If 2015’s “Cinderella” represents the live-action potential for Disney’s animated classics, then 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” shows all its limitations and drawbacks. Much of the plot stays true to the 1991 animated classic, which is charming for the first few minutes but rapidly wears thin, while its modernized inserts are negligible at best. The special effects often look cartoonish, which underscores the movie’s point, and manages to make the original’s standout moments, like “Be My Guest” and “Kill the Beast,” feel redundant and underwhelming. Ewan McGregor, who voices Lumiere, seems to be acting in a different, much more enchanting movie, and his obvious enthusiasm highlights how much of it is lacking elsewhere.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)