Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy
Opens locally Friday, January 13th, 2012
Run Time: 1 hour, 24 minutes, Rated G
Starring (Voice Talent): Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Jerry Orbach, Angela Lansbury
Directed by Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise
Beauty and the Beast is the second in what will be a very long line of classic Disney animated films being re-released in 3D. On the tails of The Lion King, which was Disney’s first 3D re-release this past September, Beauty and the Beast tells the classic story of the beautiful Belle who finds beauty lurking beneath the surface of the beast. It was the first animated film nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award when released in 1991 (2009’s Up was the only other), and is known perhaps as one of the best Disney films of all time. Featuring the likes of Lumeire the Candlestick to Cogsworth the Clock, from Mrs. Potts to little Chip, the characters in Beauty and the Beast are nearly as memorable as the incredibly classic songs woven into the film’s fabric.
So really, the film’s worth is not in question. What’s really up for discussion is how the film holds up presented in 3D.
To that end, Beauty and the Beast 3D falls in the same category as The Lion King 3D: A harmless gimmick. The new dimension adds little to the story, and of course feels forced…it wasn’t made with 3D in mind after all. Compare this to the visual style of recent films like Hugo, or even recent animated 3D films like Arthur Christmas, and it plain awful and ineffective. There are some shots of wide, scenic landscapes that are effective, but much of the movie looks and feels like a 2D movie that was forced into a 3D world against its will. Or for example, take the classic scene in the ballroom where we find Belle and Beast dancing…the original scene was engaging enough even before being viewed through plastic glasses.
I’m done fighting the 3D trend…it is here to stay. There’s nothing that 3D provides in re-released films like this that is worthy of praise. Pessimists may say that the trend is screwing with the classics, but in an attempt to stay positive, there are far worse films to watch in the theatre than tried-and-true Disney classics.
Beauty and the Beast = 5 Stars. As seen in 3D = 3 Stars.
NOTE: Beauty and the Beast 3D is preceded by the new animated short, Tangled Ever After, which gives us a mini-adventure set in the world of Disney's Tangled.
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