Disney to turn Beauty and the Beast 3D for 2010

Beauty and the Beast

It seems that all over Hollywood, people are swooning over the 3D concept, pulling old titles out of the closet to dust off and revamp in the hopes of duplicating the smash that was … what, exactly? With Avatar coming next year and generating so much press, it’s understandable that there’s some buzz and excitement about the new approach to an old technology, but there’s been no real indication that 3D is something to go nuts about. This summer’s Journey to the Center of the Earth didn’t break any records, after all.

Yet, announcements continue to pile up, and Disney are one of the most enthusiastic culprits. Their announcement about the Toy Story revamp and 3Dification (it’s a word) made quite a splash, and it seems that they’re not done there. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group president, Mark Zoradi, announced yesterday that the only full length animated movie ever to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture is to be turned into a 3D extravaganza, and can you think of any movie better suited to the treatment? Beauty and the Beast is a Technicolor feast, bright and bubbly with plenty of movement and music, and is probably one of Disney’s greatest achievements. However, successfully altering a childhood classic is a tricky needle to thread, so it is comforting to know that it’s not a bunch of cowboys that will work on transforming Belle and her friends into tangible characters. Instead, the process will be done by the film’s original producer, Don Hahn and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale. According to Hahn, the original movie’s computer files have been preserved and these will be employed in the 3Dification process. He went on to say…

“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,”

Although it sounds like a lot of PR waffle, it also gives hope to long-time fans. Beauty and the Beast has already bridged the gap between traditional animation technologies and computer generated graphics and was only the better for it. Not only that, Disney have already had steady success with another 3D venture where the 3Dification brings something more to the movie. The annual Nightmare Before Christmas 3D re-release has a big following, and deservedly so. Animated movies have a certain quality that can cross the 2D barrier, so hopefully they can find a way to bring the same spark to Beauty and the Beast, without ruining it entirely. It’s just a pity we have to wait until 2010 to see the finished product.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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