Beauty and the Beast 3D - review

There's plenty of craftsmanship in this Disney rerelease, but it might struggle to appeal to the post-Pixar generation

Disney used to just rerelease their films on a decade-long cycle, ripe for capturing new generations; now they can spruce them up a little more with 3D conversion. Their 1991 effort holds a special place in company folklore: it was the first cartoon to be nominated for a best picture Oscar, and followed The Little Mermaid in cementing the studio's revival after its 80s slump. There's no doubting the craftsmanlike elegance of the film, summoning up with relish the spirit of classic fairytale Disney of the 50s and 60s; but seen through the prism of the Toy Story/Shrek brand of featherlight, self-ironising comedy, there's a unmistakeable heaviness about it now. In part it's down to the advances in animation technique that digital technology has permitted; and in part it's because of Disney's determination to model it on a Broadway musical. Apart from the spectacular Busby Berkeleyesque Be Our Guest, the film pretty much grinds to a halt whenever one of the songs (by Menken and Ashman) starts up.


Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

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