( CNN) “Beauty and the Beast” became the centerpiece of Disney’s animation renaissance, and the first animated film to procure an Oscar nomination for best scene. A quarter-century subsequently, the live-action version sumptuously holds up to that legacy, delicately expanding upon and updating the original in enormously crowd-pleasing fashion.
Visually speaking , not everything is perfection, from the design of the Beast himself( “Downton Abbey’s” Dan Stevens) to the revised computer-generated looking of certain members of his menagerie of servants, voiced by the likes of Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson and Audra McDonald.
For the most part, though, specific actions hummings along, instilling renewed emotional heft in the film’s last act. And while “The Jungle Book” was already a major hit, this “Beast” looks destined to dwarf those returns, with mothers weaned on the narrative likely to eagerly share it with their kids.