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“Beauty and The Beast” and “Lion King” coming in 3D

Disney Home Entertainment announced its plans to release 15 movies in 3D Blu-ray in 2011. Among the fifteen are a pair of 3D-conversions of two classic hand drawn films, Beauty and The Beast and The Lion King.

A 3-D version of Beauty and the Beast was announced a year and a half ago (we first mentioned it in 2008) and was expected to be re-released theatrically for its anniversary. A clip of the 3-D version was presented in Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con in 2009. Instead, Beast and Lion King will go straight to video, where the 5% of of the public who have 3D flat screens can enjoy them.

“As our contemporary library of 3D content continues to grow, and the original artists and filmmakers meticulously ‘dimensionalize’ their work for release on the 3D Blu-ray format, we will be offering movie-lovers the most incredible in-home entertainment experience they will ever have,” said Lori MacPherson, EVP and GM, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Word is that Disney is “meticulously dimensionalizing” The Little Mermaid, The Jungle Book, Cinderella and about six others. I’ll be interested in seeing these. If they work, maybe someday they’ll dig into the vault and convert such titles as The Old Mill, The Three Caballeros and Der Fuehrer’s Face!

  • How?

  • Earl

    I can’t believe that there’s even 5% saturation yet on what is almost certain to be the next RCA SelectaVision Video Disc format.

  • David Mackenzie

    I don’t care for watching 2D movies converted to 3D, but I’m delighted Lion KIng is finally arriving on Blu-ray. I imagine that like most 3D Blu-ray Discs, these will play back in 2D perfectly on 2D equipment, something people need to be aware of.

    All I want to know is: where is the BD version of Lilo and Stitch?

  • Can’t push the bar higher? just drop it in a diffrent perspective…

  • Tim Douglas

    Can’t wait to finally see ‘The Band Concert’ the way it was intended:
    in mind-blowing, eye-popping, mouth-watering, heart-pumping, foot-stomping, fist-clenching, face-palming…

    Still can’t deny that I’m curious to see that sequence from B&TB in 3D…Argh they got me!

  • Degeaffusunuman

    This is very exciting! I’ve yet to see any cartoons converted from 2D to 3D, but I did see some originally shot in 3D at a showing in LA. They looked great. The Harry Potter 5 3D conversion did not impress me at all, more of a headache thing. But I’m optimistic about these Disney conversions! 3D naysayers can go away, the 2D version will always be included so if you don’t like it leave it alone.

  • Andrew

    Wow! Who cares?

  • Chelsea

    This seems like when black and white films are colourized- the director shot them in black and white and intended them to be viewed in black and white. When these 2D films were made, they are intended to be viewed in 2D.
    Sorry, I’m not buying it.

    • Mark

      Exactly right. But Studio Heads clearly don’t care about that. I saw Beauty and the Beast in 3D, not because I wanted to see it in 3D, but because I desperately wanted to see it in the cinemas again. The film was as good as it ever was, but the 3D didn’t plus anything. Actually it made many scenes worse and cheapened the experience.

    • Exactly: so when am I going to able to see “Melody” and “Boo Moon;” “Dial M for Murder” and, most of all, “AROUND IS AROUND;” all the great films that were shot and intended for stereoscopic presentation as such, rather than the conversions that litter stereoscopic screens today?

  • Clayton

    Sammy Davis, Jr. would be pissed.

  • that beauty and the beast cover is so great. Someone should definitely buy the person who made it a big present.

  • rhoobarb

    WOW the Beauty and the Beast cover is so much better than that terrible Lion King one. What is happening to Rafiki’s face??

    • Iain

      Rafiki: “You elephants over there! You have to learn to share the watering hole or the spirits of the past kings will go all over you!”

      Actually the “Beast” cover was fan-made and was done months before the Diamond Edition Blu-Ray was announced. It’s unfortunate to know that fans could cobble together better artwork than the one that get paid over at Disney.

      • rhoobarb

        Really? Fan-made! Well, paint me red and call me Joan. That person should have the lion king cover designer’s jobs for serious.

    • And the lioness looks like a mix of Nala and Sarabi, but with whiskers. Gosh it just looks terrible 8(

  • As Chelsea said above, this is no different than the colorization of black and white films. I believe that films should be left the way they were originally created, not forced to fit whatever the current technology is.

    • victoria

      Maybe Disney will also add more storm troopers and bigger explosions to these movies

  • Aaron

    Are they just going to loop the ballroom scene? That’s the message I’m getting from the trailer.

  • Toonio

    A new low for Disney, is not the re-packaging, is not the iridium edition DVD, is not the “going to the vault” empty threat. Is taking something that adds no value to the story lines and sell it again.

  • Iain

    If these conversions were intended for theaters, what Disney should do is put out these two out over the Spring and Summer for a limited time or combine them into a Renaissance-themed double feature (i.e. last Fall’s “Toy Story 1 & 2” re-release.) But hey, what do I expect much from a company that’s mis-guiding itself to the ground?

  • Joan

    Visionary Disney! Only YOU could pull it off!

    • rhoobarb

      His majesty’s triumphed again! Such divine benevolence!

      • Joan

        And Praise our Benign Malevolence!

  • Azz

    Uh…. Beauty and the Beast 3D was released here in Australia last year. So you guys didn’t get it ? That’s weird

  • Gobo

    I would pay cash money to see a 3D conversion of “Three Caballeros” in the theatre. From “You Belong To My Heart” onward, it’d be trippier than the end of 2001.

    • Abu

      I was thinking the same thing! A 3D midnight movie version of Three Caballeros would be amazing.

    • chipper

      3D Pink Elephants on Parade!

  • Oliver

    If it wasn’t shot in 3D in the first place, it no more belongs in 3D than Charlie Chaplin should be in color and CinemaScope!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    I guess you can count the newfangled set in our house as part of that 5% mentioned. I’m sure they’ll probably get this to go with already expensive glasses we already bought too.

  • Justin

    I agree with Olve first of all; how in the heck can they do that especially with Cinderella and the Jungle Book. Second, I hope that both the 3D versions and the original versions will be released at the same time. If not, I’m not buying them.

  • Doc Brown

    Doing a 3D version of Back to the Future is the only film I would want to see done.

  • SR Das

    I doubt it would ever be possible to convert any cel-era films (Little Mermaid and earlier). The original cels would have to be reshot Lumber-jack Rabbit-style, double-exposing the cels and background at opposing angles and using perspective overlays. The equipment to do that just isn’t around anymore!

    In any case, I am curious to see what 3D-ifying drawn animation looks like. Someone told me the characters would look like cardboard cutouts. The 3D-ification process, IMO, can only be used to any great effect for multiplane shots.

    • David Mackenzie is correct, this type of conversion is done all the time in live action movies (unfortunately). The first conversion of this type was Nightmare Before Christmas, which was done quite well. It would probably be easier to convert cel animation since it has easy to find edges and you don’t need to be as concerned about in looking unnatural. Most 3D live action movies are shot flat and converted in post; as demonstrated in this video:


  • enigmawing

    I hope you guys realize that the Beauty and the Beast cover posted above is a fan-made one from a couple years back. ;)

  • dbenson

    Forget 3D. The world is waiting for smell effects on Lion King.

  • David Mackenzie

    @SR Das:
    it wouldn’t need re-shooting. It’s possible to take flat 2D movies and give them a phony sense of depth.

  • What? No 3-D Fantasia?

  • Where are the Pixar titles from that list?

  • Steve M.

    Just what we need, more eye sores.

  • Ben

    I guess I’m just not understanding the technology involved in making a 2D animated movie 3D. I did see Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D, and it was kind of good. I figured they were able to do something with the perspective though, since the sets, & characters were dimensional. However, with cel animation, how can they create different perspectives where there are none? Especially on the flat characters? I kind of want to see one as an example, but since B&TB didn’t get released theatrically here, I don’t know how…because I am NOT buying a 3D HDTV or 3D Blu-ray player & goggles just for this…

    • In 1953 almost every major animation studio created at least one 3D cel animated short. They had the look of a pop-up book with flat drawings seeming to float above the backgrounds. In Ward Kimball’s “Melody” for Disney the backgrounds were well integrated and sometimes even two BG paintings were made for the stereo effect. Since these were shorts and by the 50’s budgets were cut, none of them used the multiplane camera, which would have worked well in 3D (Fleischers’s turntable would have been awesome). Computer technology would make the dimensional effect more believable today and since Disney animation almost always strove for roundness, 3D would not be that foreign.

      • Ben

        Yeah, the 3D shorts from the ’50’s were interesting. At least they were created specifically with 3D in mind though. I agree that they did look like flat cut outs. I’ve been lucky enough to see a few of them over the years in their 3D presentations. The problem I’m still having is trying to retrofit 3D onto something that was never made with that intention. There weren’t multiple backgrounds used. The only scene I can think of working quite well in Beauty and the Beast, is of course, the ballroom scene…which was the only thing they showed in the trailer. Otherwise, I can’t imagine all that much depth really being added in the scenes with static backgrounds. Is there anyplace that details just how they try to recreate 3D with these limitations? I’m curious how they do it.

      • I posted a link earlier, here it is again:


        I think this is pretty interesting, it should be no problem to adapt this to cartoons instead of live action.

      • Ben

        Thanks for that, it did help explain how the conversion is done. It sure looks like a lot of tedious work, but at least I can understand the basic concept.

  • James

    This may be a stupid question but is there a 2D version of each film? I’m interested in 3D but really want the originals.

    • Kyle Maloney

      Yes, of course.

      Anyway, so does this mean no theatrical release of beauty here in the US? That sucks. :(

      I was really looking forward to seeing it in theaters again, along with the 3D. I won’t be able to upgrade my TV for quite some time. I just went HD not 3 years ago. The only way I can see me be able to watch a 3D movie at home now is on the 3DS due out in a couple of months. and while I think they’re toying with the idea of releasing modern movies like Tangled I don’t see beauty being released any time soon. same for the Lion king.

  • mawnck

    Aside from the issue of whether representational line drawings can be effectively made 3D without leaving supposedly connected pieces floating in space ….

    Will these discs include a REAL 2D transfer of each film? The creation of the 3D version will require distortion of the original artwork, as seen in the trailer attached to this post. For instance, look at the HUGE hands and small heads at :44 compared with the same shot at 1:48 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qtTPTxvoPA

    I have this nightmare that the “2D version” on these discs will merely be one side of the 3D version as seen in this trailer. If that is the case, then I will regretfully have to pass on these.

    • FigmentJedi

      The 2D version is one of the four discs

  • Mark Sonntag

    Would be a lot of work to try and do films like The Three Caballeros in 3D, a lot of those earlier films, and even into the 80s have cel shadows visible where the cel had either too much paint lifting it slightly off the BG or the platten wasn’t secure enough.

    Some films should be left as they are . . . but then, maybe that will be the only way future generations will bother to watch them.

  • OK sorry, but this is lame. I’d much rather have the theater experience.

    …and I recently re-watched part of Tarzan and think that would be neat to see in 3D due to all the Deep Canvas work they did to the picture.

  • Ethan

    Is there anyone from the original core creative team behind Lion King still working at Disney ?

  • Jerry, love your comment about those esoteric, yet lovable Disney classics. if they ever convert Pinocchio, I’ll leave the planet.

  • Hmmm. If Disney can effectively convert their 2D cartoons to 3D, I don’t think I’d mind Warner Home Video doing the same to some of the Fleischer Popeyes. I’d like to get the feeling of height in THE PANELESS WINDOW WASHER or Olive’s trip through traffic in A DATE TO SKATE. I hope they browse through their library because there are probably a lot more than that to justify the expense. Oops! There’s that bad word: expense!

  • John

    I demand a 3D conversion for all Deputy Dawg shorts.

  • Oh god shoot me now… Great another headache inducing film/s

  • chipper

    Gosh, I don’t even have a blu-ray player. I have to go farm dinosaurs now, please excuse me.

  • I would love to see Disney’s 1946 seminal short “History of Menstruation” on 3-D.

  • Justin

    Hey guys. I just found out something today about 3D that I thought I could share. It is considered unhealthy for you. You could get headaches and eyestrains. According to Samsung, if you are a pregnant woman, child, teenager, sleep deprived, had a history of an epilespy or stroke, or are under the influence of alcohol, you should aviod 3D TVs.

  • Ben

    This honestly does not look 3d… I expected realistic features such as Shrek… To me all i see is the camera moving in a 3d room, characters look too much of the same.