I've always loved fairy tales and much prefer reading them to watching filmed adaptations, but I do have some fairy tale movies I've enjoyed. I'd include this one and the entire Shelley Duvall Fairy Tale Theater series. I own this one but none of the Duvall series. Hmmm... must check availability... Not bad at under $40. But, back to the Cocteau version...
Moria gives it 5/5 stars and says, " Cocteau evokes a pure cinematic magic." Slant Magazine says, "Beauty and the Beast is the best of his [Cocteau's] five feature films and the greatest fable of his entire oeuvre" and describes it as "A near-perfect cinematic integration of beguiling fantasy, hard-won technical achievement, and sophisticated self-reflection". Roger Ebert has it on his list of Great Movies and says,
Its devices penetrate the usual conventions of narrative, and appeal at a deeper psychic level. Cocteau wanted to make a poem, wanted to appeal through images rather than words, and although the story takes the form of the familiar fable, its surface seems to be masking deeper and more disturbing currents. It is not a "children's film."DVD Talk calls it "a bonafide classic" and says, "Few films can transport the audience to another land in the same way it does." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 94%.
Because it a retelling of a fairy tale, I'm including it in the Once Upon a Time Challenge Quest on Screen.