As Walt Disney Pictures moves forward with bringing more of its classic films to 3-D, Beauty and the Beast is probably one of the more anticipated – especially among older audiences. The art direction was extraordinary, the girl saved the boy for a change and 3-D animation was being put to good use for the first time. Now Beauty and the Beast enters a whole new dimension with everything audiences loved about it perfectly intact, and with new standout moments to fall in love with. If that weren’t enough to convince fans to see this magnificent film again in the theaters, there’s also a cute short that continues the Tangled story called Tangled Ever After.
For those of you unfortunate enough to have never seen Beauty and the Beast before, the story revolves around a spoiled prince, cursed by an enchantress to look like a beast while his servants are magically transformed into everyday objects. As a way to break the spell, the prince was given a rose that would slowly shed petals. If the beast could fall in love and have that person love him in return before the last petal fell, then everything would be restored. The prince lost hope over the years, until circumstances brought Belle – the most beautiful girl in the nearby village – to his castle. With a little compromise and luck, perhaps this beauty could learn to love a beast.
Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful classic that new generations can embrace and enjoy the way their parents did: in the theater. The visuals really should be presented as larger than life and the music is too good not to be heard over a surround sound system. Beauty and the Beast feels different than modern Walt Disney Pictures animated films in that it’s dark and moody and violent. Furthermore, it has a lot of songs – some that are still iconic to this day. What parent hasn’t hummed “Be Our Guest” at least once while making dinner?
The addition of 3-D helps heighten the experience…and sometimes detracts. The prologue always had a kind of 3-D quality to it originally, with the foreground, middle space and background having very definite depths. Adding 3-D to segments like this seemed like a natural evolution. Another standout example is towards the end, during a storm. Rain pours heavily – almost tangibly – in the foreground and the effect is engrossing as viewers are literally enveloped by the scene. On the other hand, there are moments that seem to suffer from the transition to 3-D. Belle’s opening stroll stutters strangely as she approaches. In other scenes, objects that should lie on top of other objects, like a character’s hand on a table for instance, seem to float in front instead. These moments are only mildly distracting and most audiences won’t even notice them.
As the cherry on top of an already outstanding film, the short Tangled Ever After runs before the main presentation and is also presented in 3-D. Flower lizard and ring bearer Pascal (the chameleon) and Maximus (the horse) accidentally lose the rings when Maximus sneezes them away after inhaling one of Pascal’s flowers. Fearing the collapse of the kingdom, the two sneak off to chase the rings, wreaking havoc on the town as the gold bands evade their grasps time and time again. Can they retrieve the rings and prevent catastrophe? It’s great fun to watch them try, and Tangled Ever After is an excellent addition to the Tangled story.
So with Beauty and the Beast 3-D audiences get one and a quarter awesome films to enjoy. There’s really no excuse not to go see these movies. Relive the joy of your youth by seeing Beauty and the Beast again or watch the faces of young ones brighten as they watch the movie for the first time. Either way, you can’t go wrong.