Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Classic Disney Movie due to the perfect balance of music and humour as well as a whole cast of lovable characters. My love of the original Beauty and the Beast meant that I had ridiculously high expectations for the live action version of the film. I went to see the film on March 18th, the day after its release and I have a lot of thoughts about it so I have decided to share them with you so be prepared for a rather long post! I will also be sharing the outfit I wore to see the film.
The film starts with the narrator telling the backstory, the same as the original film. In the new film the story isn’t told on the stain glass windows instead we see this in live action. Although the narrative is only a very small section at the beginning of the original film, in my opinion in the live action film it comes across slightly rushed. I think that it still works really well as actually seeing the prince at his worst really helps to emphasise the character development.
One of the things that most concerned me about a live action Beauty and the Beast was who they would cast to play Belle. I wasn’t 100% sure whether Emma Watson was the right choice for Belle. Whilst most people loved the idea I wasn’t fully convinced. I had seen a clip on social media that showed Emma singing part of the song ‘Belle’ which I wasn’t too sure about. It didn’t seem quite right but I knew I couldn’t really judge what it would be like until I saw the full film.
The scene for the song ‘Belle’ was the perfect start to the film showing us what to expect. The film started well and just got better. I loved Emma Watson as Belle in the opening sequence and the musical number convinced me that she was in fact the perfect Belle and I knew I was going to love the rest of the film. One thing I did noticed during the song ‘Belle’ was that The Bimbettes are brunette not blonde as they are in the original film. I assume this is to show that there is no longer the stereotype there was when the original film was made, but I think that this was possibly an unnecessary change.
Overall I think that they did stay true to the original throughout the film and the parts that were changed and added, benefitted the film and worked well. There are however some changes that I didn’t like as much as others. Belle’s father is an inventor in the original film but in the live action version he makes music boxes, which whilst they are beautiful, it still felt strange him having a different career. Rather than her father being an inventor, Belle herself is actually an inventor which I think is fits great with her forward thinking, individual character but it didn’t quite feel right knowing they’d changed quite a significant aspect of the original. One small addition that I did love was the scene where Belle teaches a young girl to read, the scene works perfectly and is a perfect representation of her character.
One addition to the film that I did love was the scene where Belle found out what happened to her mother. In the original the Beast is given an enchanted mirror as a result of the curse. In the live action Beauty and the Beast he is also given an enchanted map. It allows him to go anywhere he wants in the world but despite having this fantastic opportunity, it is just a cruel twist of fate for the Beast as he can no longer explore the world in his Beast form. The Beast does however use the map to let Belle go wherever she wants and she choses to find out what happened to her mother. The scene in her old house is a sad but beautiful moment which is a real turning point for Belle and the Beast. The scene felt like it could have easily been in the original and fitted perfectly into the film.
I think that the Live Action Beauty and the Beast was a perfect film and has instantly become one of my all time favourite Disney movies. It is visually stunning and the combination of aspects added to the original story told in 1991, works to create a film that I think could become another Disney classic. The soundtrack is beautiful and I love the addition of the new songs. I would suggest saving the soundtrack and experiencing it for the first time you watch the film as it makes it them both even more special. The ballroom scene is one of my favourite parts of the film, it gave me goosebumps. The ending also worked perfectly. I laughed, I *almost* cried and I loved every second. It is a must see film that I already can’t wait to watch again