Housed in an unpretentious, one-story office building in an industrial park in Glendale. California, about 10 minutes away from the Burbank airport, is one of the most creative and successful groups in ''Hollywood"--Walt Disney Feature Animation. Here, in this very low-profile location, Disney artists have created two of the highest-profile and most profitable animated features ever: Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.
In the lobby, a tidy wall display steps a viewer through the process of making an animated film at Disney. In the display, you see a page from the movie script for Beauty and the Beast. A handwritten exposure sheet details the mechanics of a scene, frame by frame, including camera moves. Pencil sketches of the Beast, a color model that shows a sample painted Beast with all his colors carefully labeled, and beautiful hand-painted cels that show the pencil sketches inked and colored complete the process. It's educational. But it's not accurate. Not any more, and not, as a matter of fact, for Beauty and the Beast, the second feature film ever made to have every frame passed through a computer. Disney's Rescuers Down Under was the first.