Beauty and the Beast is a musical fantasy directed by Bill Condon and is a live-action remake of the 1991 Disney animated version. The film stars Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Dan Stevens and Emma Watson. The story of the film is based on the 18th century fairy-tale and focuses on Belle (Emma Watson) who is imprisoned in an enchanted castle by the Beast (Dan Stevens), a cursed prince. Belle is also pursued by Gaston (Luke Evans) who wants her hand in marriage.
My Knowledge and Expectation of Beauty and the Beast
This film is continuing the recent trend of Disney remaking their animated classics into live-action films. The only one I have seen is The Jungle Book which I really enjoyed and I expected the same from Beauty and the Beast. Now, I do not have the same emotional attachment to the animated version that a lot of people do, simply because I only saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago (I know, I know). I really liked the animated film but I do not see it as the masterpiece that a lot of people do which meant that I did not expect this live-action remake to be a masterpiece either.
My Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast
I know I am in the minority, but this live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, to me, is better than the animated film. That’s right, better. The main reason why this is the case is down to the way in which this film vastly improves on a major part of the animated version. This was the building of the romance between Belle and the Beast.
One of my issues with the animated film is that the romance between Belle and the Beast in that film felt very rushed. In the live-action remake, Bill Condon adds new story elements to develop both the characters and their romance which makes their budding love more natural and believable. Condon take his time with telling the story in this film and, for me, this was something that the live-action remake improved on the original.
The production design on Beauty and the Beast is phenomenal. The costumes and the sets were awesome and the way that the practical effects blended with the CGI was brilliant to see. While that was brilliant to see, the new songs were brilliant to hear. While the classics songs such as ‘Be Our Guest’ and ‘Tale as Old as Time’ will always be the best, I really liked the new songs.
The cast were great too. While Emma Watson’s singing in the film is not as good as Paige O’Hara’s from the animated film, she is good as Belle but my highlights in Beauty and the Beast were Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as Lefou. Their chemistry was great, they embraced their roles and they were a joy to watch as were Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor as Cogsworth and Lumière.
To be honest, I cannot find anything that I did not like in this film. Truly, Disney has continued where they left off with The Jungle Book and created another great live-action adaptation of one of their classic animated films which, for me, is better than the animated version. If you have not already seen Beauty and the Beast, then see it as soon as you can because you will not be disappointed.