Tale as Old as Time: A Beauty and the Beast Film (2017) Review

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Be Our Guest, be our guest, put our movie to the test, grab your popcorn from concessions, dear, and we’ll provide the rest.

“Is this one going to be a straight remake of the original?”  “What about the music? Are they just going to use the original score?”

This live action remake of a classic Disney film, like the previous ones, is good.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s good.

There are a lot of things that hit right in the nostalgic feels.  The opening, for example, is directly adapted from the original performance of “Belle” from the animated classic.  Another one is the dance to the titular song.

This one provides a couple additions that were not present in the animated version of 1991. We get a backstory for Belle that shows her inheriting her father’s creative genius.  We also get an explanation for why it’s just her and her father.  We also get to see the Beasts backstory.

In addition to those backstories, we also get a few new songs, such as “How can a Moment Last Forever?,”  a duet sang across the mansion from one another.  All of this among many other changes.  However, these changes aren’t for the worse.  In fact, the changes/additions are a welcome refresher to a wonderful classic.  It makes the film feel just different enough to distinguish itself as a separate film not meant to be compared side by side to the old film.

The scenery is nothing short of beauty.  The snow-covered grounds and forest in particular were captivating.

Emma Watson perfectly portrays the beloved Disney princess right down to her singing voice.  She looks just as beautiful in the classic yellow dress as her voice sounds singing “Belle” at the beginning.  This was good casting to bring the animated “Beauty” into live action.

Dan Stevens is passable as beast (perhaps he isn’t as…aggressively toned), but does fit better as the prince.

With that being said, the good thing about a live action retelling is that we can not just have to feel the emotions being portrayed by the characters, but with human interaction, we can feel, see, and be touched by the fear that Belle initially has and the love that grows between the titular characters.  It progresses more naturally in the live-action version than in the animated version.  One could say that Belle used Alohamora on the Beasts heart and taught him to love.

With the success of this movie, watch for even more live-action remakes of classic Disney films.  (I believe they’ve already started filming the Lion King live action remake.)

8.9/10

 

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