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Disney quietly opens 3-D “Beauty and The Beast”

Imagine my surprise when I spotted this (photo above) on the marquee of the El Capitan Theatre today. Perhaps it was well known in Disney fan circles, but I hadn’t heard anything about a theatrical release of the 3D version of Beauty and The Beast until I walked by the theatre this morning. I saw no TV or newspaper advertising about it (and I still read newspapers).

It’s playing for two weeks at the El Cap, four times each day 10:45am‎, ‎2:00‎, ‎4:45,‎ 7:30pm ‎and since I do not own a 3D Hi-Def TV, I definitely plan to check out the “meticulously dimensionalized” version on the big screen this weekend. A 3D version of The Lion King opens at the El Cap (and nationwide) on September 16th. Both films will be on sale in 3D Blu-Ray editions on October 4th.

  • What the…?

    Did they do this before in Europe than they did in the States?

    I watched the 3D version months ago here in Spain, and I must say I’m not a big fan of 3D…but I totally loved it! This and Teddy Newton’s Night and Day are among the best things I’ve seen in 3D, which makes me wonder if 2D animation works better in 3D than CGI.

    • JuanRa

      It’s kinda the same over here in Mexico, but this film was released almost a year ago! The Lion King 3D came out a few weeks ago, so colour me surprised to see that it’s not yet released in the US.

      I do agree that both films look great on 3D, although they have their issues.

  • sounds cool, please let us know if it’s worth it.

  • Jason H

    The El Capitan is awesome! Sometimes they even have a live preshow before the actual movie. One of the best theaters out there!

  • I can understand how The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast keep getting re-releases in theaters. They’re the most successful ones from Disney.

    I wish they could try others like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid or Mulan.

    • Ted

      They did theatrically rerelease Little Mermaid, in 1997. I suspect rereleasing Hunchback would damage the Disney brand far more than Song of the South would…

      I don’t suppose they packaged Working For Peanuts with this release of Beauty and the Beast (or will with Lion King)? That was why I went to see Meet The Robinsons. The short looked great; like a moving Viewmaster reel, which is a fake looking kind of 3D effect compared to CG 3D, but which gives more of a feeling of 3D most of the time. (That would probably become irritating for a feature, but it really grabs you for a short. I wish some of the other companies would release the other golden age 3D cartoons and package them with modern features; that would get my ticket purchase.)

  • Geneva

    I would flip for a theatrical release of Bambi (not in 3D, please).

    • cijfer

      Just think of those multiplane shots in 3d though..

  • They were supposed to do this last year.

    Kinda pissed about this. >:(

  • Mark C

    Can they quietly close it soon?

  • Blair

    Yeah saw this about a year ago in New Zealand and I have to say the 3D conversion is an utterly pointless exercise. Incredibly distracting and poorly executed. The whole movie looks like a viewmaster slide. But then I do despise 3D.

    Only improvement is that the horrible special edition song has been removed.

    I wish they would rerelease these to cinemas sans 3D. They really are tremendous films, I just feel the 3D undermines their integrity.

    • I kinda liked the viewmaster slide look. I’m not a big fan of 3D either, but I don’t think it could look much more different than that. After all those are 2D drawings in different layers.

      And as long as the normal versions still exist, I don’t think the existance of this version makes any damage.

  • Oliver

    Regardless of quality, we should no more support the ‘3D-izing’ of 2D films years after the fact than we should support the colorizing and widescreen cropping of classic films from the 40s.

    • Taylor

      Why not support either?

      Animation enthusiasts aside, there is a very, very large portion of the general population who will ignore films if they are in black and white. Especially kids.
      If companies are willing to create animation-related jobs AND expose great films to a new and/or broader audience, why would anyone stand in the way? ESPECIALLY animation enthusiasts!

      Although 3D versions of films tend to alienate a similar audience of moviegoer, it’s still an opportunity to create/keep animated-related jobs while exposing the next generation to great films.

      Support the art. Support the artists. None of us should ever actively boycott anything that keeps our beloved artform alive and paying people’s bills.

  • Guy Who Was In The Room

    This was completed right around the time Dick Cook (who greenlit the conversion) got the axe. Typical of studio politics, his replacement Rich “Prom” Ross had little interest in the project and didn’t want to spend any marketing dollars for a full re-release.

    • 2011 Adult

      How come whenever a studio changes its management, the new exec’s visions is the complete opposite of the one before him?!

      • dbenson

        If any of the old regime’s last projects are successful, the new guy looks bad by comparison. If any bomb, he looks dumb for letting them proceed. It’s a lose-lose situation, so the impulse is to either close down projects in the pipeline, or mess with them until they can be positioned as primarily the new guy’s vision.

        Very much like certain animal species, where a new alpha male kills the progeny of his predecessor.

      • That’s an accurate way to look at from the exec’s perspective, especially in the entertainment industry where such rises and falls are publicized.

        However, it has been my experience that some executives feel as if they must smother and dismantle things so they can re-assemble them simply to prove they are worthy of their position. Some companies and divisions take decades to recover from the damage. That is not to say that this is the case here.

        It is very obvious that B & B is being cast into the shadows, since 3-D Lion King promos are very prevalent. But then, it’s a depressed economy and the thinking is surely that Lion King is surefire.

      • 2011 Adult

        That’s right. The first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture surely isn’t good enough to get as much promotion as The Lion King!

  • I know it’s sacrilege but I’ve always fantasized seeing Fantasia in 3D, with dancing flowers in layers, Mickey conjuring stars, dinosaurs and volcanos, and demons flying across the sky.

    • John A

      I would love to see Fantasia in 3-D, even though I’m almost positive I would leave the theater with an immense headache and my eyes permanently crossed.

  • Yesterday I read that Steven Spielberg thinks that theaters charge too much for 3D films. If only he had some clout.

    • Maybe if he and some of the top decision-makers at the studios actually paid to see 3-D movies with their own money and not as screenings or through expense accounts, they’d realize. When it doesn’t hit you where you live, it’s harder to empathize.

  • Brian Kidd

    I know I’m in the minority, but I would have paid to see BEAUTY & THE BEAST in 3D but am likely going to skip LION KING. I’ve never been a huge fan of LION KING. I don’t think the music is very good. Like I said, I’m in the minority.

  • Rob

    Since Disney owns the El Capitan they run nothing but their own titles and occasionally program a vault title in-between the first run releases. Earlier this year I was in Los Angeles and caught a 2K digital showing of The Little Mermaid which was a filler leading up to what I seem to remember was going to be the first-run opening of Gnomeo and Juliet. They ran Dumbo last year I believe around the same time the Blu-Ray was originally scheduled to be released.
    If you’re on the theatre’s e-mail list they will send you upcoming notifications of their schedules. I received one recently promoting these two 3D engagements.

  • Funkybat

    I hope this gets some kind of theatrical release in cities other than LA, Variety claims Disney is “considering” it, but only after Lion Kong closes nationwide.

    I love both films, but I’ve kind of seen The Lion King to death, and I was really looking forward to revisiting Beauty and the Beast in 3D after seeing a demo at Comic Con 2 or 3 years ago. I have no plans to buy a 3D TV (until they have ones that don’t require glasses) so if they don’t release it in theaters, I just won’t get to see it.

  • I really hope these “dimensionalized” Disney films will be released theatrically in some countries besides the U.S., too (cough*Norway*cough). I’d really like to check them out.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Yeah it’s always a shame when they’re that exclusive and we all miss out as usual.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    I saw a commercial for it, and instantly dismissed it as gilding the lily. The story is good enough that it wouldn’t benefit from the 3D treatment … well, maybe if we got to see Gaston falling to his death TOWARD the camera instead of away from it.

  • Nicole A

    I remember going to the Disney panel at Comic Con about two years ago now, and they showed us the opening “Belle” intro. It looked amazing. At that time they were trying to get it out in time for Valentine’s Day 2010 … and then it never came out! From what I read they are just showing it here in LA and then they are following it with Lion King 3D