Disney partners with LACMA, retells classic fairytales via Snapchat

The Walt Disney Company has been on a progressive streak, churning out a whole host of movies with modern messages, such as 2013’s massive hit Frozen, 2015’s Inside Out and the upcoming film Moana. But now, Disney is straying from their cinematic comfort zone and stepping into a whole new world: the world of Snapchat.

For an exciting new project, the company teamed up with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to retell the story of Beauty and the Beast using the popular social media outlet Snapchat earlier this October. The collaboration is built upon the current cultural significance of social media platforms like Snapchat, and the companies are using Snapchat to reach a wider audience of people. Disney and LACMA hope to combine humorous content designed for the museum’s Snapchat story with easier access to the artwork displayed at the museum, according to LACMA CEO Michael Govan.

“LACMA’s intentionally humorous Snapchat account not only has made important artworks from our collection vastly more accessible to new audiences, but it has also allowed us to explore these artworks from new points of view,” Govan said.

This project comes right before the 25th anniversary of the Disney film’s original theatrical release as well as the November release of their highly anticipated live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. This new film stars an exciting cast of talented Hollywood stars, including Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Josh Gad as LeFou, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.

The museum’s Snapchat story kicked off the event by snapping the museum’s art pieces, which were accompanied by captions that retold the story of the Disney classic. Disney’s own blog and the main platform for the collaboration, OhMyDisney, continued the story the next day on its own Snapchat account.

The collaboration occurred in an attempt to appeal to both Disney lovers and art lovers alike, according to Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media VP, Content, Social and Programming Dan Reynolds.

“Our Snapchat campaign with LACMA opens up new ways for our audiences to experience art and their favorite Disney stories,” Reynolds said. “The LACMA Snapchat account already captures that contemporary and culturally savvy voice and tone that our OhMyDisney Snapchat audience loves, and this collaboration is a natural way to add a little magic to the artworks and storytelling, to reach a new generation of art and Disney fans alike.”

Disney and LACMA plan to continue the project with a variety of Disney’s classic films in the upcoming months. Using “filters, pop-culture references, and hand-drawn overlays,” OhMyDisney will collaborate on a bi-monthly basis—with access to over 130,000 pieces in LACMA’s collection—in order to bring various Disney stories to life.

LACMA was one of the first museums to join Snapchat in July 2014; they eventually won a Webby for its unique approach to garnering interest in its art collection. This new project is just another example of the museum’s innovative relationship with modern technology. “Partnering with Disney—one of the most influential and dynamic storytellers of our time—is a perfect marriage of two Los Angeles institutions that love to engage the public with images,” Govan said.

The Beauty and the Beast Snapchat story utilized artwork at the museum, including paintings by Paul Gauguin, a lithograph of Alphonse Mucha’s “Zodiac,” a sculpture from Ishikawa Mitsuaki and many more. The list will only continue to expand as the new partners continue to visually narrate Disney films.

The ultimate goal for both the LACMA and the Walt Disney Company may be to increase viewership, but it’s safe to say this latest venture is anything but your typical business deal. Rather, the duo has created a form of entertainment that is as easily accessible as it is delightful.

Anyone from young to old can experience the timeless story for the first time or for the first time in years—and all in just a matter of seconds.