So it’s official! The long wait for the live action Beauty and the Beast is over and it is absolutely amazing! On Wednesday evening I went to a Girl’s Night Out preview screening at the cinema to watch it, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. My mum and I made a really good night of it, and I did a bit of Disney bound of Belle and wore BATB nail wraps. I even bought a Beauty and the Beast water bottle! I’m so glad we decided to go to this special screening, as the energy in the room was buzzing with anticipation and it was so much fun. The movie definitely made it worth it!
I thought today I would do a little bit of a spoiler free review on it, just to give you my (very Fangirlish) thoughts and compare it a little bit to the original.
From the moment the Disney screen came on, it just felt like there was magic in the air. They even used the Beast’s castle for the screen instead of the normal Disney castle, which I thought was very cool.
It had the same fairy tale introduction with a narrator over the top explaining the whole curse thing, but this was the start of it going even more in depth than the original, as from the start you learned more about the curse.
The scenes in Belle’s town sort of reminded me of the Hobbit village in Lord of the Rings, I think partly because everyone is so small minded, and Belle and Frodo want more than their little life. Emma Watson was fabulous from the start, and really can sing. She was the perfect Belle and I really can’t imagine anyone else playing her now that I’ve seen it.
Gaston and Lefou were hilarious and had such a funny relationship (even though as time goes on, you realize that Gaston is not only vain and self centered but actually a very bad person). Their scenes in the tavern reminded me a bit of scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean which I know is an odd thing to say, but it just had that feel that was sort of like Tortuga!
Everyone was so perfectly cast from the main characters like Belle and the Beast, to Gaston, to all the members of the castle, like Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs Potts. Even the villagers were cast perfectly. I really enjoyed how they included quite a few persons of colour, which the original film really didn’t have.
I was really surprised to find that so many of the actors could sing really well. I know that would have been part of what got them cast, but I had no idea before this film that Emma Watson, Emma Thompson and even Ewan McGregor could sing. I didn’t really know much about Dan Stevens before this film, but he had a gorgeous voice as well.
On the topic of singing, I think one of the reasons I loved this movie so much was that, unlike the Cinderella live action, it included all the original songs and really was a musical. They also added several new songs, which I’ve had stuck in my head since I saw the movie and they didn’t feel out of place at all. They added to the story and blended seamlessly with all the original music. Evermore especially was one of my favourites and it breaks my heart just thinking about it.
The whole movie was much more noticeably French than the original and had frequent mentions of Paris, the war, and lots of other French things. There were quite a few moments when it felt very similar to Les Miserables, in it’s production and style, and during one song my mum and I both turned to each other and just said ‘Les Mis’ (we love Les Miserables, so this was a good thing for us). There were also moments when the costumes and interior design reminded me of the Parisian scenes in Outlander.
I know there have been a few questions surrounding the original movie for years, about why the whole castle got cursed, why the beast is so mean, and what happened to Belle’s mother. The remake answered all of these really well, and gave a lot more backstory to Belle and the Beast I thought. The producers didn’t take away from the original film, they just added things in to make the story even better where they could.
The costumes were so cool and were a perfect recreation of the original ones. It would have been weird I think, if they just turned the cartoon costumes into fabric, like cosplay and wouldn’t have looked as real, but they still made sure that they had the essence of the original film.
Belle’s yellow dress was stunning and the pictures and posters really didn’t do it justice. When she was dancing with the Beast it was so flowy and beautiful from every angle. The details on it were incredible and it was a really nice recreation of the original dress, since it wouldn’t have looked realistic to use the original design I think. The original dress worked perfectly in the animation but would have looked a bit dorky and out of place in the live action.
I’m seriously considering getting this dress made in white for when I get married at some point in the distant future.
I’ve always loved Belle and the Beast’s relationship. How much it grows and changes from hate to love, and how much they both develop as characters. Like the rest of the movie, the adaption did a wonderful job of capturing it and there were so many moments I was nearly squealing because of how perfect they were. Emma and Dan were fantastic, and the few extra scenes they added to develop Belle and the Beast’s relationship fit in perfectly and didn’t feel out of place, even though they weren’t in the original. Also, there were times when I was completely blown away with how much they were like Rhysand and Feyre. It was like I was watching them come to life sometimes (hence why I am now rereading ACOMAF again because I needed a fix).
I could go on and on and on about this film and I might do a more spoilery review once it’s been out a bit longer, but for the moment I think I might wrap it up here.
I will always love the original film for what it is and it will have a special place in my heart, but this adaption has now earned a spot there as well and it was everything I hoped for and more. They really couldn’t have done a better job and I can’t wait to watch it again and again and again, because it’s now one of my all time favourite movies.
I definitely recommend seeing it, even if you aren’t the biggest Disney fan, purely just to see how magical it is and how amazingly all the characters and places were brought to life (the animation of the castle characters was some of the best I’ve ever seen). I think I will even take my dad to see it, since I know he’ll think the costumes, CGI and acting is amazing (also I’ll get to see it again). I’m so glad it lived up to my expectations and captured all the wonder and magic of a Disney film.
Let me know what you think of it if you’ve seen it!