Living in a provencial French town, Belle longs for a more exciting life. Journeying to the fair to show his new invention, Belle’s father Maurice gets lost. He happens upon a castle, whose owner is less than accommodating. Belle’s desire for adventure is about to be fulfilled in a way she never would have imagined…
Beauty and the Beast is perhaps the pinnacle of Disney’s animated output. The film is difficult to fault; it is a fantastic example of what ‘Team Disney’ got right. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise’s film is in many ways the quintessential animated fairy tale.
Like other Disney films, Beauty and the Beast adapts his source material to fit in with Disney tropes. The story is appealing because of the well-rounded characters that populate the film. Belle and the Beast are engaging and endearing, whilst supporting characters provide a good deal of humour. Belle appears to a be a blueprint for many of the subsequent Disney Princesses, although her independent qualities also feature in The Little Mermaid‘s Ariel.
All the elements combine perfectly in Beauty and the Beast. The story is interspersed with some truly classic songs. There is a lightness and warmth to the film, even in moments of peril. The humour effectively balances the more dramatic moments, there is never a prolonged period without some laughs. Moreover, Beauty and the Beast should appeal to adults as much as it does to children.
The 3D is noticeable form the very beginning of the film. Given that the film was never intended to be exhibited in 3D, it actually works rather well in this form. The animation holds up well, despite advances made in this medium in the intervening years. The ballroom sequence is still as enchanting as seeing it for the very first time.
Disney aficionados and fans of high quality animation should aim to catch Beauty and the Beast on its limited 3D re-release. It is a rare delight for fans of the film to see it on the big screen.