I saw Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast this weekend, and loved it so much. In fact, technically I saw it three times opening weekend. In my defense, the first time I went to see it, there was a problem with the lighting which made it really difficult to actually see all the dark scenes, so I was given a readmissions pass. So the first time didn’t really count, right?
Anyway, I’m a little obsessed, so I changed my blog schedule around a little, because I really want to talk about this movie with those who have seen it. I will probably have some spoilers below. Also, I have a lot of thoughts. It’s a long post.
Going Into the Movie:
Like so many, I was so excited to finally see Disney’s live-action adaption of Beauty and the Beast. I actually remember going to see the original animated movie when I was a little girl (I think I was 8). I loved the movie, although for years my favorite Disney movie was The Little Mermaid. It wasn’t until I was older that my favorite became Beauty and the Beast.
Despite my “meh” feelings for a lot of fairy-tale adaptations that have been released over the last few years (not all Disney), I adored Disney’s live-action adaptation of Cinderella. But my feelings going into that movie were different. While I do like the animated Cinderella, it doesn’t have a special place in my heart like Beauty and the Beast does.
So, even though I was so very excited to see the new BATB, I was also nervous. For one, my expectations were threw the roof, plus, the added element of it being musical thrilled me, but also terrified me. I mean, I wasn’t sure how well a singer Emma Watson and Dan Stevens were. And, I love the animated version so much. But, of course, I fell in love with the new one.
- The opening sequence (The Prologue) wasn’t quite as magical as the stained-glass opening from the animated version, but I loved the dancing scene. I think I didn’t love the narrator in the new BATB as much as the original. But still, I did love it, just not as much as the original.
- “Belle” the opening number was amazing! Of all the original numbers that the new BATB put together, I think this is the strongest. With all the other original numbers, I liked the animated versions more. That’s not to say that the new ones are bad, because they aren’t. They are wonderful!
- Emma Watson playing Belle was even better than I thought she would be. Watson was so wonderful, and while her singing isn’t up there with Paige O’Hara’s, it’s still good. But the warmth and compassion that was added to Belle’s story was wonderful, and I was so very impressed with Watson’s portrayal of Belle.
- I love the new Maurice! Kevin Kline was just so wonderful. The closeness between Belle and Maurice flowed right off the screen.
- The design of the Beast’s castle is gorgeous! I saw a Youtube video review say it’s shaped like a rose, with all the curving walls, and I loved it. It’s beautiful, but it also really added to the atmosphere.
- Ewan McGregor was fantastic as Lumiere! I was a little nervous, because I know he struggled with the French accent. But seriously, he was great! I loved the energy he gave Lumiere.
- I was so fascinated with the feather-duster in the new BATB. She was voiced by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and wow she was great! And I adored her costume at the end, too.
- Dan Stevens was amazing as the Beast. Sure, sometimes the Beast looked CGI, but his performance was so genuine and real, that I never really noticed the CGI.
- The added back-story to the Beast and Belle’s stories were fantastic. It added a lot to their stories, especially for Belle. It really added so much to her character, this business of her wanting to know more about her mother. I imagine almost everyone would feel that way. And the backstory to the Beast’s father not being the best was great.
- I also loved the bit where Belle says to the servants that it’s not fair that they were cursed too, along with the Beast. When she said they hadn’t done anything, and Mrs. Potts said yes, they did nothing, implying that they should have helped the prince when his father was grooming him into such a selfish person. I thought it was a small, but powerful moment. And helped explain that before his mother passed away, the prince was kind. There was goodness in him.
- I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that the Beast wasn’t illiterate in the new BATB. I hated that added scene to the animated BATB where we learned the Beast couldn’t read. It never worked for me. And I loved that in the new BATB, not only could he read, but he was well-read.
- Emma Watson’s reaction to the library in the castle was AMAZING! The set up is different from the animated version, and her reaction packed a big punch. It was my favorite scene in the whole movie, because it was so realistic.
- The romance between Belle and Beast was really played up, and I believed it so much. The whole movie was just so romantic. So extremely romantic. I loved the added scenes where were got to see how Belle and Beast really did connect.
- Luke Evans was great as Gaston, although his Gaston is a bit more evil than animated Gaston. I didn’t love the new “Gaston” song as much as the animated version, but I still loved it. Slightly different lyrics.
- Gaston really pursued Belle, and Luke Evans did a great job of showing his obsession with her. Also, as an aside, I loved when Belle told Gaston that he couldn’t come over for dinner. She was very clear, and didn’t apologize, which I loved!
- Josh Gad was interesting as LeFou. He’s not as bumbling and idiotic as the animated version, and I really liked it. Sometimes he sort of whispered some of his lines, which I didn’t love, but overall, I loved his performance.
- I also really liked the relationship he had with Gaston. It was a closer friendship than in the animated version, and I enjoyed seeing LeFou’s feelings change about Gaston throughout the movie.
- I think the weakest characters in the movie were Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth. Obviously they are both wonderful actors, but neither one really made much of an impression on me here. Not that they were bad, because they weren’t. Although, I should mention that I have a serious adoration for Angela Lansbury, who was the animated Mrs. Potts. I have loved Angela Lansbury since I was little and watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Murder, She Wrote. All before I ever saw the animated Beauty and the Beast.
- Although the original musical numbers didn’t quite live up to the animated versions (besides “Belle”), the new numbers are amazing. Especially “Evermore” which I am so obsessed with (The song is posted below in cast you want to listen to it). There was something very emotional about the Beast going through the castle so he could keep Belle in sight after he let her go and singing “Evermore.” I also loved “Days in the Sun,” especially when Belle is realizing that there is more to the story about the Beast than she realized. It also helps us understand why she would fall in love with him. I also loved Audra MacDonald, especially her few lines in “Days of the Sun.” It was good to have such a strong singer, with so many newbies in the movie.
- The transformation scene isn’t as powerful as the animated version, but it is still great. Emma’s Belle has a little different reaction, which I liked, but I prefer the animated scene more.
- I loved the added bits with the Enchantress, but I wish there were even more. The actress who plays her in the movie is amazing. She has so much charisma, and I think she says one word throughout the whole movie.
- Belle’s white dress at the end – I want it so much! That is my favorite dress, but I loved the Yellow Dress, too. The Yellow Dress actually grew on me. I didn’t like it when images were released, but seeing it in the movie – it’s beautiful.
- The credits at the end, with Celine Dion singing a new song “How Does a Moment Last Forever” is beautiful! Seriously, stick around and watch that. I did all three times I saw the movie.
The new Beauty and the Beast was amazing! I loved every minute of it all three times I saw it (well, not the first time when for so much of the movie I couldn’t really see what was going on, but that wasn’t the movie’s fault). It’s funny, because I know a number of people are saying that it’s silly to remake such a classic. I can understand that in a way in theory. But this new adaptation was handled so well, and the new depth to the story is amazing. And I feel like this new movie has a different tone. The new Beauty and the Beast is so incredibly romantic, and I can’t say that about the animated version. I mean, it was geared towards children, so while there is some romance, it’s so different. I love them both, but for different reasons, even though the new BATB has so many similar scenes, lines, and musical numbers. They have such different tones, and leave me with different, but both wonderful, feelings.
Regardless of your feelings, I would love to chat about what you thought of the movie! Share your thoughts in the comments, please!