t as front and center as the characters in the foreground doesn’t mean it isn’t noticed. When Magic Kingdom was planning its recent New Fantasyland expansion, for example, it looked to the backgrounds of some of Disney’s fairy tale classics for inspiration, including the small provincial town from “Beauty and the Beast.”
One example of this is Belle’s Cottage, as seen above, which marks the entrance to “Enchanted Tales with Belle.” The Imagineers recreated the home that the “beauty but a funny girl” shared with her father, which had originally been only a painting, as an actual 3-dimensional building. In addition to the cottage, other settings from the beloved 1991 musical that can be found in the expanded Fantasyland include The Beast’s Castle and Gaston’s Tavern. With the new live action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” coming out, many fans are excited to see places from the animated version recreated in reality, but Magic Kingdom guests have been able to not only see but walk through some of those locations since 2012.