The New Beauty And The Beast Is Totally Beast

Fair warning: If you go into this movie thinking it is going to be better than the original, you are probably going to be disappointed.

Not to say this movie isn’t good. It’s fantastic! It just not Disney’s animated classic.  When Disney made the original they were trying to create an animated experience like no one had ever seen before. Of course a movie trying to recapture that magic won’t be better.

But does it bring something new or different to the original story? Perhaps, “Something That Wasn’t There Before?”

Many had high hopes that Emma Watson’s Belle would give us a stronger, more feminist Belle, especially after all her recent controversial publicity.

There were theories circulating that the new Belle would be an inventor, like her father. Although there were no changes that monumental, in this version we see Watson’s Belle was more determined to escape when captured than in the original.

Belle also invents a new way to do laundry? OK, maybe not as overtly feminist as people hoped for.

Overall, though, Belle has always been a feminist character. She showed a stronger interest in education over marriage and, in turn, went against the status quo of the village. So Watson did not really need to give the character a total feminist makeover.

Moreover, we got to hear some great back-stories from both Belle and the Beast that were not in the original. The Beast’s backstory help explain why he became such a jerk before he was transformed into a beast. Both Belle and the Beast’s backstories help foster a stronger connection between Belle and the Beast.

Le Fou was completely different form than the original, and not just because he was openly gay. In this version he plays Gaston’s smarter, well-intentioned friend who Gaston never seems to listen to. Where in the original Le Fou was just Gaston’s loyal lackey. Josh Gad’s Le Fou is sassy, funny and all around a better-developed character. I give credit to the remake for giving us a better Le Fou.

Now on to everyone’s favorite part of Beauty and the Beast: the music. The remake made sure to hit all the classics, as well as feature some new songs that helped make the story feel more complete. And the Beast gets his own song called “Evermore.” Who knew the Beast had such great pipes!

All this being said, I do have a few gripes. The music in the movie isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination; it just can’t measure up to the original. Yeah, Emma Watson’s singing was decent, but it can’t compare to the original Belle who was a Broadway trained singer. Most of the musical sequences such as “Be Our Guest” were beautifully animated.  Others, however, like the opening number, felt awkwardly paced and just not as smooth as in the original.

 Overall, the Beauty and the Beast live action movie is definitely worth taking a look at. It is a movie that captures the spirit of the original and adds some new details to the original story.  But if you haven’t seen the original I’d advise watching that one first to understand why people love Beauty and The Beast so much in the first place.