Disney’s original Beauty and the Beast is one of the very few animated films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture back in 1991. The film is regarded as a classic Disney animated musical that has been a part of so many people’s lives. It’s garnered fans because of how many people grew up with its initial release and how good a movie it really is. The original received a heap of praise throughout the years and since Disney has recently been remaking some of their classics it is no surprise as to why they would choose to do this film again. With an all star cast and a high production value, 2017’s Beauty and the Beast has been highly anticipated. So the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not it holds up? The answer to that question from my perspective is not quite, but it still finds it’s own path.
The plot of the film revolves around Belle (Emma Watson). The intelligent girl whose love of books and inventing has caused her and her father to be treated differently in the little town that they inhabit. While the most popular man in town, Gaston (Luke Evans), vies for her hand in marriage, Belle’s father ends up finding his way into an abandoned castle whose inhabitants include the Beast (Dan Stevens), a man who has been cursed to take the form of a giant monster. Belle bargains with the beast, who releases her father on the condition that she must remain his captive forever. She agrees to save her father and through her time there she discovers that this beast is much more than meets the eye. The plot of the film plays out almost beat for beat the same as the original film. They add additional scenes, change things up and explain more of Belle’s past, but the film focuses on recreating things from the original. While fans of the film may get a lot of nostalgia from these moments it adds nothing new being in live-action. In some sense it even makes the film feel more drawn out and not as engaging.
The cast has a wide-range of talented actors, with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the two leads. If there was one actor that stood out that would have to go to Luke Evans as Gaston. Gaston is a fan favorite character and Evans nails the lovably evil and obnoxious character perfectly with his song being one of the most elaborately choreographed scenes in the entire film. Josh Gad also fits perfectly as LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick. Watson and Stevens also do a good job in their respective roles in portraying the iconic characters.
The music is such an important aspect of the film and while some numbers don’t hit quite where the original did the cast for the most part sing each song well and it does a great job of evoking the same feelings from the original. They even threw in a few new songs that help expand upon the story and turn it into a more fleshed out musical. These new songs are great, but they really don’t add much weight seeing as the original tunes are what carry the film.
The technical aspects of this film are probably its strongest elements with excellent CGI mixed with brilliant costume and set design. The castle itself feels huge and reflects the original film well, with the small town feeling right. It’s a visually stunning film and there are enough changes in the looks to separate it from the original, while also staying very true.
The film as a whole will not be for everyone. On its own, Beauty and the Beast is a very simple remake of the original that brings nothing new to the table besides its visuals. If you are a fan of the original film then you will more than likely love seeing it told in a different way, but if you are not a fan, I don’t see this film swaying anyone. Overall, as a fan of the original, I had a good time with it. It’s a flawed, but fun trip that is worth a watch if you are already a fan or really love musical movies.
So what do you think of Disney’s new trend of Remakes? Let us know in the comments!