Disney's original "Beauty & The Beast" was a huge animated hit back in 1991 nominated for 6 Academy awards, and winning two for Best Music Score and Best Song. The family film also made more than $400 million dollars at the box office world-wide.
Well, guess what? Disney's new "live-action" version is just as good, and in some ways even better.
There is magic on screen in this elaborate, expensive "live action" version of "Beauty & The Beast" starring, Emma Watson, who is just right playing a bored bookworm who wants more out of life.
She gets what she wants when she rescues her father, played-well by Kevin Kline, from a troubled beast who lives under a spell in a castle and is played with sad rage by, Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey (Matthew Crawley).
The mysterious castle includes objects that desperately want Belle to fall in love with the Beast and break the spell. Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen, and Stanley Tucci are all great in a movie that jumps off the screen with a sense of pure joy.
Gaston, the air-head bad guy played by Luke Evans, is a non-thinking narcissist, and his sidekick, LeFou, played by Josh Gad, is more silly than controversial.
Director Bill Condon, who directed "Dreamgirls," has created a stunning, beautiful, inclusive movie that is ultimately about a guy and a girl.
"Beauty And The Beast" is rated PG and it's comforting to know that a classic story remains intact. Yes, there are two new songs and they fit seamlessly in a film that had a room full of cynical critics, including me, applauding at the end.