It seems that soon after Disney releases their 2D to 3D conversion of the Lion King animation for a short run in 3D movie theaters and then when it becomes available on Blu-ray 3D media, they are also going to have the Beauty and the Beast in 3D (converted from the 2D original) on Blu-ray 3D. The date is 4th of October in the US and you can already pre-order the Beauty and the Beast on Blu-ray 3D, but unlike Lion King 3D that you can already buy on Blu-ray 3D in France for example, the Blu-ray 3D version of the Beauty and the Beast 3D will be available in November there.
A lot of people are skeptical about these 2D to 3D conversions of old classical animations (and live action movies as well), especially considering that they are using hand-drawn type of animation rather than computer generated 3D animation like most more recent titles. But after watching the Lion King 3D I can say that it was converted quite good, at first I was paying too much attention to to the volume effect looking for stereoscopic window violations and such, but very quickly my attention has moved to the story and I kind of forgot about the fact that the movie was in 3D. That is the kind of experience you should be getting from a 3D movie, unless of course the story the movie is so bad, the actors aren’t doing well and the visual effects don’t look good, so even the fact that the movie is in 3D won’t do it any good. Luckily the case with the Lion King isn’t such and for that matter with the Beauty and the Beast as well, so if the 3D effect (even if it is a conversion) does its job well in order to get you deeper into the story and not trying to impress you with just itself (things randomly jumping out at you), then things are as they should be. Ask any professional and he will tell you that 3D should ideally be just another tool for telling the story to the audience and it should not be used as a cheap effect to impress them for a brief moment… that is if you are making a good 3D movie. But if you are converting something that was meant for 2D and now you are doing it in 3D it is harder and you should be extra careful as mistakes are easy to make. And there were a few moments that bothered me with the 3D-ness in the Lion King, but overall I’ve liked the experience and I’ll be interested in watching the Beauty and the Beast in 3D as well.