I was finally able to get myself to see the live action rendition of Beauty and the Beast a couple weekends ago. I’m not even sure where to begin with my review. First, I got to see it with two good work friends, which made it a very enjoyable experience all its own. As I left the theater I sent a video message to my best friend and about the only productive thing I could say about it (repeatedly) was, “IT WAS SO GOOD!” It definitely did way better than the live action version of Cinderella, which disappointed me quite a bit. So, why was it so good? I suppose I’ll start from the beginning.
Same chords, same familiar wonderful soundtrack, but this time even better. They added songs, added lyrics to existing song, removed some lyrics. They paused during parts of the song to show actual movie scenes happening. It was a wonderful musical. Everything about it made my heart so happy! Even though auto-tune was used rather heavily in some areas and one could tell, it was hard to be upset about that because it was just so fun.
I was so excited to have Emma Watson playing Belle as she seems so perfect for the role – and she is. I feel at times she wasn’t as strong as she could have been, both musically and acting with the CGI, but I love Emma Watson so much that it’s difficult to be upset about that. Not to mention, we’ve seen her acting skills (with CGI, too) so much before, so any acting that didn’t seem strong clearly would be more the fault of direction than her own skill level. Over all, though, I didn’t find it to be too much a big deal. Then the characters of Gaston and LeFou were spot on; both of the actors did a wonderful job with their characters. And, of course, Maurice – played by none other than my absolute favorite, Kevin Klein, who seems like he can never do wrong in a role.
I’d have to say that LeFou is definitely my favorite character out of everyone. I enjoy his obvious sense of self. He knows who he is and he never seems ashamed of it, and I appreciate his struggle with his conscience later in the film. Josh Gad conveyed a lot with his expressions, proving his talent.
All of the special effects and the CGI were wonderful and so fun to watch. Bright colors, wild movement. Just such a fun movie. And the slight tweaks they did were really nice, too. I felt they added more believability to the story that didn’t exist in the cartoon because, well, cartoons. Wrap it all together with the fact that they threw in the first gay moment in Disney history (though brief) and it’s just a wonderful package.
I feel like that’s all I can really say without spoiling too much. If you’re a fan of the original Disney Beauty and the Beast cartoon, I think it’s safe to assume that this movie will not disappoint. Really the only thing negative I have to say about it is that they shouldn’t need to auto-tune their artists, but again, I loved it so much I was able to get past that. Oh, and I guess I was slightly disappointed that the beast is still more attractive as the actual Beast than the prince.
Overall: 5 out of 5. Will see again and will own promptly upon release.