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Disney's spooky behind-the-scenes tour (photos)

Disney doesn't often open its back lot to the public, but the studio served up a short tour of its animation facilities this week to celebrate Halloween.

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John Lewinski

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Art of Disney animation

BURBANK, Calif.--Disney Interactive Media Group invited the press and families onto the movie studio's back lot this week for a special pre-Halloween tour that included a chance to play games like Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars 2: The Video Game, and Disney Universe. Every Hollywood studio is security-conscious in this era of online spoilers, and for that reason (and to preserve the fairytale illusions for kids), Disney doesn't let "non-cast members" behind the scenes very often.

During the back lot exploration, visitors had a chance to explore where legendary Disney films were made. The halls of the Disney Animation Building include a record of art and imagery from the history of the studio's 2D cartoon films.

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'101 Dalmatians' concept art

The halls of the Disney Animation Building are an in-house museum of development art from the studio's films, such as these concept images from "101 Dalmatians." Such sketches were used by animators to render a 2D character from different angles in an animated film.
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Don't step on Steamboat Willie

This image of Steamboat Willie from Walt Disney's original cartoon effort sits in the floor inside the main hall of the Disney Animation Building. Staff walk around it, never stepping on The Mouse.
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Pluto's footprints on back lot

Legend has it that Disney's Pluto stepped in wet cement on the Disney back lot. Only three prints are visible as the fourth leg was lifted toward a nearby hydrant in a delicate moment.
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Mickey Avenue and Dopey Drive

The streets of the Disney back lot are marked with appropriate signage, including this intersection of Mickey Avenue and Dopey Drive.

The sign terminology (multiplane, ink, and paint) harks back to the height of Disney's 2D animation era, which included films from "Snow White" to "Beauty and the Beast." While Pixar helped to make 3D, computer-generated animation industry standard, the Disney back lot still has the mechanisms in place to produce hand-drawn animation.

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Dwarves hold up Disney

The famed Seven Dwarfs hold up the main Disney office building near the studio's entrance on the Disney back lot.
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Fans pose with Walt and Mickey

This statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse on the Disney back lot is a replica of the statue greeting visitors to Disneyland.

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