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Disney's Animated "Beauty and the Beast" Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Worldwide Large Format Debut at Record 100 Theaters on Jan. 1

Press Release Date 
Wednesday, 5 December, 2001
Walt Disney Pictures' Academy Award®-winning animated classic, "Beauty and the Beast," will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the January 1st release of a new "Large Format Cinema Special Edition," it was announced today by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. This special edition, which includes the newly animated six-minute musical sequence "Human Again" featuring the song written for the original film by Academy Award®-winning songwriters Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, will open on New Year's Day in 100 IMAX® and other Large Format theaters around the world. That represents a record number for a Giant Screen engagement and surpasses the previous record of 75 established by "Fantasia/2000" two years ago. 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. Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, "'Beauty and the Beast' will always hold a very special place in our hearts here at Disney. 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 top 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 an unprecedented level of clarity, dimension and superior sound quality. Originally released in 1991, "Beauty and the Beast" proved to be a major success at the box office (the first animated feature to cross the $100 million plateau in its initial release), a favorite with moviegoers all over the world and an important milestone for the art of animation. In addition to its unprecedented Oscar® nomination for Best Picture, it received five other nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (and won trophies for Best Song and Best Original Score). The film also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy/Musical and garnered two Grammy Awards. A Broadway stage musical, based on the film, was launched in 1994 and is still playing in New York after more than 3,000 performances. It is the tenth-longest running musical in Broadway history. Beauty and the Beast will play at The Tech Museum of Innovation's Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater, beginning January 1, 2002. For more information and a complete list of theaters, go to www.disney.com/beauty.