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Capone finds it very easy to remember why he has always loved BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, even in 3D!!!

Published at: Jan. 13, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST by Capone

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Oh, I am most certainly enjoying these Disney animation reissues so much. The 3D doesn't bother me that much; it certainly doesn't impede the blissful experience of seeing these landmark films again gorgeously restored on the big screen again. In fact, I think the 3D on 1991's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is better than the work done on last year's THE LION KING reissue, perhaps because a few of sequences include early examples of digital animation, and that material looks much better converted into 3D.

Add to that the fact that Disney has had years to perfect this conversion, since BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was supposed to be released a couple of years ago, but pulled when the TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2 3D reissues (in advance of TOY STORY 3's release) didn't do well at the box office. But thankfully, THE LION KING changed all that by unexpectedly making a ton of money, and so Disney dusted off BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, probably my favorite of the studio's animated fare of that era. (Get ready for FINDING NEMO's 3D reissue in the back half of 2012 and THE LITTLE MERMAID next year; wheeeee!!!).

The thing that struck me watching BEAUTY AND THE BEAST again is how grown up it is compared to, for example, THE LITTLE MERMAID. There are bloody battles, stabbings, an adult love story, and a couple of wolf attacks that preface and rival similar scenes in the upcoming film The Grey. Nearly all of the lead characters are adults, including our leads Belle (voiced by Broadway star Paige O'Hara) and the cursed prince turned monster (Robby Benson), who must find a woman to love and who loves him back to break the curse. I fell in love all over again with the Beast's castle of furniture servants, including David Ogden Stiers' Cogsworth, Angela Lansbury's Mrs. Potts, and my favorite, the candlestick Lumiere, voiced as a suave Frenchman by the late Jerry Orbach (the tale is set in France, but I always wondered why he was the only character with an actual French accent).

But the one enchanting element of the film I never forgot were the songs. My God, the songs in Beauty and the Beast are flawless, from Angela Lansbury's rendition of the title track (the Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson version can kiss my ass), Orbach leading the charge through "Be Our Guest," and the funny, furniture chorus, falling-in-love song "Something There." I still miss lyricist Howard Ashman, who died the same year the film came out, because of his work in this movie with Alan Menken, credited with the original music.

The only story element that ever bugged me about BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was the character of Gaston (Richard White), who tries to force Belle to marry him by sending an insane asylum doctor to commit her father against his will. I think the character is a blast, and his theme song is a riot, but the story doesn't need him as a villain. Time and the Beast's temper are the true villains of this work. Still, the final showdown between Gaston and Beast is epic and so much more violent and dark than I'd remembered.

As many times as you may have seen BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the singular experience of seeing it on a big screen cannot be matched, and I can't applaud Disney enough for allowed kids (and one or two adults) the opportunity to do just that. I can take or leave the 3D, which is almost unnoticeable for much of the film, although I did like the way the snow felt like it was right in my face. Imagine the snowflakes-before-your-eyes 3D effect of HUGO turned into blizzard-like conditions. But if your kids (or you) have never seen BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at all, you wouldn't be doing your job as a parent unless you took them to see this glorious reissue. Keep these restored reissues coming, studio types. You don't have to change a thing, just clean them up and let us hand you our money to see them. I'm in.

-- Steve Prokopy
"Capone"
capone@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 13, 2012, 10:58 a.m. CST

    yo

    by LarryTheCableGuy

    first

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Settling for second

    by T Bethel

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Want to take my 5 year old girl to this...

    by ChickenStu

    She'd lap it up!

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Unless you're a parent or a boyfriend ...

    by Judge Briggs

    No reason to spend $15 on seeing this in the movie theater!

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    This is one of those movies...

    by BlaGyver

    where if someone doesn't like it, I have trouble trusting them as a person, because they must have some sort of legitimate moral or emotional flaw. In short, if you don't like this movie, I doubt the existence of your soul.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Watched this with the wife for the first time...

    by Robusto

    And it was crappy. Havent really like kids movies since I was a kid. The pixar stuff entertains me, but the Disney animated stuff just is just to 2d is so many ways.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST

    3D

    by BoggyCreekBeast

    Have had the home 3D edition for a while and think it is better than The Lion King edition, the 3D giving the castle scene much needed depth. And the Gaston character is such a great villain that I'm surprised Disney didn't say he happened to catch a branch for one of those uber-crappy direct-to-DVD movies they cranked out a few years back!

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    The Beast vs. Wolves fight...

    by zinc_chameleon

    is one of the best choreographed actions scenes, animation or live action Shaky cam types take note (with help from Bob Anderson): every punch, kick, and bite has to count; it must develop character and move the story foreward.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    literally just finished watching the blu of this...

    by skelly

    At home with my daughter who is recovering from surgery. I was working in a movie theatre when this was first released and loved it. It is an adult movie and deserved to be the first animated film nominated for best picture. Don't know if I will take the kids to see it in 3D, not a lot of $ laying around after a heart procedure on a 7 yr old. And Gaston's theme song is a favorite.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:35 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    The dojo is not ashamed to admit my love for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. In fact, it might actually be my fave Disney animated movie. (okay now im feeling a little ashamed).

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Definitely my favorite Disney

    by MacTard420

    animated film! So excited to see it on the big screen again! BE OUR GUEST, BE OUR GUEST, BE OUR GUEST, PLEEEEASE BEEEEE OURR GUEEEEEEEEESST!!!!

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Hunchback of Notre Dame in 3D

    by pushthebuttonmax

    If there's any disney movie that needs a 3D transfer, it's that one.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    flyingbanthasneversleep

    by P

    I wish your child a speedy recovery.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    This is the best Disney movie ever, and it was robbed by the Oscars.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    This was the last animated movie ever to be nominated for best picture before they spun off into a separate catergory. Now the catergory sucks. Do you really think they make five Oscar-worthy animated films a year? Actually I take that back. I forgot UP was nominated for best picture. At least animated movies can double dip. However, I doubt Up would have been nominated if they didn't increase the nominations from five to ten.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Actually Gaston was needed as a villain

    by Terrence

    To kind of be the counterpoint of what Beast used to be compared to what he had become. Basically they were doing the whole, "Gaston is the jock of the village and the archetype hero, but he's still an asshole."

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    The second most unmanly thing you did today...

    by groorgman

    Was watch this movie (if you don't have kids) the first was coming on the net to tell everyone how much you liked it. :p

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST

    To anyone that says it's a kids movie.

    by eric haislar

    you can go fuck yourself. B & B is a magical film and you can be any age to enjoy it.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Broadway Disney Blows

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Other than Aladdin and Lion King, I couldn'tt sit through Disney hand drawn features from 1989-1998, and I sure as hell wouldn't be able to now unless I had them muted.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Beauty and the Beast is brilliant.

    by imagin78

    A tremendous film, animated or not, in every sense. Some Cocteau admirers dismissed it at the time, but don't see a reason why they both can't be considered masterpieces. Have to admit that Hunchback was actually my personal favorite of this Disney era. Even more adult than BatB and with tremendous animation and songs as well. Same directors as BatB too.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Do they still make cartoon musicals?

    by Spandau Belly

    I thought that stopped in the mid 90s for some reason. I don't see every cartoon movie, so I don't know for sure. But all the ones I do see such as WALL-E and TINTIN and UP! contain no singing.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST

    The opening song is as magical as Disney gets

    by jimbojones123

    I remember a story in Disney War where writers and animators almost had to cut the opening number. They all claim it was the most important victories over studio execs in their careers.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST

    RE: judge briggs

    by Capone

    Way to support seeing movies on the big screen.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST

    zombie_fatigue

    by skelly

    Thank you.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Capone, apples and oranges...

    by Judge Briggs

    I go to the movies on average, once a week. Saying that skipping seeing Disney's 3D conversion of a classic is akin to not supporting the big screen is a false equivalency.

  • I too wish that Ashman had lived longer- much like the 'what ifs' regarding movies that never were, one has to wonder what other projects would have come about if he had remained alive and involved with Disney.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST

    No Judge Briggs, you're right. It's not.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    It IS however, akin to admitting you're a soulless schmuck. I have to agree with Blagyver earlier in the thread. Normally I figure people like what they like, each to their own but with this one I truly cannot understand anyone not enjoying it unless they're missing something inside. It's not just the best Disney film ever made - it's one of the best films ever made, end of story. Perfectly cast. Perfectly drawn and rendered. And there's never been a musical where literally all the songs fit so well, it is an absolute treasure of a movie. To be intimating the only reason to watch it is to placate a child or a female date - well - all that's doing is showing up how interested you are in proclaiming to all and sundry how heterosexual you are, yes, you're not curious about the cock at all are you. You're a MAN and MEN wouldn't watch a film like this unless under extenuating circumstances. Fucknut. Regardless about how far in denial of your screaming gayness you are, and how you can't help subconsciously proclaiming it here, you should be ashamed of your choice in this regard. I can understand people saying "Citizen Kane, meh" or "The Dark Knight is waaaaay over rated". But in any way someone suggesting this film isn't for everyone, it's idiocy. Pure and simple. This is without question one of those few immutable laws of the universe. No wiggle room. No discussion. No question of personal taste. Beauty and the Beast is one of the greatest works of cinema art ever made and you're a poorer person for trying to avoid it.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    @ hint_of_smegma

    by Judge Briggs

    Didn't say the movie wasn't any good. In fact, read my second post- I said it was a classic. Just said, I can't imagine spending $15+ on a 3D re-issue of the flick... Sheesh!

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Briggs - consider me shamed.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    All I can tell you is too many long hours at work and too much coffee, my mind skipped your "classic" comment and therefore I completely missed the context. Although still - GO SEE IT!! You gotta admit. This is a re-issue worth seeing, unlike Lucas's attempt to pollute the cinema again shortly. My apologies, good sir.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    @ hint_of_smegma

    by Judge Briggs

    I will wait to watch it on my 60-inch plasma 3D television... ; )

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    By far the best Disney animated film since Walt

    by Kremzeek

    Sleeping Beauty will always be the crowning jewel of the Disney animated works over all, but of the post-Walt era, Beauty and the Beast is hands down the best. It doesn't need 3D and I won't see it that way. But the Blu-ray remaster is gorgeous. Love it. And you're right, Capone. B&B is darker than most of the other modern-era films. It definitely hearkens back to the older "it's ok if a cartoon has dark themes" era of animated filmmaking - which is fantastic. Today, pretty much anything that's animated is considered "for kids", which is a very stupid thing to assume. Agree about the music, too. Top notch. The only thing I'd counter is Gaston "not being needed". Nah. He's needed. Though thematically the Beast's anger might be the real enemy, the film still needed a physical villain.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Briggs - hang up that Judge's badge in disgrace.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Even Joe himself would walk into the theatre proudly, twot a Klegg or two aside and enjoy the movie. Gotta say man - I love watching the blu ray on my home theatre set up too, I'm lucky to have a 90" screen and a hi def projector and it looks and feels awesome up there. But getting to see it at a real theatre again? You couldn't keep me away. Awesome experience.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 3:11 p.m. CST

    It's odd, I *saw* this in 3D back when they showed Toy Story 1&2

    by Dreamwriter

    They did show it back then, but just a special one-weekend showing. Last month I got the 3D Blu-Ray of it, looks about the same as I remember from back then.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    And they're typically not only in 3D...

    by KingKirby

    these re-releases are usually shown with at least one 2D screening per day as well...if you don't see the 3D version...spend your bucks on a screening of how it was originally made and intended to be seen. I miss the theatrical releases Disney used to do...every seven years or so, you'd get to see "Pinocchio" or "Snow White" etc...then they to the video (then DVD) re-releases every so often ("from the Disney vaults..."), but I'm surprised that they haven't done more theatrically. I think the "Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3D conversions didn't go over so big because everybody had the movies on DVD and thought "why go see it again when I just bought it?"

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Is this the Disney flick where the villian dies by ...

    by Vince Ricardo

    ... falling to their death? This was good when it came out, as a date flick. I can see it being a great film to take your little daughters to (assuming that date went well ... really well). My sons aren't the least bit interested, just as they weren't all that thrilled with "Tangled" either. As beautiful as the animation is (especially some of the opening scenes), I, also, cannot see spendin' the big bucks to go see it just because it's now in 3D. If you do, hey, have fun.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Only ONE showtime in 2D, and that around 4:00 fucking PM

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I love that Disney is bringing back the idea of theatrical reissues of their animated classics, but the 3D price gouging (especially for HAND-DRAWN animation) is lame. Just reissue the movies as-is!

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    P.S. Belle is hot

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Jan. 14, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    one of the best film ever..

    by paul burnett

    ..just thinking of this film makes me tear up, it's just so fuckin spot on in how it plays your emotions.The end battle with Gaston ( who allways reminded me of Bruce Cambell) was thrilling, and i remember thinking that this film may not have a happy ending..superb. see my vest see my vest made from real gorrila chest..

  • Jan. 14, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST

    I always liked Gaston's role in the story.

    by TheMarineBiologist

    He served as the manifestation of looking GOOD on the outside, but being UGLY on the inside, thus being a nice foil for The Prince/Beast.

  • Jan. 14, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    themarinebiologist, yes - you get it.

  • Jan. 14, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Fact checking and stuff

    by Jardinier

    I'm pretty sure that a) the Toy Story re-releases were deemed reasonably successful, remaining in theatres longer than they were supposed to, and b) the BEAUTY 3D version was released in several territories like two years ago, and was thus finished long before LION KING got its own "dimensionalization". (Wikipedia could have told you both of those facts, by the way. Not to be a douche, but, come on.)

  • Jan. 14, 2012, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Also, regarding Cocteau's film

    by Jardinier

    There is no comparison. They are two completely different films with different goals. The Disney version wants to tell a modern, cohesive narrative with good guys and bad guys and comic relief and clear happy endings. There's nothing wrong with that. The French version remains much more rooted in the loose style of the traditional fairy tale (not *this* particular fairy tale, mind you, but more the general style of oral storytelling). It's also kinda dirty, depending on how you read the film. So, definitely more for adults, which doesn't mean it's inherently superior. It's just different.