Walt Disney Pictures have gone re-release crazy. First, it was The Lion King, which was re-released last year in 3D for a limited time. After its run at the cinema in North America had finished, it had managed to take in over $94 million dollars – and a further $78 million worldwide. This prompted Disney to announce that it would be re-releasing a further four features in 3D; Beauty and the Beast (which is in cinemas now) Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and The Little Mermaid. This has prompted Roobla to think about which of our favourite Disney Classics we would like to see on the big screen again, possibly with an added third dimension. Do our favourites match up with yours? Let us know via Twitter!
First up is Aladdin, the tale of a poor street urchin who falls in love with the beautiful Princess Jasmine. Unfortunately, she is only allowed to marry a prince. Aladdin’s luck changes when he finds a magic lamp containing a genie (wonderfully voiced by Robin Williams) who promises to grant him three wishes, beginning by turning him into a wealthy prince. Aladdin soon runs into trouble as he gets caught up in the evil plans of Jafar, who wants to use the lamp to overthrow the Sultan and rule the land. With its spectacular landscapes and magic carpet rides, Aladdin has always been a firm favourite with Disney fans, and seems a very likely candidate for re-release in the future.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
A hunch-backed bell ringer named Quasimodo forms a friendship with Gypsy girl Esmeralda in this charming film with a spine-chilling dark side. As a baby, Quasimodo was nearly killed by the Minister of Justice, Claude Frollo. Instead, the archdeacon of Notre Dame forced him to bring Quasimodo up as his own. Now a young man, Quasimodo finds he must choose between his master and his friend when Esmeralda comes up against the evil Frollo. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a bit darker than your average Disney film, but still extols the virtues of friendship and love, with some spectacular scenes on the rooftops of Paris, some truly amazing songs (Hellfire, anyone?) and not to mention those three adorable gargoyles.
To save her elderly father from having to fight in a war, Mulan dresses herself as a boy and goes off to battle the Huns in this nineties classic. Featuring the brilliant voice talent of Eddie Murphy as an endearingly clumsy dragon, as well as impressively animated Chinese landscapes and a powerful comment on the brutality of war, Mulan is a perfect example of Disney animation at its best. The film is also filled with beautifully detailed touches of Chinoiserie; ripples in water and wisps of cloud in the sky have hints of oriental design. This film has some of the best songs ever to feature in a Disney animation, including Reflection and the rip-roaring I’ll Make a Man Out of You. It would be wonderful to see it grace the big screen once more.
Pocahontas is the daughter of a Native American chief. She meets and falls in love with the English explorer John Smith (voiced here by Mel Gibson). When trouble starts brewing between the tribe and the English colonists, it is left up to John and Pocahontas to try to prevent war. When asked to pick a favourite Disney film (a very difficult question for some!) many people will choose Pocahontas. With its beautiful rendition of the North American forests, Oscar-winning songs like Colours of the Wind, and of course the doomed romance factor, Pocahontas will be at the top of many lists for the next Disney re-release viewers would like to see.
This one’s pretty much a no-brainer. A series of spectacularly animated stories set to orchestral music, Fantasia is a feast for the eyes. Released in 1940, it was only Disney’s third animated feature, (after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio) and is considered to be a one of a kind landmark film. Fantasia features the famous ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ segment, in which Mickey Mouse must contend with an army of enchanted mops. Fantasia has enjoyed a very long run of popularity, with re-releases in every decade since it was made. Some might question whether Fantasia (or indeed, any Disney film) really needs to be converted to 3D. The answer is of course not, Disney films are perfect the way they are, but a 3D re-release can help to introduce the films to a younger generation (and give the rest of us a great excuse to wallow in cinematic nostalgia).