Hello, everyone! I’m happy to report that I traveled back to my childhood today for two hours and have safely returned to adulthood in one piece!
I admit that I was a bit nervous going into this live-action version of Beauty & the Beast because it was always my favorite Disney movie. Not to mention the back and forth chatter on whether or not Emma Watson could pull off the role of Belle AND the “news” that Josh Gad’s character, LeFou, was homosexual (SIDE NOTE: Kudos for including this aspect in the film tastefully. Everyone should’ve known that LeFou was homosexual in the original, but I’m glad the folks who created this live-action update didn’t leave it out to please those who are afraid of PEOPLE based on sexual preference.)
With that being said, I thought this version of the film was fantastic! It stayed true to it’s original form, save for a few minor updates: feminism and diversity! There were also a few new songs included here that explained a bit more of the connection between Belle and the Beast. Some viewers were not fans of Emma Watson’s singing, but I thought she did a great job! It’s not written anywhere that every singing actress has to sound like Adele, but I thought Watson did a great job and really lived up to the expectations.
The visual quality here was stunning as well. In some parts the visual effects were lacking just a tiny bit, but the rest of the movie made up for what it lacked in certain areas. It was such a colorful, lively film that shows a strong-minded young woman making her own choices and not sitting around waiting for things to happen to her. Belle is kind, well-read and respectful to all around her…which is something that we should all be teaching our daughters, our nieces and granddaughters. Never fear, young boys can also learn a thing or two from this version of the film. The prince was spoiled and shallow, taught to be cold-hearted from his father at a young age and is cursed into “beast mode” until he learns a lesson in humility.
So take a chance on this film and take your family on a trip down memory lane!
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Musical
Length: 2 h 9 min
Director: Bill Condon
Writers: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw