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The New Live Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Retells A Tale As Old As Time

Katy Beth Boyers, Editor

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Beauty and the Beast was first released as a Disney animated movie in 1991. 26 years later, a live action version of this Disney classic is released with new songs and a cast of actors like Emma Watson and Josh Gad. When I first saw this, I was three years old, and since then it has been my all time favorite Disney animated movie. However, does this version of a Disney classic live up to the hype, or is it a failed remake that should have just been left alone? Let’s take a look at Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast.

When it comes to the story, of course it is similar. However, little twists add more depth into the characters. For example, there is a lot more background into Belle’s mother and what happened to her, and the Beast and how he became the man that he was when he was first introduced in the movie. The story is the same, but the little additions make it seem more in depth and realistic.

For the characters in the movie, most actors did a great job portraying their characters spirit; however, one that seemed to not stand out was Belle. Nothing was changed or added to Belle’s character, besides her wanting to know more about her mother, who was added to the story. It makes her seem not as exciting or inspiring like the character in the animated movie. Also, the way she wore her village dress was interesting. Sometimes she would have a piece of the skirt folded up, as seen in the picture, but then in the next scene it would be down. I was not sure if that was intentional or not, but it was something that was interesting. I did not understand the purpose of the skirt like that, especially when it wasn’t consistent the whole time.

The Beast in this movie was very well developed because there was a little more backstory on the beast and how he became the beast. The background stories really helped give the Beast a little more depth. As a result, the character development was even better than the animated version.

Gaston did not change much, besides being the main antagonist with some war background. LeFou is the good guy that has a man-crush on Gaston. I think Josh Gad played LeFou very well, and his character helped brighten the mood in his scenes.

Along with the main characters, Belle’s mother and the Beast’s parents were also featured. Having them in the movie gave the main characters a deeper history, which helped form their personalities.

The musical numbers in this movie were all very well done and made me love the whole movie a lot more. “Be Our Guest” was just mind-blowing to watch and was full of color and new life. I honestly almost cried while I was watching the number because of how amazing it was.

The only concern I have for this movie was Belle’s singing voice, which was not the best. Emma Watson is a great actress, but due to her lack of singing experience and only learning in months, her voice was not as strong, and in some points seemed very auto-tuned. [ED. This does not reflect the opinions of this editor of the Herald on the Hill. I would never have the audacity to criticize Emma Watson.]

There were also some new songs that were added, which were very refreshing. One song was from the Broadway production, while two other songs called “Days in the Sun” and “How Does a Moment Last Forever” were brand new songs. “Days in the Sun” was very beautiful and really showed the character’s longing to be free, inspiring Belle to help break the spell on the Beast’s castle. It seemed to be like a slower, ballad-like version of “Human Again” which was in the animated version. “How Does a Moment Last Forever” was a song that was a big character development for Belle. This song was the song that reminds Belle of her mother and her childhood, resulting in Belle’s longing to see her childhood and find out what happened to her mother. It is similar to “Lavender’s Blue,” the song in the live action Cinderella, as it is a reminder of the princesses’ mothers.

Overall, this retelling of a classic Disney animated movie was given new life and made me fall in love with Beauty and the Beast all over again. The musical numbers were fantastic, especially Beauty and the Beast. The characters seemed even more developed than in the animated version. The casting of these characters was done very well, and the cast really played the characters really well. My only concern was Emma Watson’s singing, which was not the best. However, one should also understand that Emma Watson is an actress and not a singer. It is hard to find someone that is not only a fantastic actress, but also can sing very well. I would not say that this really hurts the movie that much. I would recommend all families with younger kids, especially little girls, and Disney fans to see this version. Beauty and the Beast is a “tale as old as time” that will always be loved and never get old.

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The New Live Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Retells A Tale As Old As Time