10 Great Disney Images Worth Paying to See in 3-D

cruellafury250.jpgThe Lion King 3D's box-office success is admirable on its own, but Disney is looking to ramp up its output of 3-D reboots in a staggering way: Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. are all coming back to theaters in 3-D within the next two years. That's fine, but I can think of 10 great Disney visuals from other animated classics that deserve full-bodied renovation:

cruellafury250.jpg10. Pocahontas's inspired kayaking

Pocahontas, the first movie to teach us that our Native American forebears were just stern-looking Kardashians, featured one of the most gorgeous musical sequences of the decade with "Just Around the Riverbend" and its ferocious waterfall imagery. Sure, "Colors of the Wind" is the Oscar-winner, but 3-D could elevate this sequence the way it aided The Lion King's stunning nature. There's also something so... Working Girl about "Just Around the Riverbend." Carly Simon should sing it in the 3-D version while a shoulder-padded Joan Cusack plays Meeko.

cruellafury250.jpg9. Every time Jafar brandishes that tacky staff in Aladdin

Jafar, the greatest villain of this or any other cinematic epoch, is 3-D on his own: His twisted beard, Aerosmithian sneers and lush costuming pop on the screen like kettle corn. That doesn't mean his gilded cobra staff deserves anything less than a 3-D overhaul. Its pulsating evil eyes would turn viewers into sputtering street rats.

cruellafury250.jpg8. Pinocchio's dubious debut

Seventy years after it first opened, Pinocchio is still a marvel. The titular puppet boy's expressions are sumptuous and lifelike, the terror of the story is powerful, and a disturbing surreality lingers over the proceedings (which is not unlike Cool World). The "I've Got No Strings" bit would be splendid in 3-D, and it'd make Pinocchio's jaunty steps look like something out of Toy Story.

cruellafury250.jpg7. Fantasia's rapturous "Rhapsody"

If any movie is worth revisiting in alarming 3-D, it's Fantasia 2000. You can have your "Sorcerer's Apprentice" bit to yourself; we love the urban, sophisticated "Rhapsody in Blue" section where the NYC skyline is traced, colored in and explored. The scaffolding sequences would look as grand as the eye-popping door world from Monsters Inc.

cruellafury250.jpg6. Kaa's hissy hypnosis

Sterling Holloway's sinister voice work helps make The Jungle Book's snake Kaa so captivating, but the character's slithering and winding was pretty revelatory back in '68. Since we've already discovered that hypnosis is a 3-D treat thanks to Jafar, I implore Disney to reopen Mowgli's story and let this freaky python undulate over audience's heads.

cruellafury250.jpg5. The evil queen's terrifying mirror buddy in Snow White

Vanity! That ancient villain standard. Snow White started it all for Walt in 1937, and all these years later, the image of the Evil Queen's mirror and the chilling face therein are quite unsettling. Since there are at least two Snow White projects slated for the coming year, it appears Hollywood hasn't forgotten that menacing mirror either. Charlize Theron, do work it!

cruellafury250.jpg4. Winnie the Pooh's Heffalump psychedelia

I've sputtered incredulously about this before, but Winnie the Pooh has enjoyed some trippy adventures. The nuttiest one played out in the Disney feature The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, where the adorable stuffed animal suffers from a hallucinatory dream in which Heffalumps, Woozles and honeypots conspire to terrorize him. Let's see them leap at us too!

cruellafury250.jpg3. Toy Story's unholy claw

The crane aliens at Toy Story's Pizza Planet express our awe well: The claw chooses who will go and who will stay! Those metallic tentacles canted vertiginously over Buzz Lightyear's head make for the movie's creepiest moment. Worse yet, Sid's the one operating the controls. I'd pay a sweet $16 (again!) to see those choppers clamp down on an audience of preteens.

cruellafury250.jpg2. Aladdin and Jasmine's travels with Peabo Bryson

Though Beauty and the Beast's ballroom scene is the much-touted achievement of early '90s Disney, I'd say Aladdin's magic carpet ride ranks as a transcendent movie treasure comparable to E.T.'s bike ride. The song is lovely, the vistas are clear and 3-D would add a whole new world of splendor. The carpet's movements alone would be heartstopping.

cruellafury250.jpg1. Cruella de Vil's slight road rage

An unconventional No. 1, yes, but 101 Dalmatians's Cruella De Vil, that gaunt Tallulah Bankhead clone, looks positively deranged during her climactic brush with road rage at movie's end. Just as Pongo, Perdita and the puppies escape on a truck, Cruella flies into a fury that would traumatize Jafar, Kaa and every Heffalump. Those eyes! The fun of 3-D is also the horror of 3-D, and if Cruella's rigid mandible can hurtle at us in jarring reality, we as a moviegoing populace need to witness it.


  • I'm beginning to think Jafar was prominent in little Louie's sexual awakening. I love it!
    For Fantasia, and in honor of the Halloween season, I think Night on Bad Mountain would be chillingly great in 3-D! It freak me out/thrilled me as a kid in 2-D; those witches and ghosts flying around in 3-D will be enough to scar kids for life!

  • Erica says:

    They re-released Toy Story and Toy Story 2, as a double feature, in 3-D about two years ago.

  • Remy says:

    My vote goes to the Siamese cats from "Lady and the Tramp". The unwitting 1950s-style political incorrectness would be so much more enjoyable in 3D.

  • Duane says:

    You are mis-remembering. "Rhapsody in Blue" was not part of the original "Fantasia." It was actually in "Fantasia 2000."
    And Peabo Bryson didn't sing "A Whole New World" during the actual magic carpet sequence. That was sung by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga. Peabo's version was sung over the end credits.
    But I'll give you "Pinocchio." It's easily the best Disney film of all time for about a billion reasons. And whether it's 3D or not, every single one of these films should be released again so they can be seen on the big screen.

  • anonymous says:

    Eh, this list is ok, but the dragon fight with Maleficent is easily the most 3-d worthy disney movie, as Maleficent is easily better than Jafar as a character.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    I'll give you Maleficent's potential for 3-D, but no one is better suited for fully dimensional wrath than Cruella. Look at the cheekbones. They're like little discuses coming at you.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    This is obnoxious, but I once had a tweet that summed up my formative understanding of Jafar: "Hate girls who say, 'Disney gave me high hopes for romance.' Fuck you. Jafar gave me high hopes for being an emaciated gay sorcerer."
    So there you have it.

  • Some Eagle says:

    I love you for including "Fantasia 2000" (I forget to *breathe* during "Pines of Rome" and "Firebird"). But as far as underrated Disney movies, why no "Rescuers Down Under"? It's got everything that blew people away in "Avatar" and "How to Train Your Dragon" -- except you know in the back of your mind that people with pencils created everything the characters do onscreen. I dare anyone to watch the whole scene after the kid rescues Marahute and not think, "Holy s**t" even once.

  • Tyler S says:

    I think Dumbo's drunk pink elephant nightmare should be added to this list. COULD YOU IMAGINE THAT IN 3D?