From director Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise comes a beloved classic from Disney with “Beauty and the Beast 3D”.
This film tells the story of Belle (voiced by Paige O’Hara), a girl that is seen as odd by the town folk. Her love of books and reading take her to places she dreams she will someday visit. Living with her father she loves his inventions and encourages him.
While taking one of his inventions out for a spin, Belle’s father falls in the woods and finds refuge in a dark and dreary castle. It doesn’t take him long to notice this isn’t just any castle. It has an enchantment over it.
Living there is The Beast (voiced by Robby Benson), a very large creature with a roar of anger and long teeth. Along in the castle is the staff who have also been transformed to include Lumiere (Jerry Orbach) the candlestick, Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers) the clock and Mrs. Potts (Angela Landsbury) the teakettle who keeps the kitchen running smoothly.
When Belle goes to look for her father, she meets the Beast and exchanges her life for his. But something unexpected happens between the two that can change the castle, the staff, Belle and the Beast.
FINAL WORD: O’Hara as Belle is not only the delightful voice of Belle but also an amazing individual herself. She has made a name for herself on Broadway, opera and appearances on concert stages as well as recordings. Paige made her debut playing Ellie May Chipley in the 1983 revival on Broadway of “Showboat” with Donald O’Connor. She also starred as Fantine in “Les Miserable” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” both on Broadway.
Robby Benson, himself has an outstanding career and will always be remembered for the voice of The Beast. Spending the 1970’s and 80’s in several memorable films such as “Ice Castles” and “Tribute”, he now spends time directing and starred in the 2011 comedy “Brave New World:.
Other cast include: Richard White as Gaston, Bradley Pierce as Chip, Rex Everhart as Maurice, Jesse Corti as Lefou, JoAnne Worley as the Wardrobe, Mary Kay Bergman as Babette, and Alvin Epstein as the book seller.
The 3D did absolutely nothing for the film as far as bringing it more depth. There were a few places where the film distorted faces and the rain sequences made it harder to see the film. But that’s for critics to pick over!
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Beauty and the Beast 3D” three tubs of popcorn out of five. It is really delightful to see old friends once again dance and sing across the screen to make a new audience laugh and smile. It was also wonderful to see parents lip synching along with the songs while the children watched the screen dance.
In the end – it’s the most beautiful love story ever told.