Beauty and the Beast in 3D: A Review
When I first heard about Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" hitting the theaters in 3D I wasn't sure if that tease would motivate me into spending the money to see a film I had first seen in theaters 21 years ago and that I own on DVD.
It did, and I am glad it did.
First let's talk about what has become a Disney tradition for full length feature films, the short. I would go as far as to say that the short that was shown before Belle and Beast may have been the most entertaining short I have ever seen.
It was called, "Tangled Ever After" and you might say it's the sequel to "Tangled." The short focuses on the marriage of Flynn and Rapunzel,but the stars of the show are Pascal, Rapunzel's pet chameleon Pascal, and Maximus, the soldier horse. According to Byron Howard, a Disney animator, who, along with Nathan Greno, worked on and co-directed both "Tangled" and "Tangled Ever After", these two characters were based on Charlie Chaplain and Buster Keaton. Chaplain and Keaton are known for their slapstick comedy from the silent film era and the facial expressions they used to express their emotions.
Since I'm not into delivering spoilers, I'm not going to tell you everything about the short, but I will tell you that it is one of the few Disney shorts that had me laughing out loud. The animation is outstanding and the humor is outright genius.
As for the featured 3D film, it was like seeing the movie for the first time.
There is 3D and there is 3D. The quality of the 3D effect in this film, in a word, WORKED. I don't know where to begin, so let me ramble on regarding where I think the 3D effects were most, well, 3D effective.
There are portions of the film which Disney fans know by heart, however, scene details are more enhanced with 3D because some portions seem closer. Such was the case when walking through the hallways in Beast's castle. Early on the scenes take on an ominous look that is definitely due to the depth given the scenes by the 3D effect.
The portion of the film where Beast saves Belle from the wolves is very intense, and the 3D effect adds to the intensity. I still have an issue believing Belle has enough strength to lift Beast onto Philippe (her horse) after he collapses from the battle with the wolves, but that's a topic for another blog.
Another memorable set of sequences in the film and how the 3D effect enhanced these scenes occurs whenever it is raining or snowing. The raindrops and snowflakes appear so real that you want to reach for your umbrella or gloves...yes it is that good...more on this later.
The song sequences are very much enhanced with the 3D effect with the film's well known song, "Be Our Guest" being the recipient most rewarded by the inclusion of 3D. The song is entertaining enough but with all the components appearing closer than ever before, it was a home run among home runs. For those familiar with Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom's "Mickey's Philharmagic" attraction, be prepared for a little deja vu.
Before leaving you I need to point out that the transformation scene where Beast is brought back to his princely state along with the castle and everyone in it. Remember how Belle sobs and expresses her love for Beast just before the last rose petal falls? Watch how the raindrops or snowflakes, or whatever, as I had mentioned earlier, makes this portion of the film wonderfully enhanced.
Finally, if you're into reading film credits then you must promise me you will take the time to do so with "Beauty and the Beast 3D." It's very much a reminder of the talented folks who worked on this film, including those like Howard Ashman (lyricist) and Jerry Orbach (voice of Lumiere), who is no longer with us. The rolling credits also present images that add an elegance to the film, something richly deserved.
I guess this is a recommendation to see this film as "Beauty and the Beast 3D" truly lives up to it's name. It was delightful, divine, and well, Disney!