Disney’s limited engagement re-release of a 3D-ized The Lion King is poised to cross the $80m mark today, which means the latest news from the studio is essentially of the “what took you so long?” variety. Disney and Pixar have announced that they will give the 3D re-release treatment to (at least) four more titles over the next two years. You can start swinging your Nemo plushie around in a plastic bag right about now. And you want to put on your Ariel wig? Should I wait for you to sprout legs, too? Fine, I’ll wait.

Disney and Pixar have picked Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., and The Little Mermaid as their next titles to get an added dimension and a return to theaters. Beauty and the Beast will dance into theaters first (anthropomorphic tableware and all) on January 13, 2012. It will most likely demolish its mid-January competition, just like Simba snapped right through September. Pixar will join in on the re-release mayhem with Finding Nemo swimming back to theaters on September 14, 2012, followed by Monsters, Inc. on January 18, 2013. The long-awaited prequel to Monsters Inc., Monsters University, will open (in 3D!) later that year, on June 21. Disney will then re-release The Little Mermaid on September 13, 20123. As a kid, The Little Mermaid was tied with 101 Dalmatians as my favorite Disney flick, so the six-year-old in me is hysterically screaming on the heels of this news.

All of the films will get a limited engagement, similar to the one The Lion King 3D got, which means we should also expect that those limited engagements will also be extended after massive box office domination. Disney’s Lion King re-release also served as a marketing tool for the studio’s release of the film as a “Diamond Edition” with a 3D Blu-ray available as part of its package, so this type of home video release should also be anticipated for the four new re-releases. Beauty and the Beast gets a new 5-Disc Diamond Edition set (with a 3D Blu-ray disc) today, so hopefully Disney doesn’t have some sort of weird Cogsworth Edition planned for January, with a special 3D Blu-ray disc swinging from inside packaging designed to look like the animated grandfather clock because, yes, that would be really quite strange.

I enjoyed The Lion King 3D, but found that the 3D wasn’t the best part of the viewing experience – it was seeing the film on the big screen, along with a whole pack of kiddos. I suspect that I’ll feel about the same way when it comes time to strap on the 3D glasses for these four titles, but that doesn’t diminish how excited I am for these films to hit theaters.

So, I must ask – did you see The Lion King 3D? Do you want to see any of these titles in a 3D re-release? Any other Disney or Pixar films you think they should have picked? Talk to me. Make me a part of your world.


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