They say that some classics should never be touched once they done with and going against that advise often results in remakes that more often than not, fail to do well at the box office. This is especially so when the new trend in the movie industry seem to be converting past movies shot in 2D into 3D and end up doing more harm than good.
When Walt Disney Animation Studios decided that do that with one of their animated film, The Lion King, many were rather skeptical with the number of 3D conversions failures on the rise. Surprisingly though, the remake went well and the movie was a hit at the box office. With that success, the next on the list was one classic that most were familiar with, the fairy tale love story of a young lady who must learn to see through appearances and a prince who must learn to love again.
The story of Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale that many have come to love. From story books to cartoons and even to stage performances, this is one fairy tale that has been see many forms over the years since it’s first rendition by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in La jeune américaine, et les contes marins in 1740.
But perhaps the most popular version that is known to the world is the musical animated film by the then Walt Disney Feature Animation(Now called Walt Disney Animation Studios) in 1991. Winning both the Academy Awards for Best Song and Best Original Score, Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was also the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Award as well.
While I don’t think I need to go into detail about the film’s plot, characters and music as these are mostly untouched from the original, I think the burning question most people will have (especially those like me who have seen the original on the big screen) is how is the 3D. Well I am happy to say that the 3D felt more like an spanking nice new coat of paint than a quick rush job. You can really tell that the team behind the conversion really made sure that each scene was thought through first before deciding on the level of 3D to add to it.
And for fans of that all so memorable “Be Our Guest” scene, you will definitely love what the team at Walt Disney Animation Studios has done to it. Not forgetting also the ballroom dance where if you felt the original was already good, the new 3D version of it will make it grand. If there is anything, I would say Robert Neuman and this team did a great job on this one.
Overall this is one movie to watch for fans of the original as well as families with young kids who are looking for a good bonding session. Even if this movie does seem outdated with today’s movies with complex a storyline and highly advanced 3D graphics, there is a reason why Disney classics are still so well loved all over the world and Beauty and the Beast is one of them.
Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars.
By Kenneth Wong.
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Images are courtesy of Walt Disney Studios, Singapore.