My Thoughts on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

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.

My Thoughts:

  • 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 onΒ 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.

Final Thoughts:

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!

20 Responses to “My Thoughts on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”

  1. Nick

    I’m so happy people are loving the movie. I was excited and nervous too, but it looks like it really lives up to people’s expectations. I’ll be seeing it this Thursday hopefully, and I can’t wait.

  2. Lover Of Romance

    Oh wonderful movie review!!! I am super excited to see it, I am planning on going out tonight to see it. I can’t wait, especially after reading your thoughts on this movie. And I love that they did such a good job on depth of characters and a good romantic feel to it.

  3. Stefanie

    I’m so glad you liked it. My kids want to see it for sure. I love Emma Watson and we were devastated when Dan’s character was killed off in Downton. How fun to attend a Moana partay. I really liked it and how it refelcted the South Pacific and not just one particular island. We saw the extras which was interesting to see and learn about how Disney really made an effort to collaborate with the South Pacific specialists.

  4. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I was pleased with the casting – I thought Emma Watson would be a fantastic Belle and am glad to hear it worked out really well. I’m hoping to see this in the theater though I may end up going by myself as the rest of my family is not exactly itnerested. Glad it lived up to your expectations!

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      She is fabulous as Belle! I went by myself too. You know, it can be nice going to the movies by yourself. You don’t have to worry about if the person you’re with is liking it.

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      Oooh, I hope you all love it. Two of the three times I saw it, when it was over, people in the theater actually applauded. Normally I kind of think that’s odd, but I totally understood it this time.

  5. Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter

    I was 7 when Beauty and the Beast came out. Up until then Ariel had reigned supreme. Belle quickly de-throned her mermaid Highness. I was so nervous about going into the movie. I was so afraid they were going to take my childhood and just squash it and obliterate it. I agree that the opening wasn’t as great as the animated. I really enjoyed this one too. It just didn’t supersede the animated version. I loved the new Maurice. He seemed to embody the absentmindedness so much better than the animated version.

    I felt that the back stories really sealed over some of the plot holes in the animated version (I mean they had to work with 90 minutes but still). I was super nervous about Gaston because when they cast him I couldn’t imagine him as Gaston. I thought he did a great job. I kind of felt that Mrs. Potts had a lot less of a role in this one. She wasn’t quite the same guidance in the live action one. I felt like Belle needed her less so maybe that’s why?

    I legit teared up with the Yellow Dress. It was like watching my childhood take a breath and come to life. So many times I teared up because I was just so damn happy. I tried to pre-order it after we left the theater. It wasn’t available yet. Lol. No doubt, I will be driving my husband INSANE when I get a copy in my hot little hands. πŸ˜€

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I was 7, too, I think. 7 or maybe 8. I understand completely your nervousness about this, and I’m so glad that you were not let down. I really think they did such a wonderful job. I guess I feel like I love the original and the new BATB equally, but for different reasons. I also agree, that I thought Luke Evans was great as Gaston. Not as comedic as in the animated version, but still so great. I love the conversation/argument that Gaston and Maurice have in the forest. It was such a great addition and it really showed what kind of person Gaston was.

  6. Sophia Rose

    Oh good! I plan to see it and love seeing others have positive reactions to it. LOL, I agree- first viewing doesn’t count. πŸ˜‰

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      Haha! I’m glad you agree that the first – FLAWED – viewing didn’t count! I hope you love it. I think I’m going to see it again this weekend. Seriously, I’m addicted. πŸ™‚

  7. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Now that I have FINALLY seen the movie, I had to go back and read your thoughts on it! It was everything you said – and I didn’t even think about the distinction about which musical number was better as compared to the animated film. “Belle” was a stand out though – I loved how they made such a very theatrical number feel grounded in reality with how she moved through the crowd. Be Our Guest was better animated too – it’s weird how darkly lit that scene was for the most part. I wanted it to be brighter. I really liked the transformation scene in the live action though – the way the Enchantress came and burst the glass over the rose, that looked so cool! And Dan Stevens as the human Beast looks so much more attractive than the animated LOL. I liked that LeFou had a little redeeming quality to him too – it was so easy to dismiss him in the animated version, but he was given so much more depth in this.

    I’m VERY nervous to see how they will do The Little Mermaid because it seems like making half the film underwater will just look weird as a live action, but after this, I’m more hopeful they will pull it off beautifully. πŸ™‚

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I’m so glad you got the chance to see BATB. I’ve seen it a few times already, and I think I’m going to see it with my mother this coming Sunday. I agree, “Be Our Guest” was so dimly-lit in the new version. It was an odd choice, if you ask me.

      I loved how the Enchantress played a larger roll in the new one. And I liked how the glass burst and how the roses flew through the air. I think I was a little let down is Belle’s reaction. Not let-down. That’s not the right word. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. πŸ™‚

      Haha. I actually think the animated human beast is very attractive! Isn’t that weird? I’m nervous with The Little Mermaid too. I can’t quite picture how it will look. But I think they could do amazing things!

      What did you think of the new musical numbers. I am so obsessed with “Days in the Sun” and “Evermore.”

      • Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

        Ah, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again! It’s so cool that you have gone multiple times – has your Mom seen it already?

        It was cool to see the Enchantress as more of a character – I really didn’t pick up on that til the end. haha. I almost thought they were going to have a love interest for Maurice! πŸ˜€ And I see what you mean about Belle’s reaction – I think I saw something about it online – I’ll have to watch it again!

        The new numbers fit in very well – I loved Evermore to showcase the Beast’s emotions – I think it’s better than the song that he had in the stage musical. And Days in the Sun is so good too – it gave me chills to see all the characters’ perspectives in this one!

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