Film review: Beauty and the Beast (4 out of 5)

It seemed a strange idea of Disney's to rummage through their treasured and much-loved back catalogue of animations and turn them in real-life versions.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

Of course, in practice, there’s been much CGI involved.

However, so far the idea seems to have worked pretty well, although the forthcoming Tim Burton version of Dumbo could stretch the imagination somewhat!

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Back in 1991 I really enjoyed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (version one).

And seeing the latest incarnation reminded me just how good the songs are.

Unlike the new Jungle Book (in which the tunes were tucked away), Beauty and the Beast flourishes the music with great aplomb.

In the leads, Emma Watson is good as Belle and Dan Stevens portrays the Beast well.

The cast, in fact, is very impressive, with the likes of Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts), Luke Evans (Gaston), Kevin Kline (Belle’s dad), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Stanley Tucci (Maestro Cadenza) and Ian McKellen (Cogsworth) all standing out.

For the most part, the Beast CGI is really good, although for me it did look a little clumsy in the dance sequence.

But director Bill Condon has produced a magical and colourful version of a true classic.

One or two of the plot holes in the animation have been tidied up, but there’s still the weird situation of the story set in France but various characters having strong British accents.

However, it’s a fairy tale and who really cares?

So, if you loved the original animation then you’ll very likely thoroughly enjoy this update.

Film details: Beauty and the Beast (PG) 129mins

Director: Bill Condon

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol