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Tale as old as time… true as it may be. Barely even friends, then somebody bends. Unnnnnnexpectedly.”

So, is the title track for Beauty and the Beast now in your head? GOOD. Because it’s been stuck in mine all week and now I can finally let it out.

On Monday night – with special thanks to Disney and their promotional partners – my little gal and I snuck into the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum downtown {no really, we snuck! It was a sneak peek!} for a special preview of Beauty and the Beast.

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Unlike other movie sneaks, Disney wasn’t taking any chances and kindly requested all attendees turnover their phones at the door to avoid any filming or unapproved screen photos ahead of the official worldwide release. This gave Em and I a little extra special time to connect before the film started.

“Mom, do you remember when the first Beauty and the Beast movie came out in the olden days?” {My kids believe my youth consisted of black and white movies with straw rolling through the town on windy days as I whittled my own wooden shoes from fallen trees. Insert laugh here.}

“Yes honey. It was one of my favorites.”

“Why?”

“I just loved that Belle could look beyond the outside of the Beast and see the person he was inside. That his appearance didn’t matter and beauty truly comes from within.”

“Kind of like when you get home from running and smell and your hair is all crazy but I hug you anyway?”

“Ummmm, I suppose in a way, yes.”

“It’s because I know you’re mom inside.”

It was this sentiment weighing on my heart when the film began, 3D glasses covering our eyes. And friends, Disney – of course – didn’t disappoint. The movie was spectacularly done.  The tale we remember remains faithfully in tact.

Emma Watson shines as innocent villager Belle {forget the gripes you may have heard about her singing voice – I thought she was lovely!}; Luke Evans is perfectly cast in the role of Gaston; Matthew Crawley, er, Dan Stevens plays a true Beast through the layers of makeup; and the rest of the ensemble reads like a who’s who of Hollywood: Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Josh Gad and is that Ewan Macgregor?!

One of my favorite things about this movie though was how Disney writers dug deep into the original 18th century fairy tale and pulled out some long-lost plot details. They made for beautiful enhancements to the 1991 screenplay. We learned more behind the death of Belle’s mom and what the prince’s life was like before transforming into the Beast. And although I’ve seen the 1991 version about 4,276 times, I left the theater with a new appreciation of the tale now knowing more about the characters we have all come to love.

A couple of cautions to parents: The film does run a smidge longer than most at 129 minutes so keep that in mind if your littles tend to get wiggly. Also, remember the wolves in the forest when Belle’s father {and later Belle} go trekking through the woods? They’re particularly menacing and lead Em diving into my arms for cover.

So in all: There’s action, there’s love of family, there’s mystery, there’s character and of course, there’s romance. It remains a tale as old as time… true as it may be.

 

MORE INFO: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast arrives in theaters March 17, 2017. A number of locations in greater Indianapolis area will show it, including the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum and long-time partners to theCityMoms, Flix Brewhouse. Beauty and the Beast is rated PG with a runtime of 2 hours, 9 minutes. For more details and to view the trailer, visit Movies.Disney.com/beauty-and-the-beast-2017.

 

*Promotional image courtesy of Disney Studios.