2017s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast brings all the magic of your childhood to life. I love that they stayed so close to the 1991 animated film. It imprinted on so many of us. There are a few additions, some new songs and the personalities of the characters were shifted slightly with the interpretation of the actors. Aside from one small personal annoyance, I adored it. I left the theatre with my face aching from smiling, a heart full of warm 9-year-old me feelings and “Something there that wasn’t there before” on repeat in my head.
I have never understood the appeal of 3D movies, until Beauty and the Beast. It allows the magic that animation brought to us as kids to really come through. Watching the enchanted household put on the “Be Our Guest” dinner display for Belle was awesome in 3D. And being the odd person I am, I adored the closing credits, which used the 3D to ensure I left feeling like I was stepping out of a magical world.
They selected the actors and voice actors very well. With a cast including Emma Watson, Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame), Kevin Kline and the voice acting of Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Audra McDonald and Stanley Tucci; the heart of the story stays true. My personal stand-outs? Josh Gad as LeFou; I adore him in everything, he always makes me smile! And Luke Evans completely embodies the arrogant gorgeousness that is Gaston.
There is a slightly darker element to this adaptation. Where I have let my 3-year-old watch the animated Beauty and the Beast, I wouldn’t let her watch this one until she is at least 6 or 7. The wolves and the early introduction of the Beast are particularly scary, and Gaston’s first instinct is to kill everything and everyone. But it is more the exploration of Belle’s mother’s death that I feel would leave her with questions and fears that she is far too little to process.
I am uncertain how I feel about the additional scenes. I’m sure they will add to the experience for those who haven’t seen the original. For me, because the rest of it pulled me so into the story of my childhood, I occasionally found them jarring. Not bad, just out of place.
While the animated movie creates a bond between our main characters with Belle teaching the Beast to read, 2017 sees them bonding over their mutual love of literature and reading. I like this shift. I feel like it makes the development of their relationship more natural.
My only issue is Mrs Potts. While every other enchanted character was spot on, she was wrong. Emma Thompson is wonderful as always, and if you close your eyes, she IS Mrs Potts. But the design really upset me. Mrs Potts has always been my favourite character from the 1991 Beauty and the Beast. I couldn’t stand her scenes in the movie, which was a little heart-breaking to me.
Overall, this is a must-see for everybody over the age of 6 (personal opinion only, every child is different). I took my husband along to see it as our “date day” movie and he really enjoyed it. To put that in context, he had never seen the original. (Who IS this man I married for goodness sake?!) He doesn’t enjoy any form of musical, but he watched it all the way through and actively recommended it to another man this weekend!
2017s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast brings all the magic of your childhood to life.
While every other enchanted character was spot on, Mrs Potts was wrong.