Beauty and the Beast 3D: Tale as Bland as Time

by Ethan Alter January 13, 2012 5:58 am
<i>Beauty and the Beast 3D</i>: Tale as Bland as Time

I have a confession to make: I've never been a big fan of Beauty and the Beast. Even when I first saw it back in 1991 -- when it has being proclaimed hither and yon as one of the Walt Disney company's greatest achievements and made history by becoming the first animated feature to score a Best Picture nod -- I found myself wondering what the big deal was. And it didn't have anything to do with that conventional bit of Hollywood "wisdom" that boys don't want to watch movies about girls. Three years earlier, I had seen and loved The Little Mermaid and I thought Belle, the headstrong beauty of Beauty, was just peachy keen. I also liked Robby Benson's thundering vocals as the Beast and found the music (penned by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, who died seven months before the film's release) quite good, though none of the individual tunes captured my imagination half as much as Mermaid's triple threat of "Part of Your World," "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl." But aside from those elements, Beauty struck me as pretty blah -- a serviceable version of a classic fairy tale minus that crucial touch of magic.

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