Monday 22 January 2018

An oldie but a classic

Paul Whitington

beauty and the beast

(G, general release, 84 minutes )

Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise Stars: Paige O'Hara, Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers

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Some folk are inclined to moan about studios cynically flogging old films in souped-up formats, but if 3D re-releases mean getting a chance to see movies as good as this on the big screen, I'm all for it.

Made using an early version of CGI, Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film ever to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, and is a delight.

Paige O'Hara provided the voice of Belle, a young beauty who gets trapped in the castle of a ferocious beast.

The Beast was once a handsome prince, but was transformed into a monster as a punishment for his coldhearted narcissism.

He can only be changed back if a woman declares her love for him, but his boorish behaviour makes that seem unlikely.

Using Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bete as inspiration, Disney created a wonderful take on the French fairytale, with songs, an odious baddie and an array of minor comic characters.

The voice cast are excellent, particularly the late Jerry Orbach, who turns a talking candelabra into an oily French lover.

I'm not sure how much 3D adds to the experience, but I couldn't care less because seeing this again on the big screen was a privilege.

Day & Night

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