Oldie but a goodie
ABOUT 20- odd years ago, Beauty and the Beast was the movie that revived the threadbare stocks of Disney’s then- ailing animation division.
Now digitally restored, enlarged and expanded for a special 3D re- release, the age- old love story between the maiden and the mutant still trundles along quite nicely – even if it does now seem a bit old- hat when compared with superior kiddy fare such as Shrek, Harry Potter and Monsters, Inc.
The course charted through the ancient French bedtime story is relatively faithful to its original source.
A bookworm- ish young mademoiselle named Belle ( voiced by Paige O’hara) agrees to take her father’s place as the captive of a castle- bound Beast ( Robby Benson), who used to be a handsome prince until he got on the wrong side of a bad spell.
He can regain his hunk status only if he finds true love, and it isn’t long before Beasty starts noticing how cute Belle looks all shackled up in her dungeon.
After negotiating their way past the compulsory interference of a self- centred villain, Gaston ( Richard White), and some talking cutlery and furniture, our hairy hero and high- spirited heroine get their act together just in time to bring about the happy ending the story deserves.
There is only one new scene that has been added to the original 35mm version of the movie – a nondescript musical number entitled Human Again, which kills a little time before the dramatic transformation at the finale.
However, the other Broadway- style songs in the movie ( which later served as the basis for a successful stage adaptation) remain a cut above the usual toon tunes, full of wacky wordplay and vivacious vocalising.
Opens next Thursday at Village Cinemas