We have been loving the slew of live action Disney films lately that have been bringing childhood favorites to life. The Beauty and the Beast previews have been getting us exciting for the past several months and we couldn't wait to go check it out and see this new project. We invited our friends and fellow Disney lovers Ben and Kathy (who LOVES B&B) to join...
Official film synopsis:
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
We have seen a handful of live action remakes of Disney animated classics, and this by far has been the best. Between the amazing special effects, slight changes/additions to the story, and acting, this movie will set the bar against which all future Disney live action remakes will be measured.
I have read in other places that some feel the animation of characters such as Lumiere, Chip, Mrs. Potts, and Cogsworth make them come across as creepy. I disagree as the detail, in my opinion, just adds character and another dimension that the animation just couldn’t achieve. I also disagree that the CGI detail could actually scare children. It was also a pleasant surprise that the filmmakers added a small addition to the plot that explains the loyalty these characters have to the Beast that the original didn’t get in to.
Not only were the live actors outstanding, the voice acting done for the various household objects in the castle was amazing and did a great job of bringing the characters to life. By no means am I second guessing the decision to cast Emma Watson as I believe she did an outstanding job. However, I still can’t get over an actress playing the role of Belle, who is historically French, with an English accent.
It seems that a majority of critics are bashing this movie but I completely disagree with their assessments. Maybe because the animated version was released when I was a child so I have fond memories of the animated movies Disney produced in that period but I thoroughly enjoyed Beauty and the Beast. And that is coming from someone who was a little nervous given the previews didn’t really excite me.
Make sure you stay through the credits. Disney designed a way to make the credits not just worth staying for, but more like part of the actual film. They created what basically amounts to an elaborate curtain call for each individual main character.
As everyone knows I love all the princess stories. Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favorites and I'm always a bit nervous to see something redone (what if they mess it up?). But I have to say this was pretty awesome. I think the casting was perfect and everyone performed beautifully.
The costumes, scenery and effects were all magical. I loved the humanization of the castle objects. The singing was lovely and they added a few new songs to the mix. I found this movie to have a great balance of having a lot of the original aspects intact (dialogue, storyline, etc.) but also introduced some new ideas. Having a bit more backstory added some depth to the characters and relationships. And small cinematic choices (like having the Beast's castle always cold and snowy) seemed to compliment the movie and never take away from the original.
It was amazing to see how the cartoon could be brought to life. The dancing dishes! The beautiful ballroom! I felt that I even cared about the characters a little more with this version. Definitely got some goosebumps at times too. The kid in me loved it, the artistic adult in me loved it, great job Disney!
Our Guests' Thoughts:
BEN: First of all, I must thank our good friends Julie and Andrew for allowing us to experience this event with them. I was a bit nervous about this live action retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The original was so perfect with its excellent casting, storytelling, and original music that I found it hard to imagine the live action rendition doing the tale justice. Wow was I wrong! I felt the movie added just the right amount of backstory for its main characters Belle and the Beast, answering some questions the 1991 original left open. Other characters also receive some welcomed backstory and development, further cementing our attachment to them. There is something about the original musical score (Especially Angela Lansbury’s contributions as Mrs. Potts), that is just timeless to me and can’t ever be replaced. Having said that, both Emmas (Watson and Thompson), offer excellent musical performances. The movie also adds just the right amount of comedic relief, which never feels unnecessary or forced. The sets and CGI in this movie were over the top in detail, but not to the point that it felt like too much. In true Disney fashion, I expect to notice something new each time I re-watch the movie, and with my wife being the Beauty and the Beast fan that she is, I’m sure that will be quite often!
KATHY: To say that I am a huge Beauty and the Beast fan is an understatement. Ever since I was aware that Disney was making a live action rendition of my all-time favorite movie I have reverted to the 6-year-old wide eyed little girl I was when the original movie was released. I never imagined the impact that the character of Belle would have on me as a little girl. Her independent nature and fearlessness taught me that you do not need to conform to social norms in order to find your happiness. That you are free to pave your own way. It is no wonder that I have anticipated the live action movie to see how Emma Watson would bring my favorite character to life. I absolutely admire Watson for her role in Harry Potter as Hermione Granger (my other all-time favorite character in a movie). I expected nothing but greatness for Watson as Belle. I am happy to say that she did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, the choices for the cast could not have been better! From Lumiere, to Cogsworth, to Mrs. Potts, LeFou and yes…even Gaston, every actor brought to life the iconic characters they were entrusted to play. From the tantalizing musical numbers to the amazing visual captivation, this rendition of Beauty and the Beast left me smiling from ear to ear (cue snowball fight), gave me goose bumps (library scene), and brought tears to my eyes sympathizing for our inanimate friends. I look forward to re-watching this “ tale as old as time” in theatres and owning it once it comes out on DVD. It will sit next to my favorite Disney movie…the original Beauty and the Beast!
This movie is best for: Kids of the 90's will reminisce with this tale as old as time while young audiences should enjoy it too. If you are a big fan see it in the theater for the gorgeous scenes.
Official movie site: http://movies.disney.com/beauty-and-the-beast-2017