I was transported back to my childhood. Playing the VHS and rewinding it and playing it again and again.
Not sure if these are spoilers but I’m warning you either way.
If you don’t know the story I don’t think you’re human but I’ll level with you. This movie is a live action retelling of Disney’s 1991 animated film. A prince was cursed by an Enchantress because he had no love in his heart. The prince was then turned into a beast and his servants were turned into objects. A rose was given to the now beast and would bloom into his 21st birthday. If he didn’t learn to love and have someone love him he would be doomed to stay a beast forever. Okay…good!
Now THIS MOVIE not only managed to bring that beloved story to life but answered some major questions that we’ve all had at one point while watching the animated movie. I’ll talk about that throughout the review.
Oh one more thing. The casting. THE COULD NOT HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB!!! Okay, now we may continue.
From the beginning the film you realize that they changed that particular part of the story. To be honest I think it was a better explanation than the animated film. Makes more sense, if you really think about it.
Belle (Emma Watson) is known as the town’s outcast. Her love for literature is frown upon, being the only one who could, besides the librarian. her only escape is through books and her supportive father, who is also the outcast of the town.Emma Watson brought Belle to life! Her strength, intelligence, and wits all the things we loved about Belle was shown because is basically Belle.
Movements that the characters from the animated film did were replicated which made this movie all the more magical! You would notice them if you watched Beauty and the Beast so many times that it’s engraved in your brain.
There is no way that they could make this film without some of the original songs from the original. Not only were some of our favorites added but Alan Menken, the OG from the original, returned and composed it once again. The second the song “Belle” started I began to whisper sing (no one hears me sing).
Luke Evans as Gaston…the dude is Gaston! His facial expressions and his movements, his entire attitude screamed Gaston. When I say they nailed the cast, THEY MADE THIS CAST THEIR BITCH! Gaston is the town’s favorite guy, guys want to be him and girls want to be with him, with the expectation of Belle. While other see it as a long shot, Gaston sees it as a challenge and one he plans on winning. You can’t have Gaston without his loyal pal LeFou (Josh Gad). Josh Gad, voice of Olaf, brought what we knew he would bring. Humor! Josh Gad was born to play LeFou!
Music, and the most perfect cast ever, I was dying to see the interaction between Beast and Belle. So when the second both characters come on screen I was on the edge of my seat. Hats off to the makeup artist and special effects crew you created the Beast. He wasn’t weird looking but a animalitic man. Think about it cause it makes sense! Although I cried about 4 times, maybe more, this was one of my favorite scenes and cried a bit harder. The chemistry between Beast and Belle was just as magical as the love story that is Beauty and the Beast. I was shipping HARD AF!
You can’t have Beauty and the Beast without Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian Mckellen) and Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson). These characters bring so much humor and heart that you feel as connected to them as you do with the main characters. The creativity behind these new takes on beloved characters was absolutely astonishing.
There were some changes in Belle’s and Beast backstory but there was also some answers that the animated film forgot to mention. Such as their parents. Belle had her father but there was never any mention of her mother and was became of her. With Beast, he was cursed and so were his staff and yet his parents were no where to be found. The explanation for both parents I thought was very clever. Especially on Beast side because he reflects on the type of person he grew up to being and one of the reasons why he was cursed, besides him being totally about looks.
If I had to change one thing it would be with Beast when he decides to free her. Instead of him roar in heart break as he did in the animated film he had song which was a beautiful score but I didn’t feel the impact of it. I think it would have made it more powerful if he had roared in pain over the loss of Belle.
Now there’s a lot of controversy regarding LeFou being an openly gay character, a first in Disney. Look what you feel is how you feel, not here to state rather it’s wrong or right, to his it’s own. I will say ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME! You really thought this guy was straight? The guy sang a song about his adoration for Gaston! Come on people! Fine you really didn’t think about it. Okay. THE MOVIE DOESN’T SHOW ANYTHING! Hearing stories about theaters refusing to show it or parents cancelling their trips to Disneyland because of this is absolutely mind boggling. But again what they choose is their choice. The “gay moment” was less than a second and one that if you blinked you would have missed it. I won’t say when and where because if you don’t notice it there is your answer.
For those who didn’t know here is a fun fact! Howard Ashman, the lyricist for the animated film and winner of 2 academy awards, was a gay man who passed before the films release. He was so passionate about Beauty and the Beast because he saw it as his story about a man living a curse, a man with AIDS, and his curse would be broke by a cure. LeFou as a gay character is a homage to the late and talented Howard Ashman.
The fact that a character, not even the main character, was made gay didn’t take away from the story that was being told. I found it touching and beautiful that they honored someone who was responsible for creating the most beautiful music in the world of Disney, in my childhood and of others, for someone who loved what he did and he didn’t get to see it.
I will say that you end up liking LeFou more than the animated film, Josh Gad has some funny lines!
Beauty and the Beast took my back to my childhood. It was absolutely amazing that brought tears to my eyes. The managed to bring to life a beloved classic and made it it’s own while respecting the original. A story about love, friendship, bravery, knowing that your different and that’s okay and seeing someone from within instead of what they look like. Is it better? There both different even though they’re telling the same story. I can appreciate both, watch both and enjoy both. The animated film will always have a place in my heart and this version just adds to it. They did an incredible job and one you see that they worked hard in creating to give the best movie they can. You can’t ask for more!