Beauty and the Beast – Film Review

Beauty and the beast by Jessie Willcox Smith
By Jessie Wilcox Smith

Yesterday I saw Disney’s latest adaptation of their original adaptation of a story as old as time, Beauty and the Beast.

Along with The Little Mermaid this was my favourite Disney film. It was a film (and a princess) for my generation. Belle was a unique individual with a mind of her own. She was stubborn and rebellious and, like Ariel, dreamed of something more. The live action redo keeps this spark but there were times when it felt as though Emma Watson was just imitating the 2D illustration.

I’ll admit I had low expectations, Cinderella had burnt me before, but I came out satisfied. Certain aspects fell flat, such as the unrecognisable all-star cast that barely get a look in, and other’s exceeded all possible expectations, such as Luke Evans and Josh Gad’s performances as Gaston and LeFou respectively.

Ultimately Disney doesn’t have to do much to inspire delight and nostalgia in their viewers. A few notes into Belle’s opening song and I was grinning from ear to ear. Despite this Disney has made an effort to expand upon the original (which was my main beef with Cinderella), solving the mystery of Belle’s mother, touching upon Beast’s parents and introducing a few Le Mis-esque songs to really beef up the musical aspect. Some ho-hum lyrics aside I really enjoyed the new songs but I would have preferred the new backstory to be more thoughtfully woven into the original narrative.

I was never going to hate this movie, it’s Beauty and the Beast, it’s in my DNA. Now, how long do I have to wait before I can see it again.

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