Belle was one of my favourite Disney princesses, is she still? Well that’s up for interpretation.
I don’t think there’s any reason to reiterate the Beauty and the Beast storyline so I’m just going to cut straight to my thoughts. But there were moments in the movie that had been changed. New songs were added, probably to pad the run time, and we are introduced to Belle’s mother. This was different as well as a change in dialogue and, in some cases, song locations.
Let’s talk about that first because that really annoyed me. In the song Belle, Belle in the animated movie sings about the book she’s reading to a sheep which is quite funny, in the real life version however she is not singing to anyone so looks a bit odd. Why are you singing about the book as if telling someone about it yet no one is there? Same for the Something There song. In the animated version the Beast and Belle are always together and it’s cute whereas in the new version the cuteness was lost as the scenes they decided to show the song in didn’t mesh as well. The Beast singing as he’s moving from one seat to another at the table? Eh didn’t have the same effect.
Let’s talk about Belle for a minute. I thought Emma did a good job, she fit the character, and she’s a good actor. But my god she can’t sing! Everyone sounded very flat, not flat as in singing but flat as in boring. There didn’t seem to be any emotion and whenever a song came on I did immediately feel bored. It just didn’t pack the same punch that the original Beauty and the Beast did. And Emma said before that Belle was more feminist in this movie and did things of her own accord, which I admit she did, but she still felt like she presented the same stockholm syndrome that Belle had in the original. There was just more to justify her return in this movie.
LaFou was of course a big talking point with his character being openly gay. And while Josh Gad did a brilliant job acting as the buffoon sidekick character that’s all he seemed to be, a buffoon. He was overly gay, that campy gay that is incredibly cliche that, to me, almost made fun of gay people instead of giving them a proper good character. In the end, as well, they had him dance with a woman and I would’ve much preferred to see him dance with a man so he could’ve had some form of happy ending.
Gaston, in my eyes, was perfect. He was everything the animated version was and he definitely looked for the part. Of course he did the typical evil guy things to make sure the kids knew he was evil but he was very very good at it. I enjoyed watching him, even if I did find his death a bit rushed.
To be honest, I found the whole ending rushed. It was a bit underwhelming and of course I fancied the Beast more than the actual Prince…there’s something messed up in that isn’t there? I don’t know what they could’ve done differently but it just felt very anticlimactic. The movie was bearable and then that kind of ruined it for me. I would’ve liked more heartache with the servants becoming full objects and more time on the final ‘battle’ scene with Gaston. He just seemed to be there, and then dead. I didn’t like it.
So, overall, I don’t think this movie holds a candle to the original. It was good yes, I found the dance scene a bit awkward until the moment with all the pretty candles and stuff but I just felt it didn’t have the magic of Disney I was hoping for. The original was so fun and magical this one just didn’t compare. It was also quite long and that did bore me too. I would watch it again but only if my friends or family suggested it.
What did you think of the new Beauty and the Beast?
Read my review of the original here!
Until next time.