Yesterday I treated myself to a bit of nostalgic self-indulgence when I went to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which has recently been re-released in both 2D and 3D. After the 3D re-release of The Lion King did so well at the box office (it earned almost $30 million on its opening weekend) Disney announced it would be re-releasing a further four features; Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and The Little Mermaid.
Re-releasing the early nineties classics (whether in 3D or not) is a stroke of genius from Disney. Those of us who were gurning toddlers at the time of the original release have now grown up into disillusioned, emotionally unstable young adults who will pay pretty much anything to get back even a semblance of the enchantment and happiness we felt when chowing down on a nutritious slice of Disney in our formative years. Beauty and the Beast was always my personal favourite - the oscar-winning songs, the talking furniture, the library the size of a palace, and not to mention the world's greatest ever double act, Cogsworth and Lumiere - it's got to be in everybody's top five.
It may seem a little pointless, or even sacriligeous to release Disney classics in 3D - but for Beauty and the Beast, it does add a little something. Just seeing it on the big screen (rather than on a grainy VHS which has been watched and rewatched so many times the tape is about to wear through) gives the film a new lease of life. The 3D makes certain scenes really pop. Overall, the colours seem brighter, the settings more impressive, and the scenes containing some early examples of 2D CGI, such as the ballroom scene, look pretty spectacular (eat your heart out, Avatar).
I heartily recommend reclaiming your youth by watching Beauty and the Beast at the cinema this month. And if you know and/or have any small children, force them to accompany you so that they too can worship at the altar of Disney (proper Disney).
But, if they're really young, or of a sensitive disposition, it may not be such a good idea. We also love Beauty and the Beast because of how dark it is - I for one remember being scared witless by the slavering wolves in the deep dark forest, and the growling and yelling of the Beast before he learns to control his temper. Also, I think that Beauty and the Beast may well be the only Disney film in which you can actually see someone get stabbed - blood and all. Gaston really sticks it in and breaks it off during his fight with the Beast, before plunging to his own grisly death.
So, think twice before taking anyone under five along with you - otherwise, jump up to your neck into the warm nostalgic goo that is Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and do the back stroke all the way to a small French provincial town. Beauty and the Beast is a KINOLENS film of the moment, and is on general release now in the UK.