As of late, Disney has been actively reimagining their movies into live action versions. Movies like Maleficient, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book have seen a fair amount of success. The newest film added to this line-up of live action movies is Beauty and the Beast. Following the route of The Jungle Book, Walt Disney Studios decided to tackle one of the most iconic movies, music and all. The challenge was huge due to the popularity of Beauty and the Beast, it was the first of the Disney animated movies to have
The challenge was huge due to the popularity of Beauty and the Beast. After all, it was the first of the Disney animated movies to have a Broadway show. Fortunately, they challenge was met and in my opinion, exceeded. I went in with fairly high expectations and can happily say that I laughed, cried, and even got goosebumps. Beauty and the Beast was truly everything I wanted to see and more! Below I’m going to go a little more in-depth into my thoughts about the various components of the movie but rest assured I won’t spoil all of the fun!
The overall movie is not only visually stunning, but the story is also really fantastic. While it is based on the animated version, the story has been built out far more. The development of characters is quite noticeable. We are given more background on the Beast, Belle and Maurice’s relationship, how Gaston and LaFou are connected, and more. The script is clever and well thought out. You are certain to laugh, cry, and get all of those great nostalgic feels.
Every scene in the movie whets your visual appetite. Whereas the animation in the original was groundbreaking and stunning, the visual effects in the live action version are equally so. You feel immersed in this fantasy world forgetting that teapots and candelabras don’t really talk.
As a Harry Potter fan, I may have initially been biased towards the casting of this movie. Having Emma Watson who is known as the bookishly smart Hermione Granger as the bookish Disney Princess is pure casting genius in my mind. Initially, I was concerned that her British accent in a French setting would be too distracting. However, once immersed in the film, it is nowhere near the forefront of your mind. Luke Evan’s Gaston is also spot on. I can’t think of one actor in Hollywood who could have done it better.
Surprisingly, Josh Gad’s LaFou stole the show. I am one of those weird people who can’t stand Frozen, especially Olaf. That being said, my fears that he would turn LaFou into a version of Olaf never came to fruition. He gave LaFou a new life. Combined with the build up of LaFou’s story, Josh Gad easily made LaFou a favorite for me.
One of the most memorable aspects of the animated version of Beauty and the Beast is the music. This version of the movie took an already great soundtrack and somehow made it even better. I was unsure if this group of actors and actresses could hold a candle to the original. The answer is simply, yes. Emma Watson’s singing may not have been perfect (she is an actress after all) but over the course of the movie, it improved and grew on me. Dan Stevens (The Beast) and Kevin Kline also impressed with their own songs respectively.
Speaking of those songs, Beauty and the Beast made a few changes to the original songs, which fit into the more developed narrative of the film. Original composer Alan Menkin also wrote new songs for the movie. Songs like How Does a Moment Last Forever, Days in the Sun, and Evermore add more emotional depth to the film’s original upbeat soundtrack.
Overall, Beauty and the Beast met my expectations and exceeded them in every way. This is one of the few movies that I would actually be willing to pay to see in the theater more than once. Every detail of this movie shouts perfection. It is definitely a treat for those who saw the original in the theater and for new younger movie goers.