The Walt Disney Studios has begun re-rendering its Oscar®-winning animated favorite, Beauty and the Beast, in preparation for its Disney Digital 3-D(TM) debut on the big screen in 2010, it was announced today by Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. The announcement was made today in Singapore at 3DX: 3D Film and Entertainment Technology Festival, the industry’s first conference devoted to the latest advances in 3-D technology and exhibition. The addition of Beauty and the Beast to its schedule brings the total number of Disney Digital 3-D releases to 11 for 2009-10.
Next year’s 3-D schedule includes Jonas Brothers 3-D Concert Movie (2/27/09), Disney-Pixar’s Up (5/29/09), G-Force from Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films (7/24/09), the newly re-rendered Disney Digital 3-D debut of Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story (10/2/09), and Disney’s A Christmas Carol, from director Robert Zemeckis (11/6/09) and starring Jim Carrey in multiple roles. In addition to Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s 3-D offerings for 2010 include Disney-Pixar’s newly re-rendered 3-D version of Toy Story 2, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland starring Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, the debut of the all-new Toy Story 3 from Disney-Pixar, Disney’s enchanting new animated fairy tale, Rapunzel, and from Touchstone Pictures the dance phenomenon Step Up 3D (2010).
Creating a Disney Digital 3-D version of Beauty and the Beast, which won two Oscars® and is the only animated feature to ever receive a Best Picture nomination from the Motion Picture Academy, will be handled entirely in-house at Walt Disney Animation Studios, and will utilize innovative proprietary software, along with the latest techniques and advances in 3-D technology. Overseeing the project from the creative end will be the film’s original team of acclaimed filmmakers — producer Don Hahn, and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale. A team of technical experts at Walt Disney Feature Animation will be headed by Sara Duran-Singer, senior vice president of Worldwide Post Production. The re-rendering is expected to take about nine months to complete, and will require a painstaking frame-by-frame analysis of the film’s original computer files in order to create new images for each eye.
Commenting on the announcement, Zoradi said, “Disney is proud to be a pioneer in creating spectacular 3-D motion picture experiences, and we have a great lineup of animated and live-action features to satisfy moviegoers of all ages. The re-rendering of our animated classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’ into Disney Digital 3-D is another exciting step for this medium, and further proof of our commitment to the art and technology of 3-D filmmaking. With our animated feature ‘Bolt’ set to hit 3-D theaters later this month, and eleven more 3-D features on the schedule over the next two years, our Studio is taking the lead position in bringing quality 3-D entertainment to moviegoers all over the world. Disney has created some fantastic new proprietary software to make the 3-D imagery better than ever, and we think audiences are going to love experiencing these films in a whole new dimension.”
Don Hahn, producer of the original Beauty and the Beast feature as well as the upcoming Disney Digital 3-D version, adds, “It’s a real thrill to be reunited with the film’s original directors, Kirk and Gary, in bringing new magic to this beloved animated classic. By going back to the original animation files, which have been carefully archived for 17 years, and using the separate background, effects and character animation elements, we’re able to come up with a fun and unique 3-D experience for existing and new fans of the film. With its exciting story, dazzling musical numbers, and landmark computer animated ballroom sequence, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ lends itself particularly well to the 3-D process, and moviegoers will feel more connected than ever with the fairy tale world of Belle, Beast and the castle’s enchanted objects. It’s wonderful to revisit some of our favorite animated friends, and to bring them to life in a whole new way.”
Originally released in 1991, Beauty and the Beast proved to be a major success at the box office (the first animated feature to cross the $100 million plateau in its initial release), a favorite with moviegoers all over the world and an important milestone for the art of animation. In addition to its unprecedented Oscar® nomination for Best Picture, it received five other nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (and won trophies for Best Song and Best Original Score). The film also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy/Musical and garnered two Grammy Awards. A Broadway stage musical, based on the film, played from 1994 through 2007, and became the sixth-longest running production in Broadway history with 5,464 performances.