One of the most popular and enduring romantic adventures the world has ever known became one of the most ambitious and entertaining animated motion pictures ever brought to the screen with Walt Disney Pictures' 30th full-length animated feature, ''Beauty and the Beast” which is coming to Philippine theaters for the first time in 3D.
Through the magic of Disney and the leaps in modern computer animation technology developed at the Walt Disney Animation Studios, a team of artists, under the guidance of stereographer Robert Neuman, found a way to breathe more dimensional life into “Beauty and the Beast” by turning it into an eye-popping 3D experience.
This classic fairy tale about a beautiful young girl and her encounter with an enchanted beast has long fascinated and intrigued storytellers, filmmakers and their audiences. Through the artistry and imagination of the Disney creative team, an inspired song score by two Academy Award®–winning songwriters and the contributions of an enormously talented vocal ensemble, this age-old fantasy took on exciting new dimensions that are only possible through the magic of animation.
The computer gives the filmmakers total control over that illusion. Objects that are close up, such as Belle and the Beast dancing, can create a very intimate environment, as though the audience is sitting right there in the scene. Or if a spectacular shot is required, perhaps of the countryside with Maurice going off to sell his inventions, that epic shot is given a more gentle treatment of 3D. Many factors are at play and the story is enhanced by that 3D decision-making. Stereographers like Robert are crucial to the process.
Take for example the famous ballroom sequence. Although spectacular in its original form, Neuman and his team of artists were able to enhance what was already one of animation’s most memorable scenes. “We use 3D to support the storytelling narrative,” Neuman says. “Like any other aspect of film, such as the music score, 3D is used to enhance big emotional moments and to help build up to the emotional climax. For those big moments we expand the 3D. We put more of the three-dimensional effects into it. For the ballroom scene it was vital to have the right sense of scale. We had to show the grandeur, the majesty of this ballroom. The key to it was to enforce the sense of perception of scale.”
“Beauty and the Beast” was the first hand-drawn film to be dimensionalized into 3D. Disney is the leader in the new technology and regardless of how sophisticated it is, as Hahn says, “It’s important for people to know that it’s not as simple as pushing a button or putting a quarter in a machine and a 3D movies out. It’s all about great artists like Robert Neuman and his crew who must make important creative decisions.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, “Beauty and the Beast” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.