More than 20 years after Beauty And The Beast became the first animated feature to contest the Oscar for Best Picture, Disney’s “tale as old as time” returns to multiplexes in a glorious new 3D print.

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise’s fairytale still casts a heady spell, fashioning glorious family entertainment from the familiar European folk tale, with the clever additions of talking furniture and infectious songs.

Beauty And The Beast is arguably Disney’s finest hand-drawn animation, edging ahead of The Little Mermaid and The Lion King in terms of heartfelt emotion.

We completely believe the relationship between the central characters, and their love for each other.

Gaston is a delicious, swaggering villain, with a cleft chin that could topple empires, while Cogsworth and Lumiere provide much of the comic relief, some of it going above the heads of younger audiences.

“If it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it!” jests the clock during a guided tour of the castle’s impressive architecture.

The screen bursts with colour throughout and even though the animation looks dated now, which is to be expected, the characters still retain impressive detail, especially in their facial expressions.