So it’s probably slowly becoming obvious that I am extremely obsessed with Disney, and I truly believe that I can live my life as a Disney princess. I love all of the animated classics, and will fight anyone who does not. That being said, I have found the live action remakes hit and miss (I’m looking at you, Jungle Book). I have had great faith in the new Beauty and the Beast from the get go, and have avoided as many trailers and news, just to give myself the most authentic experience. It’s safe to say that it worked, and I have fallen in love with the tale of Belle and her Beast once again.
This review will be full of plot spoilers (it’s old, technically, so I figured that was okay).
The tale of the Enchantress is always beautiful, so it was great to see it envisaged with more of a back story to give the film context. Little Town, the opening song, was truly beautiful. This is one of my favourite songs after being in the musical version with my theatre group, and the shot by shot remake was breathtaking. The colours were poignant and the setting was beautiful, perfectly illustrating the provincial town Belle lives in. I thought Emma Watson was a great choice for Belle, and the casting in general was on point. Gaston’s characterisation was a nice twist to the original, and I felt like it added layers to the story.
Despite the film being largely the same as the original, this did not bother me. Pete’s Dragon is a great examples of live action remakes that twists the story and with great success. However, I loved that Beauty and the Beast was almost identical to the ’91 original. The Baroque-style update on the animated characters, whilst drastically changing their appearance, fitted in with the set, style and period, and it really worked for me. The animation was beautiful and contextualised the remake. This was really helped by Belle’s flashback of sorts, helping us to understand her past and empathise with her. Not only was this a beautiful addition to the story we all know and love, we also learnt her past alongside the Beast, putting us in his shoes.
The film progressed through songs which showcased the talent of the actors, as well as the incredible animation, such as Be Our Guest. However, it wasn’t all a jolly ride. The Mob Song gave me goosebumps and tears filled my eyes. The singing was so intense, I truly feared for the Beast. From this moment on, Beauty and the Beast had me on the edge of the seat and arm to my mouth. Suddenly, the film was tense, with suspense gripping the auditorium. The castle-top fight made me gasp aloud, and weep silently with tears of sadness and then joy.
Almost 24 hours later and I’m still not sure I’ve completely processed how much I loved the live action remake. I would urge everyone to watch this film, young and old. I also assure all hardcore Disney original fans that this film delivers, and does not change my opinion on the original (which I debated watching right after getting home, as it made me love it even more).
A 10/10 film and another classic from Disney! A must- see, happy watching!