‘Beauty and the Beast’ was the very first movie I ever saw in the cinemas. I was 4 years old and I fell absolutely in love with it. I loved the songs. I loved the characters. I loved the storyline. I loved the morals.
So, when it was announced that a live-action movie of it was being made, I wasn’t sure how to feel. While I loved Emma Watson as an actress, I was also worried that they would change too many things about the movie and ruin it in one way or another. Fortunately, I found out that wasn’t the case when I watched the film at our block screening in partnership with PMCM Management and Resorts World Manila last Thursday.
While the first few minutes did get me looking for little parts that I loved in the movie (that sheep who munches on Belle’s book while she sits by a fountain during ‘Belle’, for example, and the strange contraption that Maurice creates that Chip uses to help them escape), there was so much more to love about the movie overall.
10 Things the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Live-Action Movie Does Right
10. They send us down memory lane.
Although some lyrics in some of the songs were changed for the live-action movie, the movie as a whole stays quite true to the animated version. They use the same songs. The cast members look like their animated counterparts, for the most part. The costumes look exactly like in the animated movie – colours and all. And even certain scenes feel exactly like the old movie, particularly during ‘Kill the Beast’.
9. They add new songs.
Aside from the old songs that we all know and love, the live-action movie adds brand new songs for our listening pleasure, as well. The best part is that the songs fit in really well with the movie despite not being part of the original; and they are so good, they actually sound like they could fit into a Claude-Michel Schoenberg musical.
In fact, I like the song of the household objects reminiscing about human life in this new version more than ‘Human Again’ from the extended version of the animated movie. In case you haven’t seen that one, you can watch it here:
8. The costumes are marvellous.
As mentioned earlier, I absolutely love how they decided to retain the look of the costumes in the animated version of the movie. From Gaston’s bright red coat to Belle’s bright yellow dress, the costumes look amazing! I especially love Belle’s white dress in the last scene of the movie – something I would personally love to wear someday.
7. The cast is impeccable.
I’ve mostly read nothing but bad reviews on Emma Watson as Belle, but I have to disagree with them. While she isn’t as ‘Belle’ as I had hoped she would be, she gave the character a new flavor – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Luke Evans gave Gaston a new flavor, as well. All of the cast members, in general, do their characters justice, in my opinion; and it was an absolute joy watching them bring all of these characters from my childhood to life.
6. They focus on solid character development.
The movie focuses a lot on character development, as well – something that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ could definitely do with. While Gaston was just boorish and vain in the animated version, for instance, he veers away from that and shows how much of a troubled man he actually is. We get glimpses of why he is the way he is; the same goes for Maurice.
As for Belle, while she just seemed bored and ‘too smart’ for the people around her in the animated version, she is given real reasons to dislike the townspeople in this version. We also see more about her past and fill in some of the blanks of her life.
5. They introduce the first openly gay characters in a Disney movie.
Although some characters in Disney movies may have seemed a little gay (Scar in ‘The Lion King’ or Ryan Evans in ‘High School Musical’, anyone?), this is the first time that Disney has announced openly gay characters in one of their movies: LeFou, Gaston’s most loyal friend and follower. Aside from LeFou, though, there is also one guy who gets dressed in women’s clothes by the wardrobe; and, instead of running away screaming like all of the men do in the animated version, one of them poses for the camera and pouts. He also ends up dancing with LeFou at the end of the movie – LOVE WINS!
4. They inject a Harry Potter reference into it.
If you’re a Potterhead, I’m sure you caught this reference, too.
3. The visuals are stunning.
When I was younger, I was in awe of the artists who came up with and drew my favorite animated characters. Now, I am in awe of the people who are able to animate household objects the way that they did in the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ live-action movie. The entire dinner scene where they sing and dance to ‘Be Our Guest’ is quite a sight to behold. If I could, I would watch it over and over again!
2. They changed the ending.
Not everyone will agree with me on this, but I love that they changed the ending a little bit. Having the Beast seemingly die and the household objects turn inanimate really made that scene much sadder for me, especially since I was already terribly attached to them by the end of the movie.
1. They answer questions that have plagued our minds since the animated movie.
I don’t know about you, but the older I got, the more questions I started asking about ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Whatever happened to Belle’s mother? How did Belle get the Beast back to the castle after the wolf attack? If the castle was cursed for 10 years, how come the Beast doesn’t seem to have changed much from his clawed-at portrait? The live-action movie changes and adds certain things to make all of this make sense.
Have you seen the live-action movie yet? What did you think of it? Share your thoughts with us! 🙂