I still remember the day when I had first learned that Walt Disney Studios had been planning a theatrical release for a new 3D conversion of Beauty and the Beast, one of my absolute most favorite films to date — I was literally even sharing the news with virtual strangers on the streets of New York. Unfortunately it first got postponed (reportedly due to not being ready for its release date) and then removed from the slate completely until it was announced early this year that it would be available on 3D Blu-ray. Despite this, the film has had limited releases abroad such as in New Zealand and Australia, where it appeared to be well received and reviewed.
That said, having seen the first four minutes of The Lion King 3D as attached to Cars 2 3D in select theaters, I began to understand why many are reporting being underwhelmed at the end result. And while my personal opinion on the matter teeters on both sides (enough so, that I’m not willing to commit until I see the entire film in 3D, which I will in August at the Disney D23 Expo), I thought it worth looking into the whys of it all.
But before I go any further, a disclaimer: I am not qualified to make a definitive explanation on any level outside of being someone who’s seen a portion of the film and acquiring a very basic understanding of the process as it’s been occurring over the past few years. In other words, I am lower than a layman on this totem pole, so I gladly welcome any constructive input on the matter).
Transforming a traditional live-action (or stop motion as is the case with Nightmare Before Christmas) isn’t revolutionary anymore, and in some cases is even preferred, as Tim Burton decided to do with Alice in Wonderland, but traditional animation is a bit different, especially in the case of Walt Disney Studios where, believe it or not, the conversion for The Lion King was already done back in 1994, before the film was even released.
Before we can look at the technique used with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King (among with a few others), however, we must look at how traditional hand-drawn animation is done. I’m sure most of you are already aware of this, but it bears repeating for the sake of where I’m going. In traditional animation, images are drawn on sheets of celluloid, more commonly known as cells. These cells, in turn, comprise of many layers which, when laid on top of each other, compose a single frame of the animation. The benefit with the cells is that instead of having to draw the same background over and over, as one would have to do if it was all on one sheet, the background can be used consistently as characters and other objects can be manipulated on sheets above it. This is why if you ever look a sales of animation cells, they’re almost always just bits and pieces from the animated film they come from (unless the background is replicated, for aesthetic purposes).
Walt Disney himself even took advantage of this traditional method when he and Ub Iwerks created the multi-plane camera for The Old Mill and subsequent films. Placing each layer of cells on different planes so that their distance from each other can be manipulated, instead of literally being flat, produced an effect of depth of field and allowed for a unique visual element.
Moving forward to 1991 (although technically it was earlier for that, used on other projects), what Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King did that set them apart from most of the other animated films is that the different cell layers were imported separately into Disney’s CAPS (Computer Animation Production System). This means that each layer could effectively be manipulated in a third dimension, very much like what the multi-plane camera did, paving the way to move into three-dimensional space.
So basically when you are watching The Lion King 3D, it becomes apparent that what you’re really watching is no different than what you’d get if you physically took each of the cells and held them in front of you, manipulating the space between the foreground and background with your hands.
This is, of course, only one of the many components, that when combined, give the lack of a three-dimensional effect, despite clearly being able perceive depth between the layers. Other contributing factors appear to be that the images are too sharp and colors are too solid – there’s no shading or lighting that one sees in the real world (even if it’s not readily perceived) and have come to expect in computer-generated animated films (and in live action, of course, is unavoidable). The other major factor that I can determine is that there doesn’t seem to be any use of depth of field and the effects it has on focus. Normally an object in the foreground doesn’t have the same depth of field as the background – one would be sharp while the other blurry, but in this case, everything appears to be in focus, which is contradictory to the purpose.
So when it comes right down to it, the end effect appears to be nothing more than paper cut outs placed apart from each other. The 3D is perceived, but it’s not what moviegoers have come to expect, so it can easily be construed as disappointing if one doesn’t quite know what to expect.
Fans attending Disney’s D23 Expo (August 19-21, 2011) will have access to an exclusive advance screening of “The Lion King” in Disney Digital 3D™, ahead of the film’s highly anticipated theatrical and home entertainment releases, The Walt Disney Studios announced today. The screening will be held August 20 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif.
“With Disney fans coming from all over the world to experience the D23 Expo, we’ve got the perfect setting and the perfect audience to share in the 3D launch of ‘The Lion King,’ ” said Steven Clark, head of D23. “We’re thrilled to bring our most devoted fans an exclusive look at one of the most iconic and beloved Disney films of all time. This is Pride Rock in a way it’s never been seen before.”
The Circle of Life takes on a new dimension as Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa grace the screen once again, this time in breathtaking 3D. Beginning Sept. 16, a special two-week theatrical extravaganza will showcase the Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film on the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ for the first time ever, followed up by the home entertainment debut Oct. 4, celebrating the Diamond Edition release of the epic movie “The Lion King” in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™.
Released in 1994, “The Lion King” remains one of the most successful animated films of all time. The classic tale of the African savanna wowed audiences worldwide with spectacular hand-drawn animation along with inspiring songs by Sir Elton John and Tim Rice, plus an evocative score by renowned composer Hans Zimmer. Three years later, the landmark film was adapted into a Tony Award®-winning musical, becoming an instant hit on Broadway, where earlier this year it became the seventh longest-running show ever. Winning over 70 major awards, it has delighted more than 55 million theatergoers around the globe.
Walt Disney Studios has formally announced that The Lion King, which has received a full 3D treatment following the critically-acclaimed 3D treatment of Beauty and the Beast, will receive a two-week limited theatrical run beginning September 16, 2011, leading up to the release of the film on 3D Blu-ray on October 4 (for full details on the 3D Blu-ray release, see our exclusive report).
‘The Lion King is the best-selling home entertainment release of all time—and this is The Lion King like never before,’ said Bob Chapek, president of distribution, The Walt Disney Studios. ‘The all-new 3D format immerses viewers in the epic settings and puts them face-to-face with these beloved characters. We’re showcasing one of the all-time favorite Disney movies in theaters and making it available in Blu-ray hi-def and in Blu-ray 3D—it’s the must-see, must-own title for everyone.’
Walt Disney Studios has announced that the limited run will be made in a very wide release, the largest since the film first made its debut in 1994.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has also released the following trailer (top) and television advertisement (bottom) for the special presentation/home video release:
Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood appears to have a longer engagement for the film planned, beginning as early as September 2. Tickets are now available for purchase at the El Capitan’s website.
As we were the first to announce an October 4, 2011 release date for the Walt Disney Animation Studios classic The Lion King on Disney 3D Blu-ray and 8-disc trilogy, we now have additional details on what you’ll be able to find on the collection in the way of bonus features.
We have confirmation that The Lion King will support Disney’s Second Screen technology which allows viewers to use their home computer/laptop or Apple iPad and a free app to view bonus content in sync along with the film. The technology has previously been offered with the blu-ray releases of Bambi and TRON: Legacy. At this time, we do not know if there will be any exclusives on the 3D Blu-ray disc but we will update this article as more information becomes available.
In addition to Second Screen support, the 2D Blu-ray disc contains:
- Pride of the Lion King
- The Lion King: A Memoir ? Don Hahn
- Bloopers and Outtakes
- Deleted and Alternate Scenes and Song
- The Morning Report (Extended Scene)
- Disney Sing Along Mode
- Interactive Blu-ray Gallery
- Disney’s Virtual Vault — DVD Legacy Bonus
The DVD edition will contain only the bloopers and outtakes.
Although bonus features have yet to be revealed, we have learned that The Lion King will be available to own on Disney Blu-ray/DVD on October 4, 2010. There will be multiple editions, including the Four-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy, the Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo and DVD editions, all currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com
The wait is over. For the first time ever, experience the majesty of Disney’s epic animated masterpiece as Disney’s The Lion King roars off the screen and into your living room on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D. With a spectacular digital picture, spine-tingling high definition sound and immersive bonus features—you will feel the love for this critically acclaimed and universally beloved classic like never before.
Embark on an extraordinary coming-of-age adventure as Simba, a lion cub who cannot wait to be king, searches for his destiny in the great “Circle of Life.” You will be thrilled by the breathtaking animation, unforgettable Academy Award®–winning music (1994: Best Original Score; Best Song, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”) and timeless story. The king of all animated films reigns on Disney Blu-ray 3D—magic in a new dimension.
In addition to the film’s release, there will be an Eight-Disc Trilogy, also available for pre-order consisting of The Lion King in all 4 formats as the regular releases plus both blu-ray and DVD editions of Lion King 1 1/2 and Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride.
The painting marks the 7th entry into Kinkade’s ‘Disney Dreams’ series which includes previous releases Snow White Discovers the Cottage, Pinocchio Wishes Upon A Star, Tinker Bell and Peter Pan Fly to Neverland, Cinderella Wishes Upon A Dream, Bambi’s First Year and Beauty and the Beast Falling in Love.
Kinkade’s tributes to Disney will also be featured in a 2012 wall calendar now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
The Walt Disney Company announced plans today to release at least fifteen of its films on Disney 3D Blu-ray throughout 2011. Among the titles scheduled to be released are: The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and new films TRON: Legacy and Tangled.
Bolt, which has already been released as part of certain 3D Blu-ray packages, will also be available for everyone to own in 3D, as will Meet the Robinsons, G-FORCE, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Chicken Little which has been available in 3D via on-demand services.
In addition to the film being in 3D, each disc will include thematically linked 3D menus, 3D previews of coming-attractions trailers and an introduction to the eye-popping world of Disney Blu-ray 3D featuring beloved characters Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King.
“As our contemporary library of 3D content continues to grow, and the original artists and filmmakers meticulously ‘dimensionalize’ their work for release on the Blu-ray 3D format, we will be offering movie-lovers the most incredible in-home entertainment experience they will ever have,” noted Lori MacPherson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. “In addition to offering new releases day-and-date in 3D and further cementing our leadership in the marketplace, we’re thrilled that consumers will have the exclusive Blu-ray 3D experience of two of the most celebrated Disney animated features, The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast in their homes.”
No announcement of Toy Story 3 has been made as of yet, although the company made intentions last year of releasing it in 2010 and even gave hints at its release although it never materialized.
Interestingly enough, word was that Beauty and the Beast 3D, while released internationally, failed to see its release in 2010 because consumer demand for 3D at home was still considered in its infancy. This move suggests the feelings were quite the opposite, that a home video release appeared to be the wiser financial investment for the company.
New Swarovski arrivals for October 29, 2010
Below is a list of new items now available for purchase at Swarovski. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on Swarovski in another window.
Note that this list is generated and posted automatically. Stitch Kingdom should not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, misinformation or item availability.
|Pumbaa – $225.00
Pumbaa, the lovable warthog, is a friendly Disney character who is very protective of his friend Timon. He has a good heart and raised young Simba together with Timon after they found him lost and alone. His body and tail sparkle in clear crystal, while his hair and tip of his tale gleam in Crystal Satin. His tusks are created in Crystal Golden Shadow and his eyes shine in Jet crystal. Dimensions: 3 5/8 x 2 9/16 in x in
|Sunset Display – $56.00
The Sunset Display is the first Swarovski display to feature a removable, coloured backdrop. Inspired by the Disney film, itÃ?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?â?¢s the perfect place to display your Lion King collection! Dimensions: 9 13/16 x 5 15/16 in x in
|Title Plaque – The Lion King – $53.00
This impressive title plaque sparkles in Sun Golden Shine crystal and features the engraved title Ã?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?Ë?Walt Disney – The Lion KingÃ?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?â?¢ in black print. The perfect finishing touch for your Lion King collection! Dimensions: 1 1/2 x 1 3/16 in x in
|Simba – $110.00
As a playful, fun-loving and optimistic young lion cub, Simba is always ready for an adventure. Later, as a courageous and determined adult, he goes to any length to protect his family and kingdom. His body and tail sparkle in clear crystal, while his mane and tip of his tail gleam in Crystal Golden Shine. One of the best-loved Disney characters of all time, SimbaÃ?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?â?¢s inquisitive eyes shine in Jet crystal. Dimensions: 2 1/16 x 1 7/8 in x in
|Mufasa – $300.00
Mufasa, SimbaÃ?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?â?¢s father, is the original King of the Pride Lands. Much-loved as a wise and fair ruler, he brings the birds and animals of his land together in celebration of the Ã?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?Ë?Circle of LifeÃ?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?â?¢. The body and tail of this impressive lion sparkle in clear crystal, while the mane and tip of his tail shimmer in Crystal Golden Shadow. This popular Disney character stands on a matt clear crystal base, proudly looking over his kingdom through intense Jet crystal eyes. Dimensions: 5 1/16 x 3 9/16 in x in
|Timon – $110.00
Timon the meerkat has a good heart but is not as clever as heÃ?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?â?¢d like to think, often claiming PumbaaÃ?Â¢Ã?â?¬Ã?â?¢s good ideas as his own. Together with Pumbaa, Timon raised young Simba after finding him lost and alone. The body and tail of this popular Disney character sparkle in clear crystal, while his hair gleams in Light Smoked Topaz crystal with Red Magma effect. His nose, tip of his tail and paws are created in Crystal Golden Shadow and his eyes gleam cheerfully in Jet crystal. Dimensions: 2 1/16 x 2 1/4 in x in
We try not to be one for rumor-mongering, but we couldn’t help that with all the talk lately of classic Disney animated properties being translated into live-action films such as Sleeping Beauty / Maleficent, Cinderella, Tinker Bell, et al., along with recently discovered photos, that there may be another well-loved property making its way to the big screen in living color. The company has already had some success in adapting a live-action version of 101 Dalmations, so there clearly would be precedent.
In fact, the Walt Disney Company has a long history of using animals as the stars of its live-action features. Although predominantly of the canine and domesticated persuasion, gorillas, elephants, cheetahs and even animatronic bears have made the cut. Even a lion took to the silver screen in the 1972 Disney classic Napoleon and Samantha. And of course there will be Disneynature’s African Cats in 2011 which co-stars a family of lions.
Needless to say, when we first spotted the photo pictured above as posted by The Daily Mirror, the wheels started turning and it wasn’t too long before @lowieke pointed out this other photo of Timon and Pumbaa playing their parts in front of the camera as spotted late last year on The Way i Go.
(special thanks to Animatie.blog.nl)