Disney’s The Lion King 3D is going to be hitting 3D movie theaters on September 16th for two weeks, but the release will be available in limited number of 3D cinemas. So if you are unable to watch the new 3D version of the popular animation, you will be able to get in on Blu-ray 3D starting October 4th. The original Lion King was released in 1994 and instantly became big hit, making it one of Disney’s most popular animations and probably the one bringing in some of the highest profits, so it is no wonder that the company has decided to revive the movie in 3D. As you can guess it is a conversion from the original movie into a 3D one, so it is essentially a 2D to 3D conversion like most new movies we see in 3D nowadays. But unlike new movies that can be shot now in 3D instead of 2D and then converted to 3D, with a older classic movie you are only able to convert it to 3D if you want to bring it “back to life”… or do a remake in 3D, but that will be a process requiring a lot more time and resources.
You can say that Disney is checking the interest of the audience to see if people are going to be willing to watch an older classic animated movie on the big screen in 3D, so if The Lion King 3D turns out to be a success they may as well bring more of their popular classic animations converted into 3D. And this movie has all the chances to do it, if the conversion is really well done and the result is as convincing as if the movie was originally intended to be made in 3D format. And we have all the chances to get exactly that considering that the conversion was led by Robert Neuman as a stereographer who already has experience with making quite a few stereoscopic 3D animated movies. According to the information available the conversion of The Lion King took about 4 months to complete by a team of over 60 people, so we should be getting a high-quality 3D conversion.
Due to the fact that the movie is a hand-drawn type of animation and not computer generated 3D animation, as most recent 3D movies are made, I’m expecting that the conversion to 3D will not be that perfect. Even just considering the fact the movie has not been planned for a 3D version when was originally made and that makes some scenes harder for planning an realizing the level of depth, so that there won’t be any objects violating the stereoscopic window for example (cut by the sides or the top of the frame while at the same time they produce the feeling of jumping out of the screen). Hopefully there will be just minor issues with that of smaller objects, so that they won’t be bothersome for the audience, as you cannot just go for adding depth to the movie, you also need some things to pop-out at times for the best user experience.
Of course when having an animated movie you don’t need to add 3D to make it more realistic, after all animations do rely on stylization of the characters and scenes in order to better convey the desired emotions. Don’t forget that animations are mostly intended for younger audience and thus the extra stereoscopic 3D features in the movie should have the main goal of putting the viewer deeper into the story displayed on the screen and helping better translate the ideas of the authors of the movie. Hopefully this was done well enough in The Lion King 3D, so that instead of being WOWed by the 3D effects in the movie you will kind of forget all about the movie being a 3D one, as all your attention would be focused on the world of Simba and the adventure that lies in front of him.
Unfortunately The Lion King 3D movie won’t be hitting the movie theaters nowhere near where I live, so I’ll be waiting for the Blu-ray 3D version to become available in order to get it and watch the movie.