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    Beauty & the Beast: Be their guest, 21 years later

    Audience members to Disney’s “tale as old as time” were invited to “be [their] guest” once again as “Beauty and the Beast” was re-released in 3-D on Jan. 13. Coming in at the number 2 spot on its opening weekend, the timeless classic proved that, even 21 years after its original release, people still want to watch the story that preaches the value of inner beauty over physical appearances.

    The film is based off Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont’s fairy tale “La Belle et la Bête,” in which a selfish prince is placed under a powerful spell that transforms him into a hideous beast. The spell can only be broken if he learns to love another and earn her love in return. Disney spun the tale to include the prince’s servants in the curse, making them household objects until their master could find love.

    The Beast’s love interest in the movie becomes Belle, a young woman who lives in a French village with her father. She dreams of living away from her village and going on adventures like the ones she reads about in books. Her love of books, coupled with her gentle but outspoken personality, always elicits comments about her oddity from the villagers. Belle winds up at the Beast’s castle when her father goes missing and their horse leads her to him. Once at the castle, she wanders to the dungeons, where her father is being held prisoner due to a misunderstanding with the Beast. In order to save her father from living in the dungeon, Belle courageously offers to take his place. The Beast allows it so long as she promises to never leave him.

    Because of his demanding attitude and anger, Belle refuses to cooperate with the Beast. But the transformed servants in the castle believe that she may be the girl to break the spell, so they offer to help the Beast win her over. The ever-friendly Lumière, a candlestick, along with Cogsworth, an anxious clock, and motherly Mrs. Potts, a teapot, do their best to make Belle feel welcomed. They even go so far as to put on a spectacular show to present her dinner in the iconic song, “Be Our Guest.”

    Once the Beast starts acting more gently, Belle sees the kinder side of him and the two begin spending more time together. Not before long, the Beast puts together a romantic evening where the couple dance in an extravagant ballroom, which looks even more stunning in 3D.

    While the Beast is short-tempered and scary, the real villain in the movie is the egotistical big-shot hunter of the town, Gaston. He desires to marry a woman as beautiful as he and finds Belle to be the only woman worthy of his looks. He advances on her multiple times only for her to reject him. His jealousy consumes him when he finds out that Belle may have feelings for the Beast, and he rallies together a mob made up of townspeople to storm the castle and kill the Beast.

    Disney made a great choice in re-releasing this movie in 3D. It was the second Disney film to be produced using a Computer Animation Production System (CAPS), which was supposed to give the illusion of depth, making the transition to 3D much smoother. The colors were far more vibrant with this re-mastered version, and each song sounded even better when portions of the audience sang along.  It is no wonder that this was the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the 64th Annual Academy Awards. “Beauty and the Beast” is definitely worth watching again in a theater.

    Lacey Iatavia, a manager at South Bay Cinemas, is pleased to have it at her theater. “A lot of children who didn’t get to experience it the first time are being brought in with their families,” Iatavia said. “It’s been doing the best out of our other shows because it attracts all different people. It’s a classic movie, and I hope to see more Disney films re-released.”

     

    Please note that the original version of this article inaccurately stated that Beauty and the Beast came out 11 years ago. This version of the article reflects that change. 

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