Thanks to new technology, Disney has re-released movies like Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc. in 3D. Let's look back at 25 of the studio's movies that should be brought back to the big screen in 3D to celebrate the release of Monster's University this weekend!
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Writers/directors Ron Clements and John Musker's fairy tale of mermaid Ariel who wanted to be human, combined with Oscar-winning tunes from Alan Menken, started the era known as the Disney Renaissance.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
After 1990's The Rescuers Down Under, Disney returned to traditional fairy tales as old as time with Belle and a bewitched prince, earning its first Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Disney put this back into theaters with a 3D conversion in January, 2012.
The success Ron Clements and John Musker achieved with The Little Mermaid was even greater when they reunited for this Arabian Nights tale, and Alan Menken’s songs garnered two more Oscars for him. To this day, the movie is a magic carpet ride for grown-ups and children everywhere.
The Lion King (1994)
The story of a young lion cub discovering his place in the Circle of Life became the highest grossing animated film of its time, and went on to achieve success on Broadway. In 2011 it had a several-month theatrical run in 3D and earned nearly $100M--proving people can't get enough of Simba and friends.
Reconnect with nature in this loosely based retelling of a chapter in Native American history. Although Alan Menken scored another two Oscars, this beautifully animated feature could not trump the juggernaut that was The Lion King.
Toy Story (1995)
Director John Lasseter’s first feature film about what toys do when no one’s watching marked the first Disney-Pixar collaboration. Its critical and commercial success as the first feature-length CGI film paved the path for Pixar and set the precedent of what was yet to come. Since the 3rd in this series was 3D, why not convert the first?
After 1996's Hunchback of Notre Dame and 1997's Hercules, Disney focused on the heroics of a young maiden, based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. She struggles to bring honor to her family and must disguise herself as a soldier in place of her father. Lea Salonga, whose first collaboration with Disney was performing the singing voice of Jasmine’s in Aladdin, returned to do the singing voice of Mulan.
A Bug's Life (1998)
Disney’s next hit with Pixar focused on a colony of ants that rise against greedy grasshoppers. Released right on the heels of DreamWorks’ Antz, Pixar flexed its muscles with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton and served up quality CGI and a humorous and heartwarming story. It's ripe for a 3D conversion, don't you think?
This timeless jungle story ended the Disney Renaissance after 10 years as Pixar’s films took the spotlight. The masses waved farewell to an era of traditional animation (for now), and the Tarzan soundtrack summed it up best with Phil Collins’ "You’ll Be in My Heart."
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Pixar’s third film with Disney was an irresistible charm. After the first Toy Story, a sequel was a no-brainer, but rarely does a sequel outdo its predecessor. Audiences welcomed back Buzz and Woody, and received new toy characters with open arms.
Spirited Away (2001)
The year 2000 saw the releases of The Emperor’s New Groove and Dinosoaur, but the real eye-pleaser came with Hayao Miyazaki’s world of spirits. A little girl named Chihiro must save her parents after they are transformed into pigs. Miyazaki’s acclaimed anime won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and sank Titanic at the Japanese box office.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Comedy greats John Goodman and Billy Crystal lend their voices to Pixar’s CGI monsters, who process children’s screams to power their realm. This 3D re-release precedes Monsters University, which makes its theatrical debut this summer.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Here’s where creative juices started to kick in as Disney spent the next few years creating original stories. An extra-terrestrial fugitive crash lands on an island of Hawaii, gets mistaken for a dog, and is adopted by an orphaned little girl. Disney injects Elvis tunes, humor and heart with a serious theme of finding acceptance, and transforms its animation drastically to reflect the beautiful Hawaiian surf.
Finding Nemo (2003)
This underwater adventure about a lost clownfish became the highest grossing animated film, dethroning The Lion King. As the first Pixar film released during the summer season, CGI started overtaking Disney’s hand-drawn films. Ellen DeGeneres voiced Dory with natural comic timing, and Nemo won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. It returned to theaters with a 3D touch on Sept. 14, 2012.
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
After 2003’s later release of Brother Bear, Disney geared up for its next collaboration with Hayao Miyazaki. The anime centers on Howl, a talented wizard, and Sophie, a girl hexed with a powerful curse. While Howl is busy interfering in the war, avoiding witches, and maintaining several monikers as well as his dashing looks, he realizes the only thing worth fighting for is his true love, Sophie.
The Incredibles (2004)
Superheroes or “supers” are forced to live ordinary lives after receiving lawsuits from injured bystanders. One family faces off against a super villain who uses gadgetry and a killer robot to trick the public into thinking he’s a super. Pixar grabs more Oscars under the director of Brad Bird for Best Animated Feature and Sound Editing. We're still holding out for a sequel, but a re-release to theaters 3D or not would keep us happy for now.
In 2005, Disney ventured into the world of 3D with Chicken Little, its first fully computer-animated film. Cars was lucky number seven for Pixar and Disney, and introduced us to ambitious racecar Lightning McQueen. While Chicken Little hatched two video games, Cars made a record-breaking $5 billion in sales merchandise.
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
The 3D viewing continues with an orphaned inventor and the wacky, futuristic Robinsons family. During production, Disney fused with Pixar and John Lasseter became chief creative officer. He scrapped an early version of the film, insisting on a more evil villain, and under his new direction, Disney/Pixar kept moving forward.
To have the Parisian culinary experience translate on film, the Disney/Pixar creators consulted real chefs, took cooking classes, and spent a week touring Paris and eating in five-star restaurants. Ratatouille’s reception was well in their favor when their story about a rat who loves good food won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
A tale of lovestruck robots dominates the summer slate and reminds us humans of the value of taking care of Earth and our own bodies. In a time where Earth is covered in trash and humans have left the planet, one lonely WALL-E robot remains, cleaning up the mess. He soon discovers EVE, a superior robot sent to Earth in search of plant life, and the two develop that special spark.
Walt once again takes a stroll on the Disney Digital 3D route with a TV star dog that thinks he has super powers. Miley Cyrus, in her first voice acting role for an animated character, played Penny, Bolt’s owner. When Bolt gets lost and finds himself powerless, he relies on his newfound friends to help him reunite with Penny.
Disney/Pixar’s first 3D feature centers on an elderly widower and the friendship he forges with Russell, a zealous Wilderness Explorer. Up won Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Achievement in Music, as well as a nod for Best Picture—only the second in Disney’s history since Beauty and the Beast. The film quickly rose to become the second highest grossing animated film.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
A few months after Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo dazzled audiences, Ron Clements and John Musker reunited and released another hand-drawn feature in an effort to revive the magic of the good ol’ days. They took the premise of the Frog Prince fairytale and revamped it with jazz tunes, a New Orleans setting, and a few twists.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Fifteen years after the first Toy Story, Pixar's CGI toys got a 3D release with this tear jerking wrap-up for Buzz, Woody, and the rest of Andy’s beloved buddies, which is sure to be remembered for generations to infinity and beyond. Could a theatrical re-release be somewhere on the horizon?
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Tired of being a video game bad guy, Ralph leaves his game to search for a medal of honor in hopes of proving to his peers he's got what it takes to be a good guy. He lands in a candy-coated car racing game called Sugar Rush and meets outcast Vanellope Von Schweetz. When a Cy-Bug virus threatens to destroy her world, Ralph discovers the meaning of true heroism, friendship, and self-worth, and Disney produces another instant classic.