A tale as old as time, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, has now been re-imagined in a new live-action film and it did not disappoint. It is energetic, luxurious, in depth, musical, and yet, still our classic fable we all know and love.
How do I describe this movie? Majestic. Unforgettable. Breathtaking. Magic. Stunning. Must-See. It’s the REAL Beauty and the Beast!!! And I’m still freaking out! I NEED to run right back to the theater on March 17th and see it again and again, and so do you! I promise. (And, this is a promise I intend to keep) 😉 Am I right? My Cogsworth fans?!
“Well, there’s the usual things: Flowers 🌹 . Chocolates. Promises you don’t intend to keep.” – Cogsworth
Belle – Emma Watson First off, she can sing beautifully. But going into this, I knew it from the sneak peek promos we were given. When I have goosebumps from someone singing, I know it’s going to be golden. Emma, you delivered. Now, I do have to say that I do not know Miss Emma Watson from the Harry Potter series, so I was not dissecting/ comparing her acting or character at all. She is Belle to me. I’m thankful for that. Emma is Belle. Although, now that I’m clearly a big fan of hers now, I may have to go watch the Harry Potter series. My favorite part was the hillside when she sang my all-time favorite line, “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!” I have this on my message board right now on the mantle, it’s kind of like a family mantra for us and a little fun UP mashup.
Beast – Dan Stevens Holy transformation! This character was who I was most nervous to see. This was either going to make or break the movie in my opinion. The filmmakers HAD to get Beast right. They did. His transformation is really real. Beast made me cry, kept me quiet, made me hold my breathe, made me smile, and made me feel. Beast is wonderful! Mr. Dan Stevens, you can sing!
(I was nervous for our littles because of this realness – I actually looked over at them to make sure they were okay. I always put my hand on my son’s chest to feel his heartbeat and his breathing, whether it is intense in the previews. I look at my daughter and whether she is doing a death-grip. They were good. Beast is realistic but not too much.)
Gaston – Luke Evans My husband Clint and I had a discussion beforehand if he was big enough in stature to play Gaston. You know, the big, broad, egotistical brute that hasn’t got a clue about what is happening around him because he is always thinking about himself first kind of guy! Well, Luke Evans fit the role wholly. He was large, handsome, in demand, strong, funny, charming, could sing like champ and wooed us all. Gaston is the perfect bafoon you will love to hate. I sat there with a villainous smile-smirk on my face watching him. He’s quite the Villian, with a golden dark voice, that Luke Evans!
LeFou – Josh Gad I’m a big Josh fan. Just hearing him speak makes me smile. As a kid, I always thought it was so funny how enamored LeFou was with Gaston. LeFou was one of my favorite characters in this movie! In the 1991 version, LeFou at times could be annoying, here, LeFou is a breakout star and it is fun! Josh Gad as LeFou is a lovable character. When he breaks into song, it is an enjoyable experience that you never want to end.
Now onto that mysterious cloud of the “LeFou gay reveal” that people are talking about. In talking with some family and friends there were some so skeptical of the movie because of the unknown that they were actually making up scenes IN THE MOVIE. Let me pop the balloon here:
SPOILER ALERT HERE in this paragraph because I feel like if this subject is so sensitive to you, then you need to hear just how minuscule the impact is. Folks, it’s not a big deal. But is that even a deal now a days too? Let’s be real, LeFou was crushing a little on Gaston in 1991, and LeFou is crushing a little on Gaston here in 2017. I’m crushing on my husband and I hope you’re crushing on who you love. But, is this as big as people are making this out to be? Nope. LeFou does some winking here and there, a couple smirks with a side of last glimpse looks at Gaston. Aren’t we all? There is another character in the movie that finds himself comfortable in drag clothing during the “Attacking the Castle” scene. Garderobe “attacks” three intruders with her clothes from her wardrobe, however, one Village man after looking at his new reveal, as a man dressed in full make up and a dress, smiles with delight. We then later see this same Village man at the final Ball dance scene doing the waltz. Traditionally, dancers switch partners, here we see LeFou and this Village man again, they accidentally switch partners to partner with each other. They laugh and continue to dance with each other. That’s the big surprise or moment. That’s it. For those choosing not to see the movie due to these inconsequential scenes (no kissing and not even a mention of homosexuality), you will be missing out on an amazing cinematic experience. Also, LeFou proves to be a much more intriguing and pivotal character without changing the story or stealing the show.
I think everyone should see this movie; see it, and then come back and tell me your thoughts.
The Supporting Anthropomorphic Characters:
Here’s where my husband and I had another pre-movie discussion after seeing all the Press materials provided to us. We were a bit nervous on how we would feel about classic Lumiere and Cogsworth now as CG/live-action. Lumiere and Cogsworth’s funny wit, facial gestures, and movements captivated us back in 1991. Would it work now? Would we miss the voices were used to? Does that really matter? Not really. Lumiere and Cogsworth still charm us with their kin friendship. Mrs. Potts and Chip still care deeply about tending to the needs of Belle. The Featherduster, Plumette, is a charming new re-imagined character, her new version is elegant and exudes a debonair lady, which I felt like Bill Condon did a perfect job in the recreation of her. Her romance with Lumiere is fantastic! My daughter was giggling every time they were on screen. She loves love.
Once again, I felt connected to this film just as I did when I was 10 years old, although, this time, because it was live-action, it seemed to have my heart a bit more. I bet it was the magnificent flocked tree scene! Just kidding. There are similarities and there are differences. It is a musical done very well. Being that the only actor I was familiar with was Josh Gad, I felt like I was going into this movie with an open heart and mind. Josh Gad, you have my heart, and I won’t apologize for that. I think you have our whole family’s heart BTW. 😉
I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the voices of Emma Watson, Luke Evans, and Dan Stevens. At times, I was in tears during the songs, for reminiscing of my childhood memories and now for the new beautiful songs, Don Condon and Alan Menken have magically infused in this live-action film – they are unforgettable! In fact, we left the early screening and purchased the soundtrack! I think you should too, trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Will you hear your favorite songs? Yes. But, you will also take an unexpected heartfelt adventure with the new songs weaved into this film. The new songs, especially, Evermore, were why we had to buy the soundtrack.
Dang, Disney with lyrics by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. Lyrics like, “I let her steal into my melancholy heart. It’s more than I can bear.”
The duo of Gaston and sidekick LeFou is a major facet to the movie and one of my favorite parts. Gaston and LeFou, were gems – they had you laughing, a lot! Josh Gad, need I say more. These two are magic. Pure magic.
Director Bill Condon took the time to go in depth with a lot of the characters but in particular I really appreciated the enchanted rose. We learn that there’s more to the rose than we think…that there’s a story to everything, we just have to open up and be willing to listen and learn, much like the relationship between Belle and Beast.
True Beauty Is Found From Within
We also learn about Belle’s mom. Why Maurice’s love is so special for his daughter. Sure, a dad’s love for his daughter is precious, but after hearing their tale, you will understand their relationship and why this love is timeless. I love that the Director took the time to give us details on the enchanted characters and who they were, you will see what I’m talking about here.
As a child, I use to daydream about that ballroom scene, I wanted to re-live that ballroom scene one day with my love.
So, how is THE ballroom re-imagined in the live-action?
AMAZING. It. Is. Everything!
Can your Wilderness Explorers see this movie?
I think so. We saw kids as young 5ish in the theater and they were fine. There were babies in the theater that were crying but I believe they were crying because they were babies. Overall, my kids LOVED it!!! My daughter is saying it is her all time favorite movie! We even asked if it’s better than Maleficent (we try to categorize movies) and she said yes as clear as day. THAT is huge for her! Beauty and the Beast is a WINNER from my kids’ vote!
Now Beast is a beastly-looking beast. He looks fantastic and realistic. His roar did make our little guy startle a bit but he didn’t cry. Afterwards, he said he made he jump but that he was okay. My kids were also sensitive to the “Kill the Beast” scene from Gaston. They didn’t like seeing the cruelness of it. It made me sad too if I’m being honest. I recommend showing anyone in your family that is sensitive to load noises or scare jumps to watch this clip below, I think it includes a lot of what made my littles sad at times.
So, did I give 5 out of 5 balloons?
I sure did, 5 Balloons. I kind of wanted to break my rule and go above and give 5+
Beauty and the Beast is AMAZING!
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