Movies & TV

Grown men, too, watch Beauty and the Beast (if it's in 4DX)

New special effects turn this fairy tale into one thrilling ride.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
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How many dimensions do you need to enjoy a film like Beauty and the Beast? If you grew up watching the movie and know the story and songs by heart, then two will likely suffice. However, if you’re an adult man who possesses no nostalgic connection to the popular Disney property, then the answer is: at least four dimensions, thank you. And throw in some rain and snow, too, while you’re at it.

Much has been written about how much Disney rediscovered its magic (strategic acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm didn’t hurt) but this remake with a live action cast is a great example of Disney wielding its magic wand to bring back to life one of its own beloved tales.

The movie wastes no time in putting the 4D effects to good use, leaving you no time to even try and settle in. The moment the Disney logo appears on screen, fireworks go off atop the animated castle, and well-coordinated flashes of light literally wow the audience (including this reluctantly attending husband and father).

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To the regular 4D moviegoer certain effects will be familiar– the chairs that heave up and down, pitch forward and backward–and Beauty employs them to great effect. Your comfy chair lifts you up, bringing you along on Belle’s journey from her small village through the treacherous forest, and then gently putting you down upon arrival at the prince’s winter castle.

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The constant movement enhances action sequences as well as musical scenes, and it’s the parts that are set in the permanent winter of the prince’s castle that utilize the 4DX effects best. There are gusts of wind and snow as the viewer ventures along with Belle and the Beast through the snow-covered grounds, and strategic sprays of mist startling you when you don’t expect it. Belle’s frosty reception by the Beast becomes real. Upon returning to her spring-time French village, the scent of roses welcoming the viewer are a nice touch as well.

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For the right film, 4DX works wonders. It helps immerse you in a thoughtfully created world. For a film you wouldn’t normally watch, it helps even more. This dad definitely will never watch a children’s movie in anything less than 4D.

Beauty and the Beast in 4DX is showing at Bonifacio High Street Cinemas.

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Christopher Puhm
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