Disney's long-awaited, live-action version of the "Beauty and the Beast" has been released, and as the avid Disney fan that I am, I went and saw it as soon as I could. I thought that the film was beautifully done and was extremely well cast. The film was quite faithful to the original, 1991 animated film, but it did bring its' fair share of new material. Here are some of the best examples of what this film did that made it feel truly magical:
1. There Is A Glimpse Of Prince Adam & The Way Things Used to Be
The 1991 film doesn't even really show anything of what Prince Adam's life used to be before he was transformed into the beast, while this one does. It's a brief glimpse, but I thought it was one of the most fascinating parts of the movie.
2. Emma Watson Was Born To Play Belle
I thought that Emma Watson was the perfect choice to portray Belle, and I honestly can't imagine anyone else capturing her as well as she did. For not being a singer she was still able to carry a tune well enough to make sure Belle's songs still shine. She brought both sweetness and strength to the role. She did a fantastic job.
3. Gaston's Casting Is Perfect
Luke Evans almost steals the show away from Emma Watson with his lively and completely spot-on performance of Gaston. He brings this egotistical and misogynistic villain to life in the most entertaining way possible.
4. LeFou Becomes More Than Just A Sidekick
There is a lot of controversy around LeFou in this remake due to him being the first openly gay Disney character, but I think that this move should be praised. I also think his character is just overall so much better this time around. He has more of a voice and more personality, which is definitely aided by John Gad's performance.
5. The French Countryside Gets Some Love
6. Beast's Castle Is A Gothic Masterpiece
This castle is everything. Despite how foreboding and gloomy it may look, I would happily make this sprawling, Gothic (dare I say... Hogwarts inspired?) castle my home anytime.
7. The Inside Of The Castle Is Amazing
Also, the inside of the castle is equally spectacular, and the movie does a good job on lingering on the various interior spaces to ensure that the audience gets the full effect of the castle.
8. Maurice & Belle's Backstory Comes To The Light
What happened to Belle's mother? That's something I've always wondered watching the original movie but eventually chalked it up to the fact that Disney enjoys making almost all of their main characters motherless. However, the remake brings to light what happened to Belle's mother, and it's done very well.
9. It's Not Afraid To Get Dark
"Beauty and the Beast" has some really dark moments, and this movie captured them beautifully. One of these moments, in particular, was when Belle first encounters the Beast and is horrified by him.
10. Our Favorite Household Objects Get A Makeover
They look similar to the ones we know from the original movie, but the household staff of the castle all feature a slightly refreshed look. It's nothing extreme, but I thought their updated appearance went well with the rest of the movie.
11. "Be Our Guest" Is Nothing Short Of Extravagant
The song "Be Our Guest" is an overwhelming visual spectacle in the original movie, and I was looking forward to seeing how the 2017 version was going to tackle this classic scene. It managed to put on a lavish display reminiscent of the original but with its own taste and flair. Also, Lumiere once again shined in this sequence.
12. Beast's Library Captures The Heart Of Bookworms Everywhere (Including Belle)
Belle's love for books has, thankfully, was translated into the 2017 version. Honestly, I would have been really sad if Emma Watson's Belle wasn't going to obsess over the Beast's library.
13. Belle & Beast's Budding Romance In A Winter Wonderland
I was stunned at how this film brought to life the winter wonderland sequence where Belle and the Beast grow closer. I was happy to see that this part, in particular, was extremely faithful to the original, and also featured a few delightful additions.
14. The Iconic Gold Dress
Belle has been known to be the most recognizable in her bright gold ball gown, and this remake was not about to mess with her iconic dress, which I'm thankful for. The dress, of course, features some tweaks, but as in the original, it swooshes appropriately around the ballroom during one of the most classic scenes of the entire movie.
15. The Ball Scene Is Everything
This scene is absolutely spectacular in the 1991 film, so I had come in with high expectations on how the ball scene - a major highlight of the story - would be translated to this version. I was not disappointed. The sweeping musical score, the grand visuals, and the chemistry between Belle and Beast made this moment truly magical.
16. The Beast Gets His Own Song
One of the things we didn't realize that the original film needed: a heartfelt musical number sung by the Beast. The new song "Nevermore" was everything that a song by the Beast song should be; dark, simple, and emotional.
17. The Mob Takes The Castle And The Fight Between Beast & Gaston
This scene sequence is extremely tense in the 1991 version, and it plays even more on the audience's emotions in live-action. It's powerful.
18. The Ending
The ending of the movie adds a fresh twist to final scenes of the movie while staying true to the classic film. It was perfect.
Some people roll their eyes when they see Disney rolling out the live-action remakes of their classic movies, and maybe sometimes the criticism is justified. But with remaining faithful to the main elements of the original film while incorporating fresh and exciting aspects, they really did something right with the this "The Beauty and the Beast" movie. It's definitely a movie that every Disney fan should enjoy.