More on Beauty and the Beast 3D

Beauty and the Beast

Disney is prepping Beauty and the Beast for a 3D release in 2010. Producer Don Hahn spoke to SlashFilm.com about why and how the studio was reformatting Beauty and the Beast for 3D screens. The ‘why’ part is fairly obvious–Disney is in the business of making money and they’re not exactly raking it in at the box office with their current batch of features. In corporate speak, Hahn translates that to: “It’s a chance to take a title that’s very beloved by the audience and try to share it in a way that people haven’t seen before.”

The ‘how’ part is more interesting. Apparently because it was all composited on separate layers and level using the studio’s early CAPS system, they can now separate those layers into a depth of field to create a 3D experience. Says Hahn:

“We didn’t want to do the layers of flatness. There are some old Chip and Dale cartoons that do that…I think what we we want to do is not do that, and create a truly dimensional environment. It’s a very hybrid approach. There’s some proprietary software that Disney created for this, and it actually bends the drawings around geometry. You take a character like Belle or the Beast and you create geometry in the computer that matches the image on the screen, and then bend the original movie around that geometry, be it the character or a background, a tree, or a building or whatever. That creates very dimensional, round faces.”

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  • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    The anaglyph 3D didn’t work for me. I think one of the colors is wrong. There are some anaglyph 3D videos on YouTube that work fine.

    When Hahn says “There are some old Chip and Dale cartoons that do that” I assume he’s talking about the Donald Duck cartoon “Working for Peanuts” which co-stars C&D. But there was only one.

    Beauty and the Beast may be a great opportunity to show the brilliant 3D cartoon “Melody” or at least Glago’s Guest. Of course Disney will have lots of places to showcase their meager roster of stereoscopic shorts.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I hope no one is thinking the phony red-blue image at the top is what theater 3D looks like. 3D in theaters is not a two color process and never was, even in the 50′s.

    Leonard Maltin has a rant on his blog about writers who get that wrong.

  • http://www.colorfulanimationexpressions.blogspot.com Oswald

    I wonder why hardly anybody is commenting about how a 3D version of a pre-existing movie harms the experience. It may not only “not enhance it too much”, in my experience it changes how we perceive it, taking it further away from how it was meant to be seen (not as much as the colorized 80s versions of film noir, but still in the same direction).

    Some previously unobtrusive depth cues suddenly distract from the actual focus of a shot, for example, while the editing should have been planned differently and so forth…

    To me it sounds about as silly as showing it in the IMAX format (with about the same negative effects), but wait, didn’t they do that already?

    I’m not saying all this because I particularly like Beauty and the Beast (never one of my favorites), but because I prefer technical devices used to enhance a concept rather than diminish it.

  • foualier

    to me, the beauty of hand drawn animation is that it’s “hand drawn”. I want to see the lines, the curves and the angles. I guess the 3D treatment will distract us from that. the film will loose its artistic integrity.

    but what is the original film, anyway? is it the version that I saw and loved when I was 11? the work in progress version that only a handful of people saw? the “extended” and and by so diminished version that nowaday kids see on dvd? the 3D version to come? that’s at least 4 versions in less than 20 years. and what about that original version that never was? only told here and there on the internet, with a more mature take on this french tale where belle was going to be less skinny, before the execs put their hands on the project. everyone has his original, beloved version. it’s just a big mess.

  • Justin

    Hahn was referring to the Chip ‘N Dale short “Working for Peanuts” that showed in front of the 3D version of Meet the Robinsons.

  • http://www.kyleboyd.blogspot.com/ Kyle Boyd

    A ‘Deep Canvas’ picture like Tarzan might be cool to see in Stereoscopic 3D.

  • Killroy McFate

    “What about that original version that never was? Only told here and there on the internet, with a more mature take on this french tale where Belle was going to be less skinny, before the execs put their hands on the project.”

    Ah, yes. The legendary Really Boring Version That Everybody Hated.

  • Brian Gardner

    I worked on Iron Giant, and being a stereo 3-D enthusiast, I of course viewed pieces of it stereoscopically. (My job was to make the CGI look hand-drawn. Such as the Giant himself, all bikes, motorcycles, trains, planes, railroad tracks,… blah, blah, blah… huge number of props, and even Hogarth in a couple shots.) I quite like the stylish look of hand-drawn art viewed in full stereopsis.

    As long as it is done well. So, the characters are full and real, not cardboard. And I know that is not hard to do with software, skill, and some TLC. And I believe that Disney Feature Animation staff have all three.

    I’ve just finished doing the stereoscopic 3-D on Coraline (a stop motion animated feature). I can say that seeing the puppets and sets in real life and then re-living them on the silver screen is pretty heart warming and rewarding. It’s definitely not the same experience as the older stop motion films.

    I believe that the same can and will happen with traditional animated films in stereo 3-D. I hope at some point I’ll get to work on an original ‘traditional’ (hand drawn) animated film designed for stereo 3-D from the storyboards up.

    It is the magic that we love of still pictures being brought to life, which is animation — brought beyond just animated, and into reality — it’s the magic fulfilled. That’s the way I see it.

  • Jacob

    Concerning this statement:

    “Disney is in the business of making money and they’re not exactly raking it in at the box office with their current batch of features.”

    Isn’t the money-making thing what Hannah Montana and company were supposed to be for?

  • Kukulcan

    “A ‘Deep Canvas’ picture like Tarzan might be cool to see in Stereoscopic 3D.”

    Actually it is. There is a reel with 3D teasers of some blockbuster movie floating around incl. Tarzan, which is actually one of the better looking.

  • Michael Towsen

    I heard that this Disney project has been “suspended” indefinitely.

  • Jacob

    Saw a sneak peak of this at Comic-Con this year and have to say that I was astounded. I’ve never been a fan of the new run of 3d (animation or live action) but Beauty and the Beast was breathtaking. Apparently the entire movie was originally colored on a computer and they’ve preserved this information and found a way to basically round it off so it appears 3D (technical folks can correct me). Aside from the drop in color you get from the glasses the short scene we saw (Belle’s song as she walks through the marketplace) had amazing vibrancy and depth. It was the first time I’ve ever found 3D to be worthwhile. I’d still rather see these films originally in 2d, but as a companion piece, the 3D version won’t disappoint.