A tale as old as time, the “Beauty and the Beast” remake of 2017 is a beautiful live action film that brings elements from the original animation to the table while incorporating its own spin. Not only as a remake of a Disney classic, but with major actress Emma Watson as Belle, and actor Dan Stevens as the Beast, the movie sets itself up for popularity before it was ever even released. Since its release on Mar. 17, the film has brought in 392 million dollars and has a 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Our princess, Belle, is a relatable and charming character that Watson brings to life. In an interview after the movie was released, Watson said that this was her first full blown musical. While she isn’t known for her singing, Watson did a decent job with the music and the film had many of the recognizable songs from the original animation.
The movie begins by telling the short story of how the prince was turned beast, then continues to bring us the story of Belle, a young woman with a love for books and art. When taken captive into the Beast’s home, she quickly finds herself making friends with the other residents of the castle, and, unsurprisingly, running into trouble with the Beast.
The cinematic charm of Beauty and the Beast was beautiful, and the use of CGI was moderate but still well done. Other live action Disney remakes, such as the “Jungle Book,” which almost entirely utilized CGI were commended for their tactics. “Beauty and the Beast” was no different.
The musical numbers were great, although some felt a little out of place. They added new songs from the original and kept many of the classics, and as mentioned previously, Watson has a wonderful singing voice. It’s obvious that she’s not a professional but she still did a lovely job.
The best part of “Beauty and the Beast” was the nostalgia that it brought to the vast majority of viewers. The original animated version of “Beauty and the Beast” was released in 1991, making most of the people who mark the classic as part of their childhood in their mid-twenties or early thirties. This definitely helps the reviews and makes people love this remake even more.
Leading up to the release of “Beauty and the Beast,” there was mild controversy over the inclusion of a gay character, LeFou. It caused a theater in Alabama not to show the film and quite a few parents to ban their kids from watching it. The character is seen dancing with another boy near the end of the movie and is seen as a joke through most of the film.
Others are mixed on how they feel about the attempt of representation. It’s divided as to whether this was a progressive move for Disney or a cheap move to get the views of the LGBT community without doing any real justice to the character.
There certainly needs to be some real representation, but for Disney, any step is a good step.
Despite this controversy, “Beauty and the Beast” didn’t take even the slightest hit in the box office and two weeks after release continues to thrive.
The filming, music, familiar story line, and new twists makes the magic of this movie worth the while. It’s not an exact replica of the animation but remains faithful to the story. The beloved characters, Belle and the Beast, and all the trapped inhabitants of the castle, continue to capture the hearts of many, from animation to live action.