The surprise box-office financial and critical success of the theatrical re-release of “The Lion King” in 3D last month may prove the salvation of 3D, or at least the conversion of classics.
The release of the same film and “Beauty and the Beast” on Blu-ray 3D Tuesday (Oct. 4), could and should have the same impact for the home format.
That’s because the 3D conversion of both movies looks even more impressive on a home 3D screen.
- “The Lion King” Diamond Edition 3D (Disney, 4-Disc Combo Pack, $49.99) is enormously impressive and satisfying on many levels, starting with the 3D HD disc:
– More depth and emotional impact than ever.
– Clear distinction of depth between images in foreground and those on multiple background planes in opening pre-title sequence soaring over the plains of Africa and running with the indigenous herds of animals.
– No sense of gimmickry.
– Much more powerful moment when Rafiki presents young Simba in air atop Pride Rock
– Far more intense sequences amidst the bones in the animal graveyard and deep inside the dense overgrowth.
– Viewer drawn much closer during tender moments when young Simba curls up under the paw of his dead father and when Nala leans in to affectionately rub her head against Simba’s neck upon finding him alive. Simba’s reflection in the water feels tangible.
– Fun 3D preview for “Cars 2.”
Treasure trove of new and previously-released bonus features on other discs:
– 3 1/2-minutes of voice bloopers & outtakes cleverly set to animation as if the animated characters themselves made the flubs.
– 38-minute elegantly and admirably produced retrospective “Pride of the Lion King” featuring almost all the current and former Disney top brass involved with the movie and Broadway play adaptation, and several voice cast.
– 20-minute illuminating and fascinating personal video memoir of the evolution and production of the movie by producer Don Hahn.
– 14 minutes of a handful of deleted scenes with director intros
– Hours of additional sing-alongs, interactivities, and previous DVD bonus features.
- “Beauty and the Beast” Diamond Edition 3D (Disney, 5-Disc Combo Pack, $49.99) is perhaps even more stunning in 3D than “The Lion King.” It was one of the first animated films to use some digital animation, which helps greatly in the 3D conversion. It is the 3D that is the most dynamic aspect of this new edition:
– The opening menu instantly dazzles with impressive depth of text options that pop off the screen.
– Belle’s opening number walking across bridge and into village is filled with so many shots showcasing 3D that it looks to have been originally designed that way.
– Extravagant “Be Our Guest” number does not disappoint with obvious 3D benefits of dancing plates
– Signature “Beauty and the Beast” ballroom dance even begins with dazzling display 0f 3D from bottom and top of staircase.
And all the terrific bonus features of “Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition” 2D Blu-ray released a year ago.
— By Scott Hettrick