Riva/Harlequin Presents author Heidi Rice indulges in some of that ole Disney magic as the studio re-release their modern classic in 3D.
Now, given that Disney have a huge black hole to plug after the box-office disaster that was John Carter, their decision to start re-releasing the best of their back catalogue (The Lion King got the same treatment last year) may not be entirely altruistic - but if you happen to be a Mum on a mission to entertain housebound hellions (and give yourself a treat into the bargain), this film is still gonna be a godsend. So much so that even my teenager loved it and blogged about it too.
This movie is seriously magical. The 3D is a nice touch, adding extra wow-factor to some stunningly beautiful drawn animation — the opening sequence, when you approach the Beast's castle through a forest glade, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's musical score swelling to a crescendo, is quite simply breathtaking — but to be perfectly honest the 3D is only the cherry on top of an already delicious cake.
It's all here folks: the expertly penned and performed songs - from the joyous plate-spinning sing-a-long spectacular 'Be Our Guest', to Angela Lansbury's heartfelt title ballad; the touching fairytale romance between small-town girl Belle whose courage leads her to fall in love with a Beast whose grotesque exterior hides a tortured soul; the rib-tickling character comedy supplied by the Castle's staff (keen to get their temperamental master married off so they can all be human again!); the unreconstructed villainy of the film's real monster Gaston; and all that lush, lovingly detailed drawn animation.
And to add to the joy of this cinema experience, Disney have thrown in a delightful short called Tangled Ever After which catches up with the Tangled couple on their wedding day - and the laugh-out-loud slapstick chaos that ensues when Flynn's horse and Rapunzel's pet iguana are left in charge of the rings!
Our only regret when we left the cinema was that Disney have no plans at the moment to return to drawn animation (after the disappointing returns of The Princess and the Frog, apparently), to which we both say: 'Come on guys, get back to the drawing board, it's what you're best at.'
Heidi's currently hard at work on her next Riva/Harlequin Presents novel - but has a couple of delicious re-releases out in the UK. BTW I Love You in June and PS I'm Pregnant in July. While her latest Presents Extra, Cupcakes and Killer Heels is out in the US. Contact her on Twitter (@HeidiRomRice), Facebook, on her blog or thru her website, she loves to hear from readers and/or aspiring writers.