Beauty And The Beast 3D Sequence Wows At ShoWest

When Disney first announced that they would be rereleasing Beauty and the Beast upconverted into Digital 3D, I was very skeptical. For a film like Toy Story, the up conversion makes sense because the movie was animated using 3D models. But with a hand drawn animated film like Beauty and the Beast, you have an entirely different animal altogether. I imagined someone ripping through the original film frame by frame, cutting out characters and objects, and separating them into layers, and that the result would look similar to the effect of the old multi-plane animation camera. Boy, I was wrong.

The film's original producers Don Hahn and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale are using the film's original computer files to re-render the film in 3D in a 10-month process. If you want to learn more about the process, read this post.

At Disney's presentation at ShoWest, they premiered the just completed first scene featuring the musical number "Belle". It blew me away. The best way I can put it is that Beauty and the Beast looked new again. I'm not a huge supporter of 3D, so don't take this as me just drinking the kool aid being served at this exhibitor convention.

Bell had what seemed like added dimension, and the whole thing worked incredibly well. I wish you could see the scene for yourself, because almost everyone I talked to in attendance was instantly sold. I can totally imagine Disney doing this with other releases. I'd like to see Lion King or some of the older classics back on the big screen.