Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast 3D (2012)

Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991, the year I graduated from high school. I wasn’t too old then to appreciate Disney movies (even if I was too old to admit it), and I owned my own copy of the VHS before my first daughter was even born in 1994.

She grew up with the movie, as did my two other daughters. But by the time my first son was born, we were buying our first DVD player and watching movies like Monsters, Inc and Atlantis. We still had the Beauty and the Beast VHS (still do, in fact!), but it definitely wasn’t in heavy viewing rotation anymore.

Fast forward to 2012 and Disney’s release of Beauty and the Beast in 3D, out in theaters January 13.

BeautyBeast3D_Poster

My girls were all giddy to see it, and I admit I had goosebumps just watching the commercials.

Not only were we looking forward to this nostalgic and welcome “blast from the past,” but my girls and I are all a bit romantic when it comes to movies, and the Disney Pandora channel is on constant play in our house. We’re big fans.

Beauty and the Beast 3D did NOT disappoint.

Before the screening I attended with my 17yo and 15yo daughters, I wondered out loud how the 3D effects were going to benefit the movie and the story. My question was answered in the first few minutes of the show, when the Disney Digital 3D effects gave incredible depth and intensity to the Beast’s castle and surrounding forest. And Belle’s opening number through the village has more life and bustling activity than ever before. Scene after scene had a similar full, fresh feel to it, and it was like I was watching a movie I had never seen.

If you’re wondering if it was really necessary to remake Beauty and the Best into 3D, I would have to say: YES. It takes a wonderful movie and makes it even better.

But in some ways, it makes the few flaws in the movie that much more pronounced, too. The older animation is not nearly as clean as, say, the wonderful Tangled Ever After short that precedes the film (see clip below). And asĀ despicableĀ as Gaston and his scantily-clad admirers are in 2D, I was impatient for their scenes to end on the big screen in 3D. Finally, there are several intense scenes, especially with the wolves in the forest and when the Beast gets very angry, and I did hear some younger children crying during these parts. Just something to keep in mind.

Two things that push all that to the fray for me, though: the music and the “big dance” scene.

We could not help but sing along to the many wonderful songs, and lots of other audience members were doing the same. This soundtrack is one of Disney’s best, I think, and having it play through the surround sound at the theater was marvelous. And the sweetest moment of the film: hearing all the little kids audibly gasp at Belle as she was revealed in her yellow ballgown. Their sweetness and awe actually brought tears to my eyes.

We had a fabulous time re-living Beauty and the Beast in its new 3D format, and had even more fun watching as some children discovered the magic for the first time. I can hardly wait to see how Finding Nemo 3D turns out on September 14!

For your viewing pleasure, a clip of the Tangled Ever After short, shown before Beauty and the Beast 3D. We loved the short, and it only made us hunger for a new Tangled feature-length movie!

*Disclosure: We attended a pre-screening of Beauty and the Beast 3D. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.

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