“Beauty and the Beast” an Old Tale Retold

 

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

Disney has been taking older movies, especially animated or partially animated, and remaking them. For many of us Disney fans this is a mix of excitement about our favorite films being live action but nervousness about whether they will ruin it or not. 

Beauty and the Beast is the story of Belle a young woman living in a small French village with her father. Belle doesn’t exactly fit into her small village where everyone is content with who they are, what they’re doing, and everything else in their lives. All Belle wants to do is go out, explore, and find new things. When her father is taken captive by a beast at an enchanted castle, Belle offers to take his place. What starts as an imprisonment turns to adventure as Belle explores the castle and learns of the curse that enchanted the people of the castle turning them into what they are. 

I was very excited to see one of my favorite stories become a live action movie. I had a lot of expectations and a lot of worries about how this film would come together, but I wasn’t disappointed. The casting was one of the things that got me really excited about this film. Emma Watson as Belle seemed a good fit and I agree it was a good choice. In addition the supporting cast of Emma Thompson, Ian McKellan, Ewan McGreggor, Kevin Kline, and others rounded out this star studded and well executed cast. 

Unlike earlier remakes of “Cinderella” and “Pete’s Dragon” by Disney, “Beauty and the Beast” did include the songs from the animated film as well as two new songs written specifically for the film. Few of the actors cast in roles that require singing had experience but the singing fit the film. The iconic songs “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast” were especially critical. While the pacing and execution of “Be Our Guest” wasn’t the same as in the original film, it was a perfect fit with this film, though Ewan McGreggor’s French accent was at time a bit distracting. Emma Thompson’s cockney tone to “Beauty and the Beast” was magical and fit so well with the scene and the movie it is on par with the original by Angela Lansbury. 

In addition to the music, the graphics and visual detail of the film are beautifully done. The castle and its inhabitants really come to life in the film making your feel like you’re in an enchanted castle as well. The musical number of “Be Our Guest” is so vivid and engaging, it’s just fun to watch. 

Like “Cinderella’ which came out in 2015 this version of “Beauty and the Beast” had the same basic story line as the original animated film but also added more to it making it more engaging for adult audiences. That being said, it doesn’t make the film unable to watch for young audiences. The running time of just over two hours might make it a bit long for some to see in the theater. 

As someone who grew up with the original animated film and loved it, I have to say that I was floored by this movie and I loved it. I would strongly encourage fans of the original to see this film, as well as anyone new to the film. I give it five out of five stars. You will laugh, you will want to cry, and you’ll sing along with some of your favorite Disney songs.