The circle of life, indeed. When The Lion King hit theaters in 3-D, the Walt Disney company was not expecting it to be the cash cow that it’s turned into, as the re-release has made nearly $80 Million and isn’t done yet. It’s then no surprise that Disney has now slated four of their classics for re-issue. All in 3-D. Check them out..

Up first is Beauty and the Beast on January 13, 2012 , which will be followed later that year by Finding Nemo on September 14, 2012 . It should be noted that Beast is currently available on 3-D Blu-ray, but a DVD and Blu-ray reissue of The Lion King didn’t hurt that film’s business. Nemo has yet to come to Blu-ray, and at this point, I would target a fall 2012 release date for it – if it worked for The Lion King, they’ll surely do it again.

Monsters, Inc. will be hitting screens January 18, 2013. This is good for everyone as the film’s prequel Monsters University hits June 21, 2013. And then The Little Mermaid is slotted for September 13, 2013.

There are a couple of things to note here. One is that converting computer animated films to 3-D is relatively easy, so slotting The Little Mermaid for last may have more to do with prepping materials. Beauty and the Beast is likely the first to go because it was recently converted for Blu-ray. The other thing to note is that Disney used to reissue their films all the time, a practice that stopped when they didn’t know how to deal with home video. Their reissue strategy is why Disney has pulled their titles off the market and then re-released them a couple years (or sometimes a decade) later. This model has proved very successful for the studio, and helped make their most famous misfire (Fantasia) profitable in the 1960′s.

Which of the four are you most excited for?