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Beauty and the Beast: Movie: Yes // 3D: No

Updated on January 13, 2012

If ever an animated Disney movie deserved a second theatrical release it's Beauty and the Beast. It was the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Motion Picture Academy Award after all. It's beautiful to watch. The characters are compelling. The music and songs are completely classic. In fact, Alan Menken and Howard Asman's work on the music and songs earned it two Oscar wins.

The story follows Belle (Paige O'Hara), the local beauty in a small town in France. Her father, Maurice (Rex Everhart), is an inventor who ends up at a creepy dark castle one night where he is imprisoned by the resident beast, Beast (Robby Benson). Belle comes to rescue her father and stays in his place. After a rocky start, the two begin to get closer. And following the dramatic law of relationships, we all know where that's going.

The castle is populated and cared for by, among others, Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers)—a clock who's wound a bit too tightly, the teapot Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury)—a piece of crockery with a soft heart, and the candlestick Lumiere (Jerry Orbach)—apparently the only being in all of France to have a French accent. When the curse they're all under is finally broken (oh, uh, spoiler alert) you have to wonder if they had to go out and buy completely new plates, flatware and furniture, since they're all human again.

It's been years since I've seen the movie, and it still holds up completely. If you don't have it in your video library already, especially if you have young kids at home, it's definitely worth a big-screen viewing. Though if you do have it in your library, it's up to you to choose whether the cost of a big-screen movie is worth watching something you can watch at home for free.

So far as the 3D conversion, however, I suggest avoiding it.

I've already gone on record as being completely underwhelmed with the 3D conversions that have been coming out recently. The best conversions basically aspire to not becoming a distraction at most.

That being said, I was curious what it would be like converting a cell animated film into 3D. (I missed the chance to see the 3D Lion King conversion.) But there are serious problems with converting this kind of movie.

Often, the backgrounds for cell-animated features are built with a distorted perspective to create the impression of a bigger world that doesn't exist. When you try to make that into a 3D image, things can get weird.

Also, there's a frame-rate problem. Depending on the format, standard films will usually have a frame rate of 24 - 30 frames per second. Now, nobody wants to draw that many pictures for an entire movie, so animated films usually animate on the 2s. That means they only draw a new image for every other frame. This is because it's still a high enough frame-rate to slip past the human eye but dramatically cuts down the work required.

I understand the chariot scene on The Prince of Egypt was animated on the 3s or 4s which cut the frame rate down even more and added to a much more choppy sequence, like using shaky-cam in a live action film. On the other hand, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was animated on the 1s—which means they skipped no frames with their animation—which is why Roger's ears are always in constant yet very smooth motion.

The reason this frame-rate matters is that there are sequences of action—for instance, I noticed it in the scene where Beast is rescuing Belle from the wolves—where the movement is so fast that the frame rate starts to get in the way in 3D. In 2D, it's okay. But in 3D your eyes are already putting so much effort into figuring out what's happening that the low frame rate becomes much more noticeable and distracting.

That's not to say that the whole thing is bad. There are moments where you can tell that real effort was put into making the image look great. But the rest of the movie ranges between "that just doesn't look quite right" and "it's actually not too distracting right now."

The 3D brings little new to the movie and at best doesn't get in the way.

That being said, the movie itself comes in with a 10 / 10 from me.

Beauty and the Beast is rated G but contains scenes of action violence and a few female characters who may need a little more top on their dress.


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    • DISNEYFAN2 profile image

      DISNEYFAN2 6 years ago from CHICAGO ARENA

      thanks2010 was snow white 2011 i was belle for 2012 try go for jasmine with my skin color lot people pass for jasmine or pocahontas or ariel my dad read said little mermaid be back in big screen in 3D don't when though. i think later this year.

    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 6 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Cool, DISNEYFAN2. I found the picture you posted of your costume. That yellow dress Belle wears is a classic now. And thankfully, that scene where they dance in the grand ballroom is one of the scenes where they really put a lot of effort into making it look nice. Much of the rest could be fine for a film student's term project, but, as I said, I found it somewhat distracting. But if you enjoy it in 3D, good for you. I may just be a bit too picky for my own good.

      The movie itself is still wonderful.

    • DISNEYFAN2 profile image

      DISNEYFAN2 6 years ago from CHICAGO ARENA


    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 6 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      It's a wonderful movie, and it looks like there are many more showings in 3D than 2D (at least in my area, but I imagine it's similar in all markets) so it's definitely easier to see it that way. And if people want to see it for themselves, I will admit that not everyone is distracted by the same things that I am. I enjoyed the movie itself immensely. I just thought the 3D was (1) unnecessary and (2) didn't bring enough to the table to justify the amount of effort it takes to convert a movie like this.

      But I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself. It's still a wonderful film.

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 6 years ago

      Interesting... I was considering going, but my glasses make 3D impossible for me. My eye sight is terrible so I can't just take off my glasses and the 3D glasses don't do what they are supposed to do because my glasses are too thick. But for my favorite Disney movie, I might actually try to watch it in 3D