Here's a quick review for you: In preparation for the first Blu-ray release of "the Lion King," Disney decided to invest a few bucks in a 3-D conversion and send it back to theaters for a limited time to generate a little bit of buzz. That it did -- and three weeks later, it's also generated the studio about $80 million bucks.
Three guesses what they're going to do next.
Okay, so you probably only needed one to figure this out, but it's still pretty cool news for fans of animation: Disney has officially announced today that they will be re-releasing several of their most popular films for 3D theatrical runs, including "Beauty and the Beast," "Finding Nemo" and "The Little Mermaid."
"Great stories and great characters are timeless, and at Disney we're fortunate to have a treasure trove of both," Walt Disney Studios president Alan Bergman said in a press release. "We're thrilled to give audiences of all ages the chance to experience these beloved tales in an exciting new way with 3D – and in the case of younger generations, for the first time on the big screen."
Here's the schedule of events: "Beauty and the Beast" will arrive first, on January 13, 2012, which only makes sense considering the film was already converted to 3D for the Blu-ray release. The Oscar-nominated classic will then be followed by "Finding Nemo" on September 14, 2012, "Monsters, Inc." on January 18, 2013 (to help hype the summer 2013 release of "Monsters University," no doubt) and "The Little Mermaid" on September 13, 2013.
Of course, if those four pan out, there's no doubt that more 3D re-releases will follow. And at the pace of two per year, it will take Disney more than a quarter century to work through their whole catalog -- at which point there will again be a whole new generation waiting to see these classics on the big screen for the first time.
Now there's your circle of life right there. Hakuna matata, Disney fans. Hakuna matata.