Beauty and the Beast Review


It’s still a tale as old as time. Beauty and the Beast continues to enchant audiences in Disney’s live action remake of the 1991 classic fairytale. Following the remake of Alice in Wonderland in 2010, Maleficent’s unusual take on Sleeping Beauty in 2014, Cinderella in 2015, and the Jungle Book in 2016, it was inevitable that the adored animated film Beauty and the Beast would receive a 21st-century makeover. Disney spent $160 million on making the movie directed by Bill Cordon (Twilight Saga). Taking a risk on untested technology to create a frightening yet empathetic Beast paid off. The movie’s 90 second trailer  received a record 92 million views on the first day it was released, astonishing the producers.

This charmingly old-fashioned musical is anything but a beastly re-interpretation of a fairy tale as old as time. Under Cordon’s supervision, the movie grossed $504 million. Following the plot of the original Beauty and the Beast, it hit all the big notes, while adding a few new ideas of its own. The movie displays love in its various forms between the brainy, brave, and independent Belle (Emma Watson, Harry Potter) and the cursed prince in the body of a ferocious Beast (Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey). There were a few minor stumbles along the way, including continuity errors and minor plot holes, but you’re likely to walk away with a lightened heart, a broad smile on your face and a song stuck in your head.

Some of the scenes in this new Beauty and the Beast, such as the famous ballroom dance number, “Beauty and the Beast” are nothing short of magical. The details in the animation of the Beast’s fur and the chandelier crystals dancing across the room onto Belle’s stunning yellow dress were show stoppingly gorgeous. However a few moments, such as with the wolves and the Beast, look like every other fight scene. For instance, when the Beast saved Belle from the leading and snapping wolves, the digital seems slow and the viewer is aware of the motion capture and CGI, but most of the time you are happily enchanted by the dazzling visuals. Then there is also Disney’s first featured “gay moment,” which appears near the conclusion of the film when LeFou (Josh Gad, Frozen), clearly has a man-crush on his bulky and rough buddy Gaston (Luke Evans, The Girl on the Train) briefly dances with a male partner. If your kids weren’t affected by the companionship of Timon and Pumbaa and their “adoption” of baby Simba, they won’t be affected by this.

With a review of 71 percent from Rotten Tomatoes, Beauty and the Beast beautifully retells the story true to the original. With a captivating cast, elegant songs, and unique detail, the movie lived up to its potential.