Very early this year, we reported on a Hollywood Reporter blurb that didn’t seem to catch the eye of most — Disney planned on releasing three Blu-ray 3D titles this year: A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3.
Shortly thereafter it was widely rumored but never substantiated that Disney was considering making Alice in Wonderland a package deal with Sony products. However Sony recently announced and Variety confirms that it will be offering not just Alice in Wonderland as an exclusive bundle with its 3D home theater equipment this fall, but that Disney’s Bolt will also be available exclusively in Blu-ray 3D with Sony. The titles will come alongside purchases of Sony Bravia 3D TVs and — without the assistance of eBay — consumers will be forced to choose between the two. Whether the 3D titles will become available for general purchase in the future is up in the air.
Walt Disney Studios New Zealand has just released a teaser trailer for Beauty and the Beast in Disney Digital 3D. According to the trailer, it begins performing in the country August 12 in a very limited release.
The 3D theatrical release of the film, which was originally slated for Valentine’s Day of 2010 in the United States, has been generating tremendous buzz to the point where it’s been suggested that The Lion King and other Disney animated classics may soon follow suit.
It’s expected to open domestically in 2011, most likely during the Valentine’s Day timeframe, but no official date has yet been announced.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services, and ESPN today announced an agreement to provide ESPN 3D to Comcast’s Digital Cable customers, to bring top sports events to consumers in next-generation 3D. Comcast is the first cable affiliate to sign on to distribute ESPN’s new network that will launch on June 11 and will include nearly 100 events in its first year.
“As a leader in the distribution of innovative content, it’s fitting that Comcast is the first cable distributor for ESPN 3D,” said George Bodenheimer, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and president, ESPN and ABC Sports. “This agreement demonstrates ESPN’s and Comcast’s shared commitment to bring the latest viewing experience to sports fans.”
“ESPN was a pioneer in HD, and continues to move the industry forward with the first 3D sports network,” said Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation. “We delivered the first live national 3D sports event to consumers homes earlier this year with the Masters Tournament and believe that 3D sports will drive the adoption of this technology and continue to revolutionize how we deliver entertainment.”
In addition, Comcast and ESPN will provide customers access to select ESPN 3D events on VOD.
ESPN 3D will sign on the air June 11 with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match featuring South Africa versus Mexico. ESPN 3D will feature up to 25 matches throughout the World Cup. Along with college football and NBA games, schedule highlights for the new network include:
- X Games 16, July 28-Aug. 1
- College basketball’s Old Spice Classic, Nov. 25-28
- College football’s ACC Championship on Dec. 4
- Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 7
- 2011 BCS National Championship game Jan. 10, 2011
- Winter X Games 15, Jan. 27-30, 2011
- College basketball’s Big East Tournament, March 8-12, 2011
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced a couple of Content Theater Sessions for the 2010 NAB Show which bring Disney technology to the forefront. The show takes place in Las Vegas from April 10-15.
In ‘Alice in Wonderland’: Turning Fantasy into Motion Picture Reality,the session will will explore both the production and post production processes, and will describe the challenges of creating characters of unique heights and proportions with special attention to the hybrid of live action and visual effects and the conversion of 2D to stereoscopic 3D. Expected to appear on the panel are: Art Repola, executive vice president of visual effects and production, The Walt Disney Studios; Ken Ralston, multi Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor for the film; Corey Turner, stereographer for the film; and Tom Peitzman, co-producer/visual effects producer for the film. The session is scheduled to place Monday, April 12.
Recognizing the need for a real-world testing ground to continue the development of ESPN 3D, ESPN has designated the ESPN Innovation Lab at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex located at the Walt Disney World resort as the hub for developing 3D technology. ESPN will invite various technology companies to utilize the site for emerging technology enhancements focused on 3D television. In addition to the resources at the Innovation Lab, ESPN will bring online a new production center that can be used for producing live sporting events for multiple ESPN platforms.
“The Innovation Lab and the new production center based at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex gives ESPN a designated testing ground to continue creating a robust ESPN 3D network,” said Chuck Pagano, executive vice president, technology, ESPN. “This complex provides ESPN access to more than 300 sporting events which means 3D production testing can occur throughout the year. The research ESPN gathers through these facilities will set the pace for innovation and provide fans the best 3D on-air coverage of sporting events.”
The new production center will also serve as a training facility for production personnel to gain experience in telecasting 3D events. This facility houses eight edit rooms which will feed highlights into the main server system based in Bristol, Conn. Also, the production center controls 42 robotic cameras scattered throughout the complex which will capture highlights from the various playing venues. The facility also has 10 ENG cameras and four EFP cameras. The production control room has 16 channels of bi-directional video along with audio ingest, play out capabilities, graphics building and more.
ESPN’s Innovation Lab opened in October 2009. It has produced two innovative production elements, Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom. Ball Track is a Doppler radar hit-tracking system that has the ability to track home runs showing the distance and height of the ball in-flight, updating continuously during the ball’s flight. It debuted on the 2009 MLB Home Run Derby telecast on July 13. ESPN Snap Zoom debuted on Monday Night Football on Sept. 28 and is a freeze-frame technology that brings the fan closer to the play by zooming in an area of interest and providing insight to a current action on the field thus giving the viewer a different view on a particular focus of play.
ESPN 3D, the industry’s first 3D television network, will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match on June 11 featuring South Africa vs. Mexico. Other events to be produced in 3D include up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, NBA, X Games 16, college basketball, and college football, which will include the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Ariz., January 10, 2011. Additional events will be announced at a later date.
We have received an update from Walt Disney Studios confirming some reports that Beauty and the Beast won’t be making its 3D debut for Valentine’s Day this year as initially announced during last year’s company shareholder meeting.
Although we do not have a new release date, it looks like the film is still expected to be released, but not until some point in 2011.
It will require a 3D capable television and a 3D capable blu-ray player, but The Hollywood Reporter has relayed Disney’s announcement that the newly established Blu-ray 3D standard will be embraced and rushed to market beginning with at least three releases this year (all presumably around the holiday season): A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3. Perhaps it’s too soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Disney/Pixar’s UPthrown into the mix shortly thereafter either.
At D23 Expo, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment demo’d a prototype of a 3D home system from Panasonic. The home system, which uses special shutter-oriented glasses to alternate between eyes, almost faithfully recreates the current 3D movie-going experience at home.
The article also refers to a demo disc Disney is supplying to Blu-ray 3D manufacturers for distribution with their systems which includes the 1953 3D short Working for Peanuts starring Chip and Dale, last seen in theaters attached to Meet the Robinsons.
In an agreement announced at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony has signed on to be an official sponsor of ESPN’s new 3D network. Additionally, Sony will be the exclusive 3D sponsor of the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, 13 regular season college football games, and Summer X Games, where ESPN will utilize Sony professional HD cameras. The announcement was made during Sony’s annual CES press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
“ESPN and Sony have a long history together, and we share a passion for innovation and bringing customers cutting-edge products and content, which this union demonstrates,” said Sean Bratches, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, ESPN. “The launch of ESPN 3D is a great way to offer our advertisers unique marketing opportunities, and due to Sony’s continued leadership with 3D technology, this collaboration made perfect sense.”
On Tuesday, January 5, ESPN announced it will launch ESPN 3D in June 2010. ESPN 3D will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events in 3D during its first year beginning with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match on June 11 featuring South Africa vs. Mexico. Other events to be produced in 3D include up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, Summer X Games, college basketball, NBA basketball, college football and basketball which will include the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, AZ on January 7, 2011. Events televised on ESPN 3D will utilize Sony professional HD cameras. Additional events will be announced at a later date.
“With America’s passion for sports, ESPN is a great partner to deliver the 3D sports experience in consumers’ homes,” said Michael Fasulo, chief marketing officer Sony Electronics Inc. “Sony is excited to partner with ESPN to deliver sports in 3D in 2010.”
Sony HD cameras have been the choice for most commercially successful 3D motion pictures and live sports events produced to date. Leading 3D production companies utilize Sony HD cameras and HD production systems to cover many of their 3D projects including live sports events produced with ESPN and other networks. Sony plans to install approx 11,000 of its 4K digital cinema projection systems in the US over the next few years, with about 3000 of those systems equipped for 3D. Today Sony launched a line of 3D Full HD 1080P high frame rate BRAVIA televisions.
ESPN has been testing 3D for more than two years. Last fall, ESPN presented the University of Southern California vs. Ohio State University college football game in 3D. The game was shown in select theaters as well as to 6,000 fans at the Galen Center on USC’s campus, receiving positive feedback from both the fans and media in attendance. ESPN has developed best practices for utilizing the technology in live-game applications which have provided ESPN the ability to streamline workflow operations, adjust 3D camera positioning, test transmission and gauge fan reaction to a 3D telecast versus a traditional telecast.
ESPN will launch ESPN 3D - the industry’s first 3D television network – it was announced today by George Bodenheimer, Co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and President, ESPN and ABC Sports. ESPN 3D will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match on June 11 featuring South Africa vs. Mexico. Other events to be produced in 3D include up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, Summer X Games, college basketball, and college football, which will include the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Ariz., January 10, 2011. Additional events will be announced at a later date.
”ESPN’s commitment to 3D is a win for fans and our business partners,” said Bodenheimer. “ESPN 3D marries great content with new technology to enhance the fan’s viewing experience and puts ESPN at the forefront of the next big advance for TV viewing.”
“This will be a meaningful step to drive adoption of 3D television sets and afford opportunities for our affiliates to create value through new product offerings, and our advertisers, who want fresh sponsorship opportunities,” said Sean Bratches, executive vice president, sales and marketing.
ESPN has been testing ESPN 3D for more than two years. Last fall, ESPN produced the USC vs. OSU college football game which was shown in select theaters as well as to 6,000 fans at the Galen Center on USC’s campus. ESPN has developed best practices for utilizing the technology in live game applications which have provided ESPN the ability to streamline workflow operations, adjust 3D camera positioning, test transmission and gauge fan reaction to a 3D telecast versus a traditional telecast.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 18, 2009 — IMAX Corporation and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures today announced that Toy Story 3, the third installment of the blockbuster hit franchise Toy Story, will be released to IMAX(R) 3D theatres simultaneously with its wide release on June 18, 2010. Toy Story 3 will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R) with proprietary IMAX DMR(R) (Digital Re-mastering) technology.
Commenting on the announcement Bob Chapek, president, Distribution, The Walt Disney Studios, said, “We’re very excited to once again unite Disney Digital 3D with The IMAX Experience, and to do it for the long-awaited release of Toy Story 3 is a real treat. A film like this is designed to take audiences on an exciting thrill-ride adventure, making it a perfect match for both 3D and IMAX.”
“We have always envisioned the Toy Story franchise as an ideal fit for The IMAX Experience and we’re very happy to finally turn that vision into a reality,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “This film also fits nicely into our 2010 lineup, ensuring that families will be able to start the summer holidays with a fun Disney release in IMAX.”
“Pixar’s beloved films have changed the way people go to the movies. IMAX is proud to be working with both Pixar and Disney, who like IMAX, strive to transport moviegoers to incredible places that people only dream about visiting,” added Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. “In IMAX 3D and through the power of Randy Newman’s incomparable music, audiences will be able to see and hear Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the larger than life characters of Toy Story in a whole new way.”
The creators of the beloved “Toy Story” films re-open the toy box and bring moviegoers back to the delightful world of our favorite gang of toy characters in Toy Story 3. As Andy prepares to depart for college, Buzz, Woody and the rest of his loyal toys are troubled about their uncertain future. Directed by Lee Unkrich (co-director of “Toy Story 2″ and “Finding Nemo”), Toy Story 3 is a comical new adventure in Disney Digital 3D(TM) that lands the toys in a room full untamed tots who can’t wait to get their sticky little fingers on these “new” toys. It’s pandemonium as they try to stay together, ensuring “no toy gets left behind.” Meanwhile, Barbie comes face to plastic face with Ken (yes, that Ken). Pixar veteran Darla K. Anderson (“Cars,” “Monsters, Inc.”) produces, while Michael Arndt, Academy Award(R)-winning screenwriter of “Little Miss Sunshine,” brings his unique talents and comedic sensibilities.