“Beauty and the Beast in IMAX 3D” Review: Still Magical Even if As Old As Time

Directed by Bill Condon

When first announced that Disney will be making a live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, fans including me hope that they will not ruin the 1991 animated classic. When they announced that Emma Watson who is known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series is taking the role of Belle, the first thing that came into  everyone’s head is, “Can she sing?”

It’s unanimous that everyone’s protective of the property as it is one of the most beloved fairy tale classics of all time. The magic of the 1991 animated film will live forever and fear enters when a live-action adaptation will be bad or maybe better than the animated film directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise.

Bill Condon, who is known for directing Dreamgirls and the last two Twilight films which should not have been mentioned, helms the behemoth production of a film that everyone had their eyes on since day 1.

Watching the live-action adaptation really won’t be easy as the comparison with the 1991 animated film will always be there, from the production design, character development, the singing arrangements and performance and of course, the story. While it may not be far different than the 1991 version, the compromises the story had to go through are completely understandable as it wants to make the film more grounded and more realistic to the viewers. Sadly, that also took away some of the magic.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) in IMAX 3D was a more magical experience than it is in a regular 2D screen. Apart from the 26% more picture that the IMAX format offers, the 3D will sometimes blow you away. This is a film that wants to make the best out of everything, from the beautiful visuals, CGI and background, the authentic production design, to cinematography. Technically, Beauty and the Beast is almost flawless.

Emma Watson, while may not be the best singer there is, looks and feels like the Belle we loved from the 1991 animated film. Her spirit and how she wants to present herself as a woman and a daughter was obvious from start to finish.

Dan Stevens, while acting in a motion capture 98% of the film, fairly portrayed the stubborn yet soft-hearted Beast.

Luke Evans is the most perfect artist from animated to live-action among all the actors . He has the acting and singing chops fit for the role, plus having Josh Gad as Olaf, I mean Le Fou was a delight. The two had made a chemistry that works on screen and adds more color to the film.

McGregor, McKellen and Thompson, also Tucci and Kline’s talents were not wasted in the film. They may portray household objects, but they were surely amusing to watch, and the CGI was perfect and astonishing.

The film is now how beautiful it is, it is how many times I’ve cried reliving every minute of it. There’s so much magic in it that you can’t keep yourself from feeling the respect of the filmmaker with the original and made it into something today’s generation will still find amusing.

You might feel a little disappointed with some of the musical numbers like Lumiere’s ‘Be Our Guest’ as it is not as magical or captivating as the one in the animated film, but you also understand that the compromise it had to go through was because it needs to look and feel more realistic or closer to the world it is presenting. That’s the sad part of this live-action adaptation as you will always have judgments and comparisons even if you try not to.

Beauty and the Beast may not be as perfect as the 1991 animated film, but it’s too faithful to the original, even if the additional back stories are somewhat unnecessary but still reasonable to the story it wants to tell.

Beauty and the Beast Poster



“Beauty and the Beast” is available in 2D, 3D, 4D and IMAX 3D starting March 16, 2017 in the Philippines from Walt Disney Studios, distributed by Columbia Pictures. Rated G by the MTRCB.

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