When Disney’s Beauty and the Beast first hit the big screen in the 1991, I was a freshman in high school. Even though you would think kids that age wouldn’t be interested in Disney animated movies, having a younger sister who is 12 years younger and whose birthday party theme always coincided with the release of the latest Disney movie (Lion King, Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Beauty & The Beast), there was no escaping it anyway. Honestly, I secretly loved being whisked away into these lands of far away tales, animation or not.
Since then, Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Belle from Beauty and the Beast have been two of my long time favorite Princesses. I brought the soundtrack tapes from the movie with me to college, learned how to play the theme song from Beauty on the Beast on the piano and saw Beauty in the Beast on Broadway during that time in my life, twice. To me the reason why these movies are so memorable is that Disney had begun to not only embark on some really unbelievable animation with even more enchanting story lines, the musical scores on the soundtracks were what allowed these movies to burn a permanent place into my long term memory.
Last week we were invited to a screening of the new Beauty and the Beast 3D. The little girl in me couldn’t wait to see it, but now, as the mother of a 2-year-old, I worried that my son might be a little to young for the story. I thought about not bringing him, but my husband and I decided that if it were scary he’d take him out of the movie theater, so I then directed my attention on how I might get a 2-year-old to wear 3D glasses.
The Tangled animated short prior to the movie was fast moving and very funny. We missed the first few minutes of it, but once we put the glasses on Gavin’s eyes for this, he was MESMERIZED. No joke, I was checking to see if he was breathing, he did not move for a second. The trailer for this short is embedded below.
The Beauty and the Beast storyline is exactly the same, the only difference being the addition of the 3D animation. For the first several minutes of Beauty and the Beast Gavin continued to be entranced, never once reaching to take off his glasses during the beginning, while, call me corny, yes I sang along, out loud. I couldn’t help it.
Gavin did get pretty terrified of the Beast, and since I hadn’t seen the movie in at least 10 years if not longer, having seen it first as a teenager, I don’t think it registered how dark and scary several parts of the movie could be for a really young child. Then he started refusing to wear the glasses and buried himself into my chest, while he proclaimed a love-hate relationship, though scared, but intrigued, he couldn’t stop watching. I did worry for a bit that it would hurt his eyes when not wearing the glasses because when you aren’t wearing the glasses there are parts of the screen that will be clear and other parts that are kind of blurry. It’s been almost a week and I pretty sure he didn’t suffer an ill-effects.
Nearing the end of the movie, I knew the hunt scene was coming where the townspeople go after the Beast to kill him, so my husband took Gavin for a walk and I texted him when it was okay to return so he could watch the happy ending. When I asked about the movie hours later, Gavin’s response, “Scared Beast Mommy.” Thankfully I think he’s too young to start saying he’s to scared of the beast to go to bed at night, but for those of you who have multiple children of varying ages, have a plan for IF they refuse to wear the glasses and what you’ll do IF you’ll need to take them out of the movie theater.
For the right age group though, this classic movie, with a storyline of loving people irregardless of their differences, is a lot of fun to experience in 3D as a family activity.
Here’s a clip from the Tangled Ever After: The Rings
My family received media passes to a screening of this event. The opinions are my own.