Disney Capitalizing on Nostalgia, Re-Releasing Four Classic Films in 3D

Mickey Mouse executives might be blinded by dollar signs after “The Lion King” made over $80 million in a little over three weeks.

Disney Capitalizing on Nostalgia, Re-Releasing Four Classic Films in 3D

Walt Disney Studio’s animated films are among the most cherished in cinematic history. For decades they weren’t merely the best at making animated films, they were the only studio that mattered. Their first animated film was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” back in 1937—since then they’ve produced 50 films, many of which are considered classics. These movies have helped spark the imagination of children for nearly 75 years.

In early September Disney re-released “The Lion King” in 3D in theaters across the country. The animated film has long been considered arguably Disney’s greatest film in their modern era. The film’s soundtrack, featuring songs and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, is one of the most memorable in movie history, while the plot gives us a touching story of loss, grief, coming-of-age and redemption.

Because of the film’s popularity, Disney decided to repackage it in 3D and release it to the nostalgics out there. Whoever came up with this idea deserves a significant raise. Since its release on September 16th the film has grossed over $80 million dollars and become the second highest grossing September film in history behind “The Sixth Sense.” It seems like plenty of 90s children who now have kids of their own want to share the same experience they had growing up.

Now, it appears as though Disney is primed to make some seriously easy money off their modern classics. Yesterday, Disney announced plans to re-release four more films in 3D over the course of the next two years. The first is Academy Award nominee for Best Picture “Beauty and the Beast,” which will hit theaters on January, 13 2012. Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” will swim back to theaters next September, and “Monsters Inc.” will follow in January 2013. Last but not least, “Little Mermaid” will scare the shit out of a new generation of little kids in September 2013.

It’s exciting that classic films from my childhood are coming back to the big screen, but it’s hard not to feel a little conflicted. Make no mistake about it, Disney is not re-releasing these films because they want us to rediscover our childhood. They are making a shitload of money at very little cost to them. If you add these four re-releases to the four films Disney and Pixar have in production, they will have eight films coming out over the course of the next 24 months, one film for every three months. This is simply a way to continually drain our wallets while we wait for new Disney films. It’s greedy, but at the same time it’s hard to not to be excited to see these films again. It’s hard not want to recapture that childish sense of wonder.