Opening: 'Beauty and the Beast' in 3D

'Beauty and the Beast' (Disney)
'Beauty and the Beast' (Disney)

Disney’s new course in animation peaked quickly with 1991’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ The film is opening in theaters tomorrow for a limited engagement, chiefly to promote sales of the restored home video version in 3D.

As a compromise in order to see a 20-year-old film on the big screen where it belongs, the 3D is tolerable. It adds absolutely nothing to a classic that has held up remarkably well after multiple viewings, and still looks splendid. As I suspected in advance, the only things that looks dated are the brief, computer-animated moments (the dishes in “Be Our Guest,” the ballroom in the title song / dance).

Otherwise, it’s flawless. The performances by a voice cast led by the terrific Paige O’Hara and the growling Robby Benson are superb, with Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury especially notable. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is very much a Broadway musical, so adults who are a bit older may appreciate it more than those raised on more recent “modern” movie musicals, but it really is a splendid marriage of music, words, and visuals, with nary a wasted frame.

Miss it on the big screen at your peril.

‘Beauty and the Beast 3D’ opens wide across the Metroplex tomorrow.

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