It’s simply enchanting. A wonderful music score, dazzling magical effects, scrumptious humour and a great cast make this classic fairy tale a winner. Of course, the film is a different experience to the 1991 animated version, whose music score was also penned by Alan Menken; comparisons are futile. What this spanking new, big budget extravaganza offers is a darker reality, complete with moody, gothic production design and Emma Watson perfectly cast as the romantic, well-read Belle, who believes that books make small corners of the world feel big. It may be a family film, but it does not play very young – either in tone or the running time, although the 129 minutes simply fly. A beastly hero, a magic spell, a spirited heroine and a castle filled with quirky characters in the guise of inanimate objects… The scene is set for an uplifting magic carpet ride into fantasy, propelled by music, whimsy and a promise of happily ever after.