Dir. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, USA, 1991, 85 minutes,
Review by Michelle Moore
As a young girl growing up in the 1990’s there was one film that you could watch on repeat and never get bored of, and that film was the 1991 animated musical fantasy film Beauty and the Beast; the 30th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Ever since it has held a special place in the hearts of every young girl who has ever seen it and with the masterpiece making a return to the big screen in dazzling digital 3D, childhoods are about to be re-ignited.
The majority of individuals know the story of Academy Award Winning classic already, whether you watched it as a child yourself or watch it with your own young children. A prince is transformed into a Beast and imprisons a young woman called Belle in his enchanted castle. In order to become a prince again, and return all those in his castle back to human, he must fall in love and win her love in return; if he fails he will remain a Beast forever.
There is a running theme in this story, one whereby Belle must look deep into the beast’s soul to find his inner humanity, beauty and true love, disregarding his initial cold-hearted attitude alongside his anger, temper and beastly appearance. As the romance blossoms between the two, the story unveils a series of events that will bring a tear to your eye and reaches back to a time where classic Disney tales had a traditional fairy tale ambiance with wonderful characters, a brilliant story line and best of all catchy sing-a-long songs.
The songs presented in this film are some of the most iconic and finest you will ever hear from an animated feature and no animated film since, Disney or otherwise has been able to do as well. With simple lyrics being presented by adorable characters and catchy melodies, any child (and adult) will be bopping along at some point, whether it be to the upbeat ‘Gaston’ and ‘Be Our Guest’ or to the sensational ‘Beauty and the Beast’ from the ballroom scene. This dance sequence is one of the most magical scenes that a Disney animation has ever produced. As Belle and the Beast dance and Mrs. Potts sings, you can literally feel the love prospering in the ballroom and magic igniting the romance to life.
The 3D technology that has been adapted to this re-release has some stunning results. Most notable are the sprinkling of snow, rushing of bats and the rustling of leaves as they approach the screen but also the distances and heights between objects and characters become much more realistic. As Belle approaches one room you can literally imagine the path she takes along the carpet. There is also a scene where Gaston’s friend is thrown back and forth to the screen and he literally comes face to face with the viewers.
If you loved Beauty and the Beast the first time around, then nothing will change, only your love will grow and as will your admiration for this brilliant Disney Classic. With 3D technology, this story will come alive.