Did The Live-Action ‘Beauty and The Beast’ Hold Up To The Animated Classic? [Review]

Photo:  Disney Enterprises
19 Mar2017
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Disney is going through a rebellious teen phase. The things we once knew and love about the magical franchise is being altered and brought to “live-action” for a new generation to enjoy. As a true Disney kid, I always side eye the live-action films. I mean if it’s not broke why fix it, right? Yet it seems the live-action trend is here to stay, so let’s embrace it I guess.

Being that “Beauty and the Beast” is on my top five Disney films of all time list I went into the theaters with some apprehension. I think casting wise everything was on point, but you know that things when someone messes with your childhood memories and you’d much rather them not to? That’s how I felt about the 2017 “Beauty and the Beast” live-action version. Here’s the gag, throughout the entire movie my soul was snatched, my heart was warmed, and my childhood was relived.

Here’s the breakdown!

Luke Evans in Beauty and the Beast/ Photo: Laurie Sparham

Luke Evans in Beauty and the Beast/ Photo: Laurie Sparham

The Singing – Disney films are known for its music. The 1991 animated classic landed Alan Menken two Oscars for ‘Best Music, Original Song’ and ‘Best Music, Original Score.’ The moment that piano medley began in the “Main Title: Prologue” I could feel my heart swell and kind of my eyes. With Menken back on the project we could at least expect for the music to pretty much remain the same. There were a few alterations to the beloved songs like “Belle,” “Gaston,” and “Be Our Guest.” And a new original song sung by the Beast (Dan Stevens), who rarely showcased his vocals.

Emma Watson as Belle did have good moments on her end vocally, but to be honest Luke Evans (Gaston) stole the show for me. In the preview for his title song it was lackluster. I just didn’t think it was strong enough, but after hearing the entire song, and in context, it slays. Evans definitely brought his A game on “The Mob Song.”

“Be Our Guest,” sung by Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Ian McKellen (Cogworth), and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Plumette), had minor changes and a slight key change, but visually it was stunning! Be careful not to sing along too loudly because you will be compelled.

Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beauty and the Beast (2017)/Photo: Disney Enterprises

Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beauty and the Beast (2017)/Photo: Disney Enterprises

The Live-Action – Animals and objects from animation can be hard to translate to live-action. It can either look really cheesy or really fake alongside the actors, but it held up in this film. The colors on the dreary backdrop of the Beast’s castle added an interesting contrast to the screen. Belle’s hues of blues were also beautiful to see transcend throughout her evolution.

Watson had the most time on-screen with the live-action objects and you could see at some points her eye line was off interacting with the objects, but nothing too distracting to take away from what was happening. Visually the setting was a match to the 1991 animated movie. Belle’s home, the field where she sings her reprise, the pub Gatson and LeFou (Josh Gad) hangs out at, and the grand ballroom where Belle and the Beast have their famous dance was replicated perfectly.

You can’t help but to fall in love with the characters all over again with the way this live-action brought the delightful talent to life.

Photo: Disney Enterprises

Photo: Disney Enterprises

The Feels – “Tale as old as time” indeed. The live-action “Beauty and the Beast” reigns supreme selling out theaters all weekend. Director Bill Condon’s (“Dreamgirls,” “The Twilight Saga” Part 1 & 2) experience working with musicals and CGI objects was evident on this project bringing the magic of the classic tale to a new, younger audience and restoring the faith in Disney kids that live-action remakes can be just as good, if not better, than its original counterparts.

There’s not too much that I hate about this film, in fact I’m quite in love with it and am close to seeing it again in theaters. It’s so great on the big screen and surround sound. I give “Beauty and the Beast” 5 pink kisses!  💋💋💋💋💋

Did you catch “Beauty and the Beast” this weekend? Do you plan on going to see it? Share your favorite parts and thoughts in the comments.

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Photo:  Disney Enterprises

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