Re-Release of Disney Films in 3D

By: Leviana Coccia
Illustration: Janine Antolin

“Let’s go see this movie,” is commonly tossed around my household. But with illegal streaming, we often watch poor quality videos through fingerprints, stains and dust on my 13-inch MacBook.

When someone ends that phrase with, “in 3D,” bags are quickly packed with stale treats. The thought of a higher ticket price then crosses my mind, prompting me to grab my debit card.

Lately, the 3D movies we escape to are re-releases by Disney — blasts to the unforgettable past of a 90s child. When the original films were my sole form of movie entertainment during the days of half-day kindergarten and morning cartoons.

“[These re-released 3D movies] expose the children of this generation to how cartoons used to be when we were younger,” Janine Antolin, a college animation graduate, says. “Now, several film companies just pump out mediocre plots.”

Nostalgia may not be Disney’s only incentive. The largest media conglomerate is money-smart when it comes to re-releasing animated films in 3D, but even more intelligent for making The Lion King its guinea pig.

The Lion King in 3D grossed close to $100 million in September 2011, making its Domestic Lifetime Gross more than $420 million. Beauty and the Beast in 3D grossed almost $42 million this January.

I feel about these movies the same way I do about going to Canada’s Wonderland and breaking the bank to stay hydrated.

Eli Glasner, arts reporter for CBC TV and film reviewer says, “I detest 3D. It’s needless, distracting and annoying.”

What does that make those of us who pay more to relive storylines we can recite without a script? Either we’re simply in love with our childhoods or too engulfed in consumerism.

Who couldn’t love a life of Hakuna Matata and promiscuous feather dusters in 2D? Adding a third dimension must make these classic tales look like gold. Right?

Glasner said the conversion from Beauty and the Beast’s classic animation to 3D “wasn’t that dramatic,” adding some characters are just in the foreground, floating over the background.

Instead of looking as flawless as an expensive metal, these 3D re-releases are sprinkled with modern fairy dust, while the company continues to stack its pile of gold bricks à la Pirates of the Caribbean.

“It’s strictly a business decision,” Glasner says. “. . . for as little as $10 million, [Disney] can spend the money and make more of it.”

Finding Nemo in 3D is coming to theatres next September – something Glasner says he is surprised wasn’t done in the first place, but a logical move “because [the film] was computer animated and visually terrific to begin with.”

The Little Mermaid follows in 2013.

Glasner says he doesn’t want to see some Disney classics like Bambi or Dumbo because, “we need to draw the line somewhere” and I have to agree.
If Disney were to decide to re-release every film, then before I know it, my hypothetical children could witness Barney the 3D dinosaur instead of something new and innovative.

“Right now, it’s just new so people are excited to see the films in 3D. But, it is going to die out really quickly,” Antolin says.
No Disney representatives were able to comment at this time, so I leave the company with this: Please stop dig-dig-dig-digging for diamonds.

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