Back in November of 1991 Disney released their animated version of Beauty and the Beast which won Oscars for best original score and best original song. It was also the very first full length animated feature film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Nearly 25 1/2 years later Disney has brought this classic film to life in a live action version of the film. Will this movie live up to one of the most beloved movies of all time? Let’s take a look.
- The music. All of the classic songs are included and relatively unchanged but there are a few places where the beats are slightly different which adds a bit of freshness to these wonderful songs. There are also several new songs that go well with the rest of the movie.
- Emma Watson. The new Belle knocked it out of the park. She was the strong, smart, independent, warm woman that we expect Belle to be. Plus her singing voice was spot on as well. I think that Disney made the right casting choice.
- The changes. This movie is a little longer than its predecessor so there is some extra content. Some of it is taken up with the extra songs but there is also some extra story in between the musical numbers. Overall I liked most of the changes because the motives were made clear for many of the characters. Many of these scenes added a little more depth to the characters.
- I was worried that the singing would be not up to par, because big actors/actresses doesn’t guarantee good singing voices (Les Miserables anyone?) but that was not the case. Everyone had a great singing voice and the songs were equal and perhaps even better than the animated classic in some cases.
- While the story is more or less the same as the animated version, they did add some plot details that helped explain some plot holes that was there previously. While it only really bothered people who over analyzes cartoons (like me), it was nice that they did address some of plot holes from the original. Some of the additions didn’t work for me but I’ll get to it later.
- One of the most beautiful Disney films ever made. The art direction was top notch with the set design being well crafted and thought out to create the feeling of the film.
- The changes made to Maurice helped him to be a more relatable character, less nutty professor and more Geppetto. The more fleshed out relationship between him and Belle was a nice addition as well.
- The Beast was good for the most part and looked good when he moved like an animal. However, when he moves in more human ways, he seems clunky and awkward. The CG for that movement wasn’t on par with the rest of the movie. Beast also mumbled a lot of lines which was a little annoying.
- During Gaston’s song I felt like Gaston and LeFou were constantly being drowned out but the music and background singing which made it harder to understand the lyrics.
- (Kinda Spoilers) The back-story of Beast’s childhood was phoned in and didn’t really play a big enough part for it to make any big difference. It felt like they tried to explain Beast’s inner demons by simply saying, “oh its daddy issues.” It needed to either be a bigger part of the story or just removed entirely.
- The CG furniture characters were too complex in their design. While it looks more realistic the way they did it, there is a charm to the simple designs of the animated characters that was lost in this version. Their emotions didn’t come across as easily as their 2d-animated counterparts. Some might even find them more creepy than enduring.
- They didn’t give Beast a name so everyone including Belle calls him a Beast through out the whole movie. Even though Beast’s arc was proving to everyone that he wasn’t a beast. The horse even had a name (Phillip if you need to know).
Awkward Walk-In Meter: 1/5
Adam: The awkward moments are the three “Gay” moments that the Director mentioned in an interview. These moments are all harmless and most likely will be missed unless you are really looking for them. Even then they are very quick not offensive.
Adam: I really enjoyed this movie. I feel like it was a great adaptation of the most beloved animated film ever. I was satisfied with it but I know that it will always suffer from being compared to the animated version. However, it is totally worth going to see in the theater and enjoying with the whole family.
Luke: I enjoyed the movie overall as well. It’s a faithful adaptation to the animated classic with some plot additions that seemed to be made for the purpose of addressing the cinema sins review of the original. However it’s hard to say if this movie really stands on its own as it’s more-or-less the same movie and story. I call to question if a live action remake was even necessary as the original still stands on its own as one of the best Disney films ever made. If your a fan of the original you probably already saw it and I’m sure you loved it. If your not a fan, I don’t know if this version would really win you over.
Jacob: I also enjoyed the movie, and the wonderful production design should be nominated next year for an oscar.