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Beauty and the Beast at 100 Theaters

(by digitalmediafx.com) Walt Disney's rerelease of Beauty and the Beast will appear on a record 100 and other big screen theaters worldwide on January 1, 2002. The 100 screens is a record debut for any movie to the IMAX venue. The old record was 75 theaters set last year by Disney's Fantasia 2000.

The rerelease of Beauty and the Beast features a new six-minute segment that goes with the song "Human Again." The segment was cut early on from the original release of Beauty and the Beast and had to be animated from scratch, with minor story adjustments, for the IMAX version.

The release also features a new name, and much longer name, for the movie. Disney is officially calling the movie, Beauty and the Beast: The Large Format Cinema Special Edition.

Working from the film's original digitally stored files (archived on 9,000 CD-ROMs), Beauty and the Beast has been meticulously and painstakingly reformatted one frame at a time to take full advantage of the Giant Screen. The film's original tracks have been remixed for this special edition and improved film stocks have been used to make this animated favorite "look better (as well as bigger) than ever," according to Disney.

"Beauty and the Beast will always hold a very special place in our hearts here at Disney," says Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. "It was the first animated feature to ever receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination and it helped to revitalize the art of animation and the movie musical. We wanted to celebrate the film's 10th anniversary in a big way and a Large Format release is about as big as it gets. The addition of a never-before seen musical sequence with a great song by Ashman and Menken is further cause for celebration and we think audiences will respond in a big way to this as well. Seeing Beauty and the Beast on the Giant Screen is like seeing the film for the first time. It is a great motion picture experience and a great way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this landmark film."

Overseeing the new animated sequence and the reformatting of Beauty and the Beast: The Large Format Cinema Special Edition were the original filmmakers -- producer Don Hahn and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale. Under their guidance, a team of Disney's artists and technicians launched a major effort to remove dust and dirt, add detail and effects, and create new animation for the occasion. Special camera heads and film printers worked around the clock to reformat the original film for the Giant Screen and to create prints (in 8 and 15 perf formats) that would provide a stronger level of clarity, dimension and sound quality.


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