Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Disney to unleash four 3D relaunches in 2012/2013. What do their choices mean?

I was actually going to do a post this week about which movies I think Disney should re-release next, should they decide to relaunch their 'from the vault' program that was once a mainstay of their theatrical distribution pipeline. But it seems that The Mouse House has beaten me to it.  Following the massive success of The Lion King 3D (over $80 million domestic, enough to get it over the $400 million mark), Disney is indeed going full-bore with a slate of 'classics' that will be released back into theaters with 3D conversions.  To wit, on January 13th, 2012, Disney will debut Beauty and the Beast.  This makes sense as the next release, as the 3D-conversion is already completed and it played to relatively positive notices in limited release earlier this year.

The next release will follow on the same general weekend as The Lion King did three weeks ago, and it's a pretty obvious pick too.  Finding Nemo 3D bows on September 14th, 2012, which means that a 3D/2D Blu Ray release should drop around the same time.  Since it is the last of the Pixar archive titles not to be released on Blu Ray, it was pretty much guaranteed that it would be among the first titles to undergo the 3D retrofitting.  And it is indeed at the top of my theoretical list, as it is arguably the only Pixar film outside the Toy Story series that is truly an iconic property (it's too early for a verdict on Up, but does anyone truly LOVE Monster's Inc or A Bug's Life?).  I love The Incredibles, but it's at-heart a violent action drama about a man dealing with his personal mid-life crisis.  But Finding Nemo, while not my favorite of their films, is arguably their most perfect piece, encapsulating the family-friendly humor and dark undertones/painful life lessons that have defined Pixar without going too far in either direction.

And so it goes that the pattern seems to be two films a year, one in January and the other in September.  Come January 18th, 2013, we'll see the 3D debut of Monster's Inc.  Why Monster's Inc you ask?  Well, it's already on Blu Ray and, as I mentioned above, it's not exactly a perennial favorite.  BUT, there is a prequel, Monster University, coming to theaters on June 21st, 2013.  So it stands to reason that the re-release is basically a glorified advertisement for the upcoming prequel.  The major release in 2013 comes on September 13th, 2013, when Disney releases a 3D-conversion of The Little Mermaid, which (I presume) will coincide with a Blu Ray release.  So, as you can see, it appears the pattern is set.  Release a 'toss-off' title in January (one that is already complete and/or already on Blu Ray) and hold the real goodies until September so you can furiously work on the 3D-conversion in time for the Blu Ray release.

The question is what titles will follow up in 2014?  It is a bit surprising that Disney is apparently not doing anything with Aladdin, as that would-be classic will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary next year.  I have my own thoughts on that (cough-Tarzan 3D, Great Mouse Detective 3D-cough), but that will wait for another day.  What are your thoughts on the official relaunch of Disney's theatrical re-release program?  What titles would you be willing to pay to see back on the big screen and converted into 3D?  Please share below.

Scott Mendelson          


Liam_Ho said...

I am absolutely thrilled Beauty and the Beast is coming out so soon. I don't know how you feel about the movie Scott but I can easily say its one of my favorite movies of all time if not the top one. Granted there is a boat load of movies I have yet to see but still...

Matt from Phoenix said...

Instead of 3D Aladdin can there be sing-along-Aladdin? :)

Leftout01 said...

Aladdin 3D, Jungle Book 3D, and Tarzan 3D. I would go and see all three of these films on the big screen. I would be very disappointed if Aladdin is not released in 3D.


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