After the advent of home video, the idea of the theatrical rerelease was one that seemed like it was going to go the way of the dodo, and for a number of years, it definitely was. Until the phoenix-like rebirth of the 3D movie, it was something that both did not seem like it would return nor did it seem like there would even be a point. That being said, one can always expect that Disney will be able to find a way to make money off a concept that almost no one else would expect to work (well, at least at first). The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D when it was originally released in 2006, it raked in an extremely surprising amount of money and Disney continued using the 3D medium to get massive amounts of money (they have had 3 3D movies (Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) in the past 2 years that made over a billion dollars worldwide each) and they do not seem to want to give up on the money-making venture that is 3D, with most of their big films being released in both 2D and 3D, but also with brand new 3D conversions of older films that people already know and love. It may sound like I’m bashing the idea of 3D movies (I’m really not as I quite enjoy 3D), I’m more just making a point.
All of that being said, and while I know that 3D is one of the greatest money making schemes in entertainment today, if Disney keeps releasing 3D conversions like the Lion King (which I already talked about) and the new (but not really) conversion of Beauty and the Beast, they will continue to get my money. I’m obviously not going to be reviewing the film here (because that can be found here), but I do feel like there are things to talk about with this conversion.
The actual conversion itself is rather spectacular, but not as good as the one for the Lion King. The 3D is rather good, and it feels very different from the Lion King due to it sometimes looking like a moving storybook (especially in the very beginning and the tracking shot through the forest). Each layer in that scene feels very separate from each other and some people may not like that, but the rest of the film looks really good, and in a lot of scenes, actually makes the film look better. One problem that a lot of 3D films face is that the glasses make the picture look darker, but it’s not quite the case with the 3D conversion of Beauty and the Beast, the colours really pop on the big screen and besides the fact that the version in theatres looks almost like it’s standard definition, it still looks rather gorgeous. The times that the 3D looks the best, though, are when there is rain and snow present, as they take up the very front layer of the film and it makes you feel much more involved in the story unfolding in front of you.
The 3D version of Beauty and the Beast was actually supposed to come out on Valentines Day of 2010 (which made me actually look forward to that day for the first time in a number of years), but the release was inexplicably dropped, despite the fact that the conversion was already complete. Valentines Day 2010 came and went without an enchanted castle and it was announced that it would come out the following Valentines Day. That ended up being false again and Disney never spoke of it again. Beauty and the Beast got a double-dip Blu-Ray release when the Diamond Edition Blu-Ray was brought out again, but with a new disc that included the 3D version of the film and a digital-copy on October 4th, 2011 along with the new Diamond Edition of the Lion King. After that, it did not seem that we would ever see Beauty and the Beast in theatres again, until the Lion King was rereleased in 3D and raked in money hand over fist in the box office. It was announced that it would be coming out along with Finding Nemo 3D in September 2012, Monsters, Inc. 3D in January 2013, and the Little Mermaid 3D in September 2013.
I’m still holding out for Aladdin 3D in 2014, but we will have to wait and see if that comes to pass.
The real reason that Beauty and the Beast 3D is noteworthy is the existence of Tangled Ever After, a new short that premiered before the film. The story is, obviously, a sequel to Tangled where Rapunzel and Flynn tie the not, but not without Pascal and Maximus losing the rings and are forced to run all around the kingdom trying to get them back before it’s time to declare them man and wife. The cast from the movie returns, as does the vast majority of the cast of characters, for the genuinely hilarious short, but something I am concerned about is how the short is going to be released to the public. The 3D version of Beauty and the Beast is already out and it does not have Tangled Ever After on it, and the short is only around 6 minutes long, so it wouldn’t get it’s own release.
I would highly suggest going to see Beauty and the Beast 3D even if you don’t like 3D movies. Being able to see Beauty and the Beast on the big screen is a real treat that should not be missed, and Tangled Ever After is really just the icing on the cake.