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Disney to Rerelease Beauty and the Beast to
IMAX Screens on March 8, 2002

Note: Since Disney's below public announcement of a March 8, 2002 release date, it has changed its mind and moved the release date to January 1, 2002.

(by Walt Disney Pictures has announced that it will rerelease its Academy Award-winning animated motion picture Beauty and the Beast in IMAX and other large-format venues around the world on March 8th, 2002.

Still the only animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, the giant-screen release of Beauty and the Beast follows the record-breaking success last year of Disney's Fantasia 2000 - The IMAX Experience, which took in 2.8 million dollars in its first two days, more than $10 million in two weeks, and more than $64.4 million worldwide in only 75 theaters by the end of its limited four-month IMAX engagement.

To make Beauty and the Beast a must-see event, Walt Disney Feature Animation has spent a year in production on the film, enhancing the image and refining character faces, backgrounds, and special effects, in order to let the film shine brightly on the giant screen. In addition, the filmmakers have added an extraordinary, never-before-seen musical sequence, featuring the song "Human Again" by the Academy Award-winning team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Written for the original 1991 release, the song was storyboarded but never animated, until now. Featured in the hit Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast, "Human Again" is an upbeat, festive sequence in which the enchanted characters dream about what they'll do when they change back into their original forms. This marks the first time that Disney has ever animated a new sequence for a previously-released feature.

"The success of Fantasia 2000 clearly indicates that Disney entertainment and giant-screen showmanship go together like Mickey and Minnie, and this is a relationship we want to continue," says Dick Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. "We think Beauty and the Beast is a perfect match for large-format theaters -- with critical acclaim, worldwide box office success, and a hit Broadway show to its credit, this remains one of the most popular Disney stories of all time."

To support the giant screen release of Beauty and the Beast, Disney will be working with each theater to design an individual marketing campaign specific to that theater. Each theater will be assigned a Disney representative to assist it, as the Studio did successfully with Fantasia 2000. Furthermore, taking advantage of the unique educational opportunities offered by Beauty and the Beast, the Studio is creating two complete resource guides -- one complete program for elementary school students, and another for middle school students -- to assist teachers looking for real-world examples of their everyday assignments. The guides will include lesson plans in Language Arts and Reading, Social Studies, Science and New Technology, Art, Music and Dance, and Foreign Language.

"At the time of its initial release, Beauty and the Beast represented a major milestone for our animators and for the genre as a whole," says Thomas Schumacher, President of Walt Disney Feature Animation. "Now, with its giant screen debut, the addition of a great new musical sequence, and new improvements to the picture and sound quality, the film truly is bigger and better than ever. Directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale and producer Don Hahn have created a timeless piece of entertainment."

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