I originally decided that I wouldn’t post a review of this film because I don’t think I could add much to the plentiful, more expert reviewers. However, I have another post in the works about these Disney live action adaptations and I decided to change my mind.
Personal reasons aside, Beauty and the Beast was a joy to watch: providing both nostalgia and something entirely new to all audiences.
The story was faithful to the animated film however, it does give some insight to certain plot points that were glossed over in the original. For example, the film explains how everyone forgot about the Prince and expanded the backstories of the characters – notably Belle and the Beast.
Casting was great as Emma Watson fit into the lead role nicely and helped re-invent a classic character for modern society. While others could have brought Belle more to life, it was nice to see a familiar face grace the screen with her presence and her performance was a beauty in itself. And the signature yellow dress: AMAZING.
Dan Stevens handled the Beast’s tortured state as well as his grace impeccably (and was a great improvement from the animated version in my own opinion). On the other hand, Luke Evans as Gaston was perfect to a tee and the moment when Josh Gad’s Le Fou (who was also great within the film) calmed Gaston with memories of the war was comically wonderful.
The music remained loyal to the animation while introducing three new original songs and it was a joy to reminisce as well as hear something new and unexpected. However, at times, some musical numbers felt forced into the movie but mid-way they found their place. Either way, the music is great but how it fits into the film dragged it down.
I’m going to be completely honest and say that the opening scene with the Prince before the spell terrified me with the makeup. The costuming was beautiful and magnificent but the makeup in the past (as well as parts of the present) were just outright scary. On that note, was I the only one who found the animation of Chip and Mrs. Potts strange, creepy and off-putting?
In the end, it was a beautiful homage to the original animated film and expanded the world of Beauty and the Beast – even if it was only minor little details here and there. I’m probably repeating myself but everything about the movie was great. It was just missing that (to quote Le Fou) je ne sais quoi the animation had before.