Whenever a studio decides to remake a classic film I have loved for years, whether animated or live action, I get a little nervous. After all, it's a part of my childhood being recreated, and that can be traumatic and disappointing if it isn't done well.
Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast adaptation will not leave you disappointed. I had seen the first 8 minutes at the Disney Social Media Mom's Celebration last month and was anxiously awaiting the opportunity to see the rest. The opening village scene with Belle singing “Belle” was so reminiscent of the 1991 animated classic and so well done. The rest of the movie follows suit.
Here are 7 Reasons You Will Fall in Love with Disney's Live-Action Beauty and the Beast.
1. Dan Stevens as the Beast is EVERYTHING.
I've been a Dan Stevens fan since Downton Abbey, but his deep baritone voice showcased in Beauty and the Beast? He almost stole the entire film for me as he sang the film's new song Evermore. Can Dan Stevens please have a singing role in everything he does? I can't believe he “learned to sing” (as he has put it in several big media interviews) for this role. His voice is phenomenal. Be still my musical-loving heart. And when he is no longer the Beast at the end but Prince Adam? I felt like I was looking at a human replica of the 1991 animated prince. Spot on.
2. The reimagined “Be Our Guest” is flawless.
This scene is so iconic to the original animated classic that you just don't know how you're going to feel about it as a live action. I was so pleased. The authenticity of the scene really made me feel like I was sitting in a real castle with real enchanted talking/singing dinnerware and finishings. The special effects in this scene and the rest of the movie? Spectacular.
3. Emma Watson as Belle is so right.
I was a touch worried I would see Hermoine through the entire movie, but I didn't. I saw Belle. Emma Watson portrayed Belle so naturally. And while she's no Paige O'Hara vocally, she's good. More than good enough to make you feel like she's Belle and the whole package. They also take care to address the Stockholm syndrome you see in the original movie and she's even more of a strong, independent woman than she is in the original film. She's seen as more of a heroine in this film.
4. I could watch a whole movie of just Gaston scenes.
The scenes with Luke Evans as Gaston are gold. They are so energetic and lively. Luke Evans as Gaston was an epic casting choice. He's the ultimate Gaston and every scene with Gaston is just pure entertainment. I could watch a movie of Gaston scenes strung together simply for the entertainment value.
5. Josh Gad as LeFou.
Seriously, there could not have been a better selection for LeFou. He plays the role so effortlessly and perfectly, and the little twist at the end? Perfection.
Regarding the whole big media elephant in the room and LeFou's sexuality? First, any nods to LeFou being gay are subtle and there's nothing significantly different about the LeFou character's sexuality in 2017 than there was in 1991. Second, with so much of the original 1991 story being an allegory to Howard Ashman's fight against AIDS and the AIDS crisis, it's not surprising that you would find some reference to his community in his work to begin with. Look at all of the films he's worked on. The subtext is there. Third, Seriously? Get over yourselves. It's 2017 and shocker…people are gay! And many of them are out! But I digress.
6. The new backstory.
One thing Disney always does is create a new backstory, not simply retell the exact story. Beauty and the Beast is no exception and it was done seamlessly. It's not simply a remake, scene for scene of the original movie but a reimagining with a new backstory paying homage to the original.
7. The new music.
While I love the original Beauty and the Beast soundtrack from 1991 and the Original Broadway Cast Recording from 2006, I'm always excited to see more music created to tell a story (that's the Broadway/musical nerd in me). The new songs like Evermore, How Does a Moment Last Forever, and Days in the Sun are seamless additions to the classic tracks.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Online
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST enchants viewers in theatres everywhere on March 17th, 2017!