‘Beauty’ gets big makeover

Pic to be re-released in giant-screen format Jan. 1

Marking the pic’s 10th anniversary, Walt Disney Pictures’ “Beauty and the Beast” will be released Jan. 1 in giant-screen format, including spruced-up imagery and a newly animated song sequence.

Walt Disney Feature Animation has spent a year enhancing the image and refining character faces, backgrounds and special effects. In addition, the filmmakers have added a sequence featuring the song “Human Again” by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman. This is the first time Disney has animated a new sequence for a previously released feature.

The song was written for the 1991 pic and storyboarded but not animated. It is featured in the Broadway musical adaptation of the toon.

The number of screens for the Jan. 1 relaunch has not been determined. The studio’s “Fantasia 2000 — the Imax Experience” bowed Jan. 1, 2000, on approximately 50 screens domestically and 25 overseas. It earned more than $64.4 million at those 75 theaters by the end of its four-month engagement.

“Beauty,” directed by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale and produced by Don Hahn, has taken in more than $350 million at the box office worldwide.

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