Movie: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure, Musical

Title: Beauty and the Beast

Release Date: 17 March 2017

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Summary:

Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.

What I Liked:

Since I’m a huge Beauty and the Beast fan, I’ll try to only talk about the new stuff in this section, a.k.a. the stuff that they changed from the cartoon.  Otherwise, this was would become more of an essay and less of a blog post.

I liked the exploration of the character’s backstory.  Although, I do wish that Belle had maybe been a little older when they left Paris (older than a baby, less than 5yo), if only so her version of How Does a Moment Last Forever had a little bit more of an emotional impact.  She would have 0 memories of anything about Paris is she was an infant.  If she was a small child, she would have maybe a few blurry and vague memories, which would make finding out the truth have a bigger impact (…imo, anyway…).

Also, Disney finally fixed the timeline issues from the cartoon!  No more last petal falling on when the Beast is 21yo.  No more “10 years we’ve been rusting…” line.   No more Beast being a literal child when he was cursed, which was a total dick move by the enchantress!

Speaking of the enchantress, I liked that she stuck around.  I wish she had a bigger role, though.  Yeah, she’s there and she does a few things, but mostly she just…watches everyone else doing stuff.

The more I hear the new song, the more I like them.  They maybe don’t mesh 100% with the old songs, but the really work well together using similar musical themes.  I’ll admit that the first time I saw the movie, I was like, “The new songs are okay, but they should have just used songs from the Broadway musical.”  But then we wouldn’t have Evermore, and I would be sad, so I was obviously wrong.

All the actors did a good job.  Emma Watson IS Belle.  And I loved her clothes.  I loved that the Beast liked books and reading too, and that they bantered and had discussions about reading.  It really gave them something to bond over and made their relationship seem more natural and real.

What I Didn’t:

EMMA THOMPSON’S VOICE IS THE WORST!  I normally think that she is a great actress, but what was she even trying to do here?  Her fake accent is terrible and grating and I hat, hate, HATE it!!!

They over auto-tuned a few times in the music.  Emma Watson sounds fine, until the auto tune turns her into a robot on the end of a few lines. WHY?!?!?!?  I’m sure it sounded human and fine without it!!!!

It also takes Belle WAY too long to say “I love you” at the end.  I’m pretty sure she actually failed to break the curse because she waited to long.  The enchantress was just nice enough to bring everybody back to life.

Overall:

Beauty and the Beast has been one of my favorite Disney movies since I originally saw it 25 years ago at 3yo.  I was both incredibly excited and nervous to see the live action version, and I have to say,  I really, really liked it.  I haven’t been on board of the Disney live-action adaptation train thus far, and though I did enjoy this movie a lot, I’m still wary about the coming adaptations.

There’s something about Beauty and the Beast that just connects with so many people.  The music is fantastic, and the characters and songs are so iconic.  I’m not sure that there’s really any other Disney’s animation that can compare in style and appeal, so Beauty and the Beast was really tailor-made to become a live-action adaptation eventually, but Dumbo? Mulan? Aladdin?  I’m still apprehensive.

I could ramble on and on about this movie some more, but I think it would just be me constantly repeating myself and saying things like, “It was amazing!”  So I’m almost done.

My final note is the “controversy” surrounding Lefou.  First off, I wish that the hadn’t announced it and made it “a thing,” because everything got blown out of proportion.  Does he obviously have a crush on Gaston? Yes.  Does he dance with a man at the end? Yes.  But the only reason to mention it at all before the release was to stir up controversy and free press.  I would have enjoyed these little moments better if I didn’t know they were coming, although it was awesome that my theater clapped when Lefou started dancing with Stanley.  Thank you, Southern California, for being awesome! (And yes, I totally ship Stanfou, which of course is already a thing because of the internet).  🙂

My Rating: 4.5/5

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