Disney doubles up on 3-D "Toy Story"
By Carolyn Giardina
LAS VEGAS (Hollywood Reporter) - Walt Disney Studios will release Pixar Animation Studios' "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" as a digital 3-D double feature for a two-week engagement starting October 2.
On Tuesday at ShoWest, the film exhibition industry's conference, the studio also presented a preview of "Up" -- which looks poised to be another big hit for Pixar on the heels of its Oscar for "WALL-E" -- and an enthusiastically received new 3-D conversion of 1991 classic "Beauty and the Beast," the only animated feature to receive an Academy Award nomination for best picture.
The 3-D "Toy Story" double feature will include an extra-dimensional trailer for the new "Toy Story 3," which opens June 18, 2010. The 1995 "Toy Story" -- the first computer-animated feature -- and its 1999 sequel have been remastered for the format.
Opening May 29, "Up" is Pixar's 10th animated feature and the first to be released in 3-D. Director Pete Docter introduced a 47-minute preview of the film, which features elderly Carl Fredricksen, voiced by Ed Asner, who ties thousands of helium balloons to his house in order to lift it into the air and journey to South America for retirement. What he doesn't anticipate is that a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell ends up on the trip.
During the presentation, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group president Mark Zoradi revealed that Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," starring Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway, will be released in Imax 3-D, as well as standard digital 3-D, when it opens in March 2010. It's the third film from a previously announced five-picture deal between Disney and Imax.
Burton's retelling of the Disney classic will combine motion capture, live action and animation.
As has been widely reported, the economic crisis has stalled the exhibition industry's transition to digital cinema, which enables 3-D screenings. But Zoradi said that scenario has not altered his company's plans to produce movies in the format.
"We are nearly at a critical mass," he said. "We hope we soon will be able to have a 3-D-only (wide) release."
(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)