Pixar’s director of 3D reveals that a re-release of The Incredibles and Ratatouille is in the pipeline.

The Incredibles, the animated feature about a family of undercover superheroes, looks set to be re-released in 3D.

Disney-owned Pixar Animation Studios is working a 3D retrofit of the film, which took more than $630m at the worldwide box office when released in 2004 and won two Oscars including Best Animated Feature.

Speaking at the 3D Creative Summit in London, Pixar’s director of 3D production Josh Hollander said: “Right now we’re working on The Incredibles, which is a lot of fun in 3D. I’m not sure what the release strategy for it will be.

“It’s been an interesting challenge to work on technology because - while the film was released 10 years ago - the technology is even older as it took four years to make.”

Hollander also revealed that Ratatouille, which like The Incredibles was directed by Brad Bird, also looks set for re-release in 3D.

“We have a version of Ratatouille, which works really well in 3D and we’re trying to figure out exactly what the release strategy for that will be,” he told delegates.

They would follow 3D re-issues of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 as well as Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc.

Hollander’s teams are also working on the 3D for Inside Out, the animated feature set inside the mind of a young girl, which is the next film from Up and Monsters Inc director Pete Docter.

“The movie is just pure magic,” said Hollander of the film, set for a June 2015 release. “We’re looking at how translucency and opacity is used, which plays really well in 3D.

“There’s not much more I can share about it but it will build upon our use of 3D, supporting ‘emotions’ and emotional moments.”

Hollander, who joined Pixar in 2000 as a modelling coordinator on Finding Nemo, has been working on 3D for the animation studio since 2008. The first film released by Pixar in 3D was Up, in 2009.

Regaining audience confidence

Outside of Pixar, he acknowledged that films unnecessarily released in 3D had hurt the medium.

“I think that we as an industry may have lost some of our audience for 3D with releases that didn’t beg for the medium or didn’t warrant the medium or didn’t use the median in a nuanced and sophisticated and comfortable way,” said Hollander.

“I think it’s possible that we drove some folks away from 3D with the higher ticket price or whatever else. But I also think that as the industry settles on a more nuanced approach, I really hope and believe that the audiences will return.”

New tech

He added that Pixar are investigating three new technologies: High Frame Rate, Ultra High Definition 4K and High Dynamic Range.

“Of those, the High Dynamic Range seems most interesting to us because there are entire worlds of colour that we’ve not been able to show you and not be able to represent in our films because of the limited colour space of the display technologies,” added Hollander.

“4K is also interesting to us - that added clarity. High Frame Rate isn’t something we’ve been digging into yet, we doing some testing but it’s not banging down our door and begging for us to use it right now.”

Young tool

He added: “[3D] is still a young tool and just as with colour or sound or any other thing we as a community have been learning how to apply it in the most effective way and we’re getting more sophisticated.  

“Our usage of it is getting more nuanced and more delicate which doesn’t necessarily mean more conservative. I think we are as a studio are expanding our usage of it and we in an industry are kind of meeting it at a nice middle place which is working really well.”

Hollander was interviewed on stage at London’s BFI Southbank by Screen International.