On Oct. 4, The Walt Disney Studios announced that it will follow up the very successful release of “The Lion King 3D” – which will cross the $80 million mark with today’s domestic box office – with more big-screen 3D animated releases of Disney and Pixar classic movies.
Disney’s “The Lion King 3D” was a surprise hit for The Walt Disney Studios. Originally released to a limited two-week run, largely to promote the release of the film on DVD, audience response has encouraged the studio to hold the film over in movie theaters.
Given this context, Disney’s decision to release additional titles comes as little surprise.
The following movies will enjoy limited theatrical release in 3D in 2012 and 2013:
- “Beauty and the Beast” – January 13, 2012
- Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” – September 14, 2012
- Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” – January 18, 2013 (Monsters University, a prequel to the original film, arrives in theaters in Disney Digital 3D on June 21, 2013)
- “The Little Mermaid” – September 13, 2013
The re-release of these 3D conversions hearkens back to Disney’s own past, prior to the shift in audience viewing habits with the emergence of home entertainment options such as video, DVDs and Blu-ray. Disney used to release its most popular classic movies from “its vault” on a cycle, introducing new generations of children to its films.
“Great stories and great characters are timeless, and at Disney we’re fortunate to have a treasure trove of both,” said Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios in a press statement. “We’re thrilled to give audiences of all ages the chance to experience these beloved tales in an exciting new way with 3D – and in the case of younger generations, for the first time on the big screen.”
The quick release of “Beauty and the Beast” allows Disney to capitalize on the momentum of “The Lion King 3D. According to Variety, “Beauty and the Beast” has already been converted to 3D and has recently enjoyed a two-week screening at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.
For movie-goers who may not be familiar with the films, what follows is brief summary of the titles.
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991), an adaptation of the fairy tale, focuses on the story of Belle as she encounters a mysterious beast in his isolated castle, filled with enchanted staff. The musical was the first animated movie to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. Although it didn’t take home that Oscar, the film did win two of the other five awards for which it was nominated.
Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” (2003) offers a father-son tale in an underseas adventure. The story focusing on the clownfish Marlin, a homebody whose fear of the ocean is as strong as his son Nemo’s urge to explore it. After Nemo is scooped up by a diver, Marlin starts on a search to save his son, encountering other colorful characters along the way.
Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” takes audiences into the world of Monstropolis, a world fueled by the screams of humans. Sulley sidekick Mike Wazowski, two top members of the scare team, have their lives changed when Boo, a human toddler, enters the world of Monsters.
“The Little Mermaid” (1989), the Academy-Award film generally credited as marking the start of the second golden age of Disney animation, is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. Ariel is the rebellious mermaid who, with the help of her friends Flounder and Sebastian, explores the human world. In a deal with the evil Ursual, she trades her fins for legs in the hopes of earning the love of Prince Eric.
When the films are released, Pittsburgh movie-goers can catch them at AMC Loews Waterfront 22. Look for additional locations and movie tickets available for online purchase at Fandango.
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