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FILM FANS: Embrace timeless classic "Beauty and the Beast" in 3-D

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Beauty and the Beast" in 3-D. Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.'

4 out of 4 stars

Timeless tale, "Beauty and the Beast," released in 3-D, is as true as it can be, but is there something there that wasn't there before? Adding 3-D to the masterpiece, just a little change, small, to say the least, doesn't alter the exquisite brilliance of what is undoubtedly, the greatest Disney animated film of all time.

The story is about the beauty, Belle, a young French girl, (Paige O'Hara) who yearns for something more than just a provincial life, and the beast, (Robby Benson) a selfish prince punished for his uncaring ways with a spell that turns him into a hairy creature and his subjects into common household furniture. The only way to reverse the beast's doom is that he must learn to care for someone else and have that same person return love to him by his 21st birthday, or the enchantment will be forever.

"Beauty and the Beast" features brilliant theatrically trained Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts, housekeeper/teapot), Jerry Orbach (Lumiere, love-struck candelabra/ma"tre d'), Rex Everhart (Maurice, Belle's father) and Richard White (Gaston, Belle's boorish suitor).

Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, "Beauty and the Beast" is bliss that continues to enthrall no matter the format.

-- Myra Simons, Buford

3 out of 4 stars

It was great to see this classic again on the big screen. No matter how big my TV is it can't compare to the size of a movie screen. The colors were so vibrant and the songs sounded amazing.

Unfortunately I do not feel that the 3-D did anything to improve the experience. It may have given the background more depth, but the characters still looked decidedly two-dimensional. I did not see anything that justified turning the movie into 3-D.

It is worth it to see this wonderful classic in the theater again, but it is not worth it to pay the extra for 3-D. You won't be missing anything if you see it on a normal movie screen.

-- Laurel Grams, Lawrenceville

4 out of 4 stars

How do you improve upon perfection? You spruce things up by reissuing it in 3-D -- and thus you have the re-release of Disney's 1991 classic, "Beauty and the Beast."

Certainly one of the best animated films of all time, "Beauty" hasn't lost its shine over the past 20 years. It's a French tale about a mean-spirited young man doomed by a witch's curse to live in an enchanted castle, until such time as he can learn to both love and to be loved by another.

"Beauty" was ground-breaking in its time for advanced animation techniques, as well as great musical numbers that rival any London or Broadway production. A diverse cast of superb voice talents (including Paige O'Hara as Belle and Robby Benson as Beast) give "Beauty" an enduring charm that lingers long after the movie ends. It's smart without being smarmy, and touches the heartstrings the way few stories can.

While 3-D is the latest craze in movies today, I personally don't believe that "Beauty" benefits that much from this kind of treatment. Sure, some scenes (like the ballroom dance) are more eye-popping in 3-D, I just question if it's worth the extra dinero for the experience. But you may differ -- if so, "be my guest!"

-- Tim Weekley, Suwanee