Originally, when the park first opened in 1989, the Feature Animation pavilion of the attraction, designed originally by Bob Rogers and the design team BRC Imagination Arts, included four connected experiences which explored the legacy of Disney animation. The tour commenced with the short film entitled "Back to Neverland," in which veteran newscaster, Walter Cronkite and comedian Robin Williams guided guests through the different stages in animating a feature-length film by turning Williams into an animated character in the form of one of the "Lost Boys" of Peter Pan. Following that introductory film, guest would witness the process of animation, first-hand, from elevated, glass-enclosed walkways within Disney's actual animation studio. The third segment was a short film in which Disney Animators described the joy of the art of animation. A finale film entitled "Classic Disney" presented a montage of key moments from classic animated Disney films.
The attraction had one main showroom, where a Disney animator showed guests how the characters in Disney animated films were chosen and designed, with the help of Mushu, the dragon from Disney's Mulan (voiced in the show by Eddie Murphy's sound double, Mark Moseley.) Mulan was the first of three films produced by the former Orlando, Florida division of Walt Disney Feature Animation, which was headquartered in the building before being closed in 2004. After guests left the showroom, they were led to an area with interactive games and a chance to meet characters from the latest Disney animated pictures. There was also a section called The Animation Academy, where guests could draw their favorite Disney characters, under the guidance of a Disney Animator. Several original cels from classic Disney films as well as several of the Academy Awards won by Disney films were on display at the attraction.
Inside the building which housed the attraction were the former production facilities of Walt Disney Animation Orlando. Some of its productions included:
The Disney Animation Building and all these attractions are located at Hollywood Land which is a themed land at the park. There is no main show, such as the one in the Paris and Florida attractions, but there are a variety of attractions and exhibits the guests can visit. "The area is inspired by the 1930s Golden Age period of Hollywood" and features attractions related to this concept. The Animation Academy is where guests can get lessons on how to draw various Disney characters. As part of the park's "Frozen Fun" event, which ran though May 15, 2015, the Academy gave exclusive lessons on how to draw either Olaf or Marshmallow from Frozen.
Other experiences at the Disney Animation Building include the Animation Courtyard. The area of the courtyard known as the Art of Animation Gallery is where guests can see some of the original artwork and the creative process from Disney and Pixar animated films, featuring scenery from the films as well as concept art of the characters.
Another attraction at the building is known as the Character Close-Up which, starting in late December 2014, features a meet and greet with Anna and Elsa from Frozen.
Other attractions include the Sorcerer’s Workshop and Turtle Talk with Crush. The Sorcerer’s Workshop features the Magic Mirror Realm which features interactive animation exhibits and allows guests to create simple animated drawings. Guests can figure out what "personality most resembles" them in the Beast’s Library. Lastly, guests can "gather 'round a "window to the Pacific" for a live chat with Crush the turtle from Finding Nemo.
On April 30, 2021, Disneyland Resort reopened after being temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the Disney California Adventure version of the attraction remained closed.
In the Magic Mirror Realm section of the Sorcerer's Workshop, the images of 12 Disney characters surround the Magic Mirror, each one representing 1 of the 12 zodiac symbols. They are from left to right:
In the same room, several Atlantean letters are are part of one of the diagrams on the walls. When translated, they spell "Walt & Roy", the first names of Walt and Roy E. Disney.
The attraction opened in 2002, along with the park, and is located in the Toon Studio (previously known as Animation Courtyard). Toon Studios is where the animated characters come alive - here guests learn about how Disney animated movies are created and can step into the imaginary worlds of animated features from Disney and Pixar.
It allows guests to learn about Disney creations with the help of a Disney animator and Mushu, the mischievous dragon from Disney's 1998 film Mulan. Through combining theatre presentations with interactive exhibits, the Art of Disney Animation takes guests on a trip from the historical world of previous Disney animation techniques to "the creation of modern-day Disney characters." The iconic Sorcerer Hat is the perfect way to usher guests into the building and start this experience. Additionally, in front of the building near the wait area, there is a collection of golden statues of various Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, Mulan and Donald Duck to name a few.
After guests pass the outdoor wait area, they enter the pre-show room. "A colorful mural wraps around the left side of the room charting early animation inventions." This room has on display an original multiplane camera which was used in the production of the film Bambi. The attraction also displays other early animation inventions such as the Greek urn that date back to 500 BC as well as the Magic Lantern (1659) an early type of image projector, which was invented in the Netherlands.
Other animation inventions include the English Thaumatrope (1825) which is "a disk or card with a picture on each side. The disc or card is attached to two strings on each side. When flipping the disc or card in a continuity movement from one side to the other, it looks like the two separate pictures merged into one single image." The Phenakistoscope invented in Belgium in 1832 is "a vertical spinning disc with multiple drawings that gave the illusion of a moving picture once it was set in motion." The Zoetrope (1834) is another English invention and "it is a cylinder with slits in the side." Inside the cylinder, a band with images is placed. Once the cylinder is set in motion an illusion of movement is created." The last animation invention featured in this room is the French Praxinoscope (1877) which "improved on the Zoetrope by using an inner circle of mirrors that create a brighter and less crooked picture."
After this exhibition pre-show, guests are taken to the Disney Classics Theatre which is a seated cinema is showing a collection great Disney and Pixar animated moments touching on Disney's themes of love, loss and rebirth. Guests are then moved on to the Drawn to Animation room, where they are welcomed by a Disney animator and their host Mushu, the dragon. Together they explain, how Disney creates its many characters and "how they [bring] them to life on the big screen." At the end of this presentation, guests are shown some scenes from the latest Disney or Pixar animation, the scenes obviously changing with the release of a new animated movie.
Guests are then moved into the final and largest room of the attraction, which features a series of interactive "animation stations", where they can try out some of the things they had just seen on the tour. Guests have the possibility of trying their hand at drawing Mickey Mouse with the help of an animator who explains the whole process. They can also draw their own Zoetrope animation on bands of paper and test the results on one of the devices. There is also a sound creation game and a voice over game, as well as many other fun stations to explore.
For those who want to see a little bit more of Disney animation history, there is a display of concept art highlighting the design and creation of Disney's films as well as statues displayed behind glass windows. Lastly, a tip guests can keep in mind about this final room is that it can be entered without visiting the main attraction, allowing guests to return to view certain exhibits and take part in certain "animation stations" during their visit to the park.
In addition to “Frozen: A Musical Invitation,” guests will be able to meet Olaf and give him the biggest warm hugs! Guests must register on the LineBerty app before they can meet Olaf.
Located in Main Street, U.S.A.'s Opera House at Hong Kong Disneyland. As part of the expansion of the park in summer 2008, the attraction replaced The Disneyland Story presenting How Mickey Mouse Came to Hong Kong. Behold an exhibition of original Disney artwork and see how an early concept sketch can become an animated character inside the building. View drawings, sculptures and rare collectibles from more than 80 years of beloved Disney and Pixar cartoons and animated feature films—and learn how Disney artists created and eventually brought to life some of Disney characters, such as:
In 2012, since Magic Access Member Service Center (next to City Hall) was under construction, the center has temporary moved to the building, replaced The Preview Gallery, while the Art of Animation is covered with a curtain whereas guests could enter and visit.
However, the building has been temporarily suspended from September 21 to 30, 2016 and October 17 to 25, 2016 for transformation work. It has provide extra functions that serve the Magic Access Members. The old building was replaced by a Meet and Greet attraction known as The Annex.
Pre-Art of Animation
The Disneyland Story: presenting How Mickey Mouse Came to Hong Kong
When the park opened in 2005, The Disneyland Story was one of the attractions that had closed in 2008. Inside were pictures and chronicles that presented how Mickey Mouse came to Hong Kong.
A zoetrope is a device that flashes a series of still images to produce the illusion of motion. Instead of using traditional, one-dimensional drawings, a Toy Story Zoetrope was featured, similar to the former Character Close-Up in Disney Animation Building at Disney California Adventure. It featured 3-dimensional figures of characters from the Disney•Pixar Toy Story film series—including Woody, Jessie and Bullseye—to demonstrate how even sculptures can easily become fully animated in the eye of the beholder. As large disks whirled under a flashing strobe light, the Toy Story characters sprang to life. However, it was removed in December 19, 2016 for the new "Magic Access Member Service Center" expansion.
During the Monstrous Summer event in 2013, the building was converted into Monsters University Administration Building (Traditional Chinese: 怪獸大學行政大樓), in conjunction with the release of the film Monsters University. It was ran from June 13, 2013. Although the event officially ended on September 1, it continued until October 31, as part of the "Disney's Haunted Halloween" event starting from October 4.
Guests went directly to the building to obtain their very own Monsters University Student Cards. Simply by inserting their park tickets or Magic Access Membership Cards into the Monsters University Student ID Booth, guests could also have their scary Student Photos taken. Guests could also meet and greet with Mike and Sulley in their MU looks outside the building during summer.
Inside Out Headquarters
During the “Frozen” Village summer event in 2015, the building was converted into Inside Out Headquarters (Traditional Chinese: 腦海總部控制中心), in conjunction with the release of the film Inside Out. It was ran from July 9, 2015. Although the event officially ended on August 30, it continued until September 14. The displays inside the building were all moved to Epcot Character Spot at Epcot since April 2016.
Guests had the opportunity to experience firsthand some of the movie’s most charming elements and a particularly iconic scene. They would also be able to create their very own Emotions postcard in the Capture Your Emotions Photo Booth. Guests could also meet and greet with Joy and Sadness.