For years I’ve been arguing for the adoption of theatrical 3D, partly as a secret ulterior motive. I believed that the greed over 3D ticket prices would force a change in exhibition which could transform the industry — digital cinema. Without the cost of film prints, independent films could find larger distribution, and one off screenings. We have already seen a surge of special one night only event presentations. And while I’m lucky to live in a city (Los Angeles) where they screen a ton of old classics on the big screen, many people have no choice to see these movies on a small screen. Not that seeing movies on your 60 ince is a bad thing, but some movies deserved to be experienced on the big screen with an audience.

You might be against 3D cinema, but you have to admit that the results will eventually outweigh the negatives. Classic movies will get rereleased, sometimes for one night only, a week, a weekend, or a 3D post conversion rerelease like The Lion King. The success Disney experienced with that film has shown Hollywood there is a market for catelog films.

Years ago Disney presented 3D footage from a 3D converted version of Beauty and the Beast at the movie theater convention ShoWest. I, and most of the audience in attendance, were wowed at how the 3D gave new life to the animated classic. Originally set for a theatrical release, the 3D toon was delayed, and delayed again. The final decision was to release the 3D version on Blu-ray 3D with a one week run at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. They spent years on the conversion, and only a handfull of people were going to see it projected on a big screen. I was lucky enough to attend one of the screenings… and, thankfully, now so will you.

Disney has announced that they will be rereleasing Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and The Little Mermaid in 3D in movie theatres nationwide. I think we can all agree that 3D truly shines in the medium of animation. I can’t wait to experience the beautiful underwater setting of Nemo in 3D. Read the full press release after the jump.

DISNEY AND DISNEY•PIXAR FAVORITES POISED TO RETURN TO THEATERS IN 3D

‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Finding Nemo,’ ‘Monsters, Inc.’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ Will Make 3D Theatrical Debut in 2012 and 2013
BURBANK, Calif. – October 4, 2011 – On the heels of the phenomenal success of The Lion King 3D – which will cross the $80 million mark at the domestic box office today – The Walt Disney Studios has announced limited theatrical engagements for four of its classic films for the first time in 3D. The following titles from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios will be released 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

“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. “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.”

Originally released in 1991, Beauty and the Beast is a classic “tale as old as time” that follows the adventures of Belle, a bright young woman imprisoned in the castle of a mysterious beast and his enchanted staff, who must learn the most important lesson of all – that true beauty comes from within. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film ever nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture, earning an additional five Oscar® nominations and winning two. It has grossed $380.4 million worldwide.

First released in 2003, Disney•Pixar’s Finding Nemo takes audiences into a whole new world in this undersea adventure about family, courage and challenges. When Marlin, an overly cautious clownfish living in the Great Barrier Reef, helplessly watches his son get scooped up by a diver, he must put aside his fears of the ocean and leave the safety of his coral enclave to find Nemo. Buoyed by the companionship of Dory, a forgetful but relentlessly optimistic fish, Marlin finds himself the unlikely hero in a seemingly impossible land-and-sea rescue. Finding Nemo won an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for three others. With a total of $867.6 million worldwide, it was the second highest-grossing film of 2003.

In 2001, Disney•Pixar released Monsters, Inc. Lovable Sulley and his wisecracking sidekick Mike Wazowski are the top scare team at Monsters, Inc., the scream-processing factory in Monstropolis. But when a little girl named Boo wanders into their world, it’s up to Sulley and Mike to keep her out of sight and get her back home. Monsters, Inc. shattered every DVD-era home entertainment sales record when 11 million DVD/VHS copies were sold during its first week of release. It won an Academy Award® for Best Song and has grossed $526.9 million worldwide.

Released in 1989, The Little Mermaid, stars Ariel, a fun-loving and mischievous mermaid, off on the adventure of a lifetime with her best friend, the adorable Flounder, and the reggae-singing Caribbean crab Sebastian. But it will take all of her courage and determination to make her dreams come true and save her father’s beloved kingdom from the sneaky sea witch Ursula. One of the most celebrated animated films of all time, The Little Mermaid was nominated for three Academy Awards®, winning two. It has grossed $228.9 million worldwide.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS

For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under four banners: Walt Disney Pictures, which includes Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel; and Touchstone Pictures, which includes the distribution of live-action films from DreamWorks Studios. Original music and motion picture soundtracks are produced under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records, while Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Broadway theatrical productions, Disney on Ice and Disney LIVE!.

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