Beauty and the Beast ★★½

It's pretty simple. Even if you strip away all the songs, the animated version has the character design, voice performance and expressions that drive everything. This new version has good work here and there, but in too many instances is a step down, and in a few cases, ie Lumiere, just plain ugly. Potts and Chip are similarly awful. It's also another case where too much CGI, even if done well, puts up a wall to feeling anything being real. Which is a shame, since if I give this version credit for anything, it's putting more investment in making the romance legit, and playing up the operatic element of such later in the film. But when the Beast never feels like he's really... there... it's all for naught. Which as a whole makes this whole thing watchable, but flat.

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