ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT FILMORIA
Tale as old as time; Belle (Paige O’Hara) offers herself as prisoner to the mysterious Beast (Robby Benson) in exchange for her father’s freedom. While held captive in the castle, Belle realises that her feelings for the Beast are quite different to what she first thought.
Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s best-loved animated films. First released in 1992, the film is a beautifully realised love story that ends with the transformative qualities of love. The film was awarded two Academy Awards for it’s music, and many of the songs used in the film live on in our collective memory, and are suffused with nostalgia for the past.
Disney are going back through all of their classic and beloved films and releasing them again in 3D. The reasons for this may be many; the use of 3D in animation is often the most satisfying to an audience, the technology gives added depth to the action on screen, but as well as this, there is the element of nostalgia. Many of us will have seen Beauty and the Beast in cinemas the first time around, and remember the awe we felt when seeing the film for the first time. Nostalgia also allows us to remember ourselves as we were in 1992 and creates an added level; nostalgia for ourselves and out childhoods. Oh, and of course there is the added dimension of parents bringing kids to see the film on the big screen for the first time.
All the characters we know and love are still there; Belle the bookworm who has no interest in the romantic advances of the bully Gaston, Belle’s father, the eccentric inventor Maurice, Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumiére, Cogsworth and the gang in the castle. The songs are still filled with joy and exuberance, the animation beautifully drawn, and the story one of love and redemption.
As mentioned, sometimes the most satisfying use of 3D is in animated films – Coraline being a prime example – but hand drawn animation still lends itself to the technology. There is never the feeling that the action is jumping out of the screen at the audience, but the images on screen are given an added layer of depth, allowing the images to feel a little more 3D than they did on the big screen the first time around, or since on DVD.
In all, Beauty and the Beast 3D is still the same film as it was 20 years ago, but with the added elements of nostalgia and 3D, this re-release will bring old fans back to the cinema, and create new ones in the younger members of the audience. The release of this film in 3D was not essential, but it certainly is a lot of fun.