'Toy Story' films to play in 3-D


UPDATED 7:53 p.m. PT Jan. 24

Buzz and Woody are about to go 3-D.

Walt Disney Studios plans to debut new digital 3-D versions of Disney-Pixar's "Toy Story" -- the first feature-length computer-animated film -- as well as "Toy Story 2."

"Toy Story" is slated to open Oct. 2, 2009, followed by "Toy Story 2" on Feb. 12, 2010. They will set the stage for the release of "Toy Story 3," is being produced as a 3-D motion picture and is slated to open June 18, 2010.

An estimated 4,000 3-D-ready digital-cinema screens are expected to be operational in the U.S. by May 2009.

Veteran Pixar filmmaker Lee Unkrich, who co-directed "Toy Story 2," is helming "Toy Story 3."

John Lasseter -- director of the first two "Toy Story" films and chief creative officer for Disney and Pixar Animation Studios -- will oversee the creative side of the 3-D conversions for "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2."

In converting the first two films to the format, the technical team is retrieving all of the original digital elements and rebuilding them in 3-D. Pixar already has developed its 3-D production pipeline, and in conjunction with the 3-D work, about 25 new hires are expected during the next several months.

"The 'Toy Story' films and characters will always hold a very special place in our hearts, and we're so excited to be bringing this landmark film back for audiences to enjoy in a whole new way thanks to the latest in 3-D technology," Lasseter said.

Originally released by Disney in 1995, "Toy Story" received Oscar nominations for original screenplay, score and song and earned Lasseter a Special Achievement Award. "Toy Story 2" was released in 1999 and received an Academy Award nomination for original song.