While I do agree with Mallory Barrett’s review of the new Beauty and the Beast interpretation in that the animated classic is the superior version, I do have a few thoughts of my own.
Beauty and the Beast teaches children a valuable lesson: beauty is only skin deep. In a time where kids are being bullied for being different, this film teaches us that different isn’t always bad. Belle is unlike anyone in her village but she is obviously the kindest of them all. The Beast is tough to look at and judged based on that appearance but deep down, Belle is able to see the gentle and kind man inside. If every person could do that, maybe the world would be a better place. This film may just help some children learn that lesson early and potentially prevent them from mistreating others different from themselves.
I personally think Emma Watson was the best choice to portray Belle. Given Emma Watson’s personality and feminist attitude, who else was better to play a headstrong and feminist character like Belle? While the rest of the village, Gaston more so than anyone, cares more about appearance over substance, Belle is the only one willing to see past the exterior and experience what is inside a person. If you really think about it, Belle is the only person in the entire film who has to do that. The Beast sees a beautiful girl in front of him while Belle must fall in love with a literal man creature, proving she is a better person than the rest. I honestly see Emma Watson being that woman.
Then there is the homosexual aspect of LeFou (Josh Gad), which never came as a surprise to me. In fact, even as a child I thought LeFou was in love with Gaston. Why else would he have been so obsessed with him? I’m glad they finally brought it to light. I don’t think a change in actor would’ve made a difference in LeFou’s portrayal. I believe Disney intended him to be gay and I thank them for it. I’m very glad they finally added in some interracial couples as well. Disney is being all inclusive and I love it.
The only complaint that I have about the entire film is the extreme use of CGI. I would’ve loved to have seen the Beast played with makeup instead of computer graphics. I do understand that CGI is faster and probably cheaper but I think we lose a bit of substance when the computers do all the work for us. Faster isn’t always better. I want that realistic feel and we just don’t get that.
Fans who bring home “Beauty and the Beast” can celebrate the release with three ways to watch the movie – the original theatrical cut, the premiere cut with overture, and a musical experience with a sing-along version. The release invites viewers to get up close and personal with the filmmakers and cast to see how this beloved animated film was transformed into a new live-action classic, from the first enchanted table read to a fascinating look at how the film was brought to life utilizing lavish sets, elaborately designed costumes and props, and state-of the-art technology. A feature on the amazing women behind the enchanted tale hosted by Emma Watson; and over 10 minutes of deleted scenes along with musical extras, including the “Beauty and the Beast” music video starring Ariana Grande and John Legend, Celine Dion’s heartfelt take on the new song “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” and jump directly to all you favorite unforgettable songs.
Personally, I would pick up the Blu-ray release over the DVD for the difference in special features alone. The DVD one seems to have the Beauty and the Beast music video while the Blu-ray is packed with several goodies such as:
Enchanted Table Read – Join the cast for the movie’s elaborately staged table read, complete with singing and dancing to live music, set pieces and more.
- A Beauty of a Tale – Explore the process of transforming a beloved animated film into a new live-action classic.
- The Women Behind “Beauty and the Beast” – Emma Watson introduces several of the talented women in all aspects of production who helped bring this enchanted tale to life.
- Making a Moment with Celine Dion – Celine Dion shares what it’s like to sing “How Does a Moment Last Forever” – and be a part of the legacy of “Beauty and the Beast.”
- From Song to Screen: Making the Musical Sequences – See what goes into making some of the best-known moments from “Beauty and the Beast.”
- “Belle” — Filmmakers and cast reveal how it felt to shoot this memorable scene.
- “Be Our Guest” — Discover all that went into creating this epic, primarily virtual performance.
- “Gaston” — Join the cast for rehearsals and filming of this rousing, high-energy number.
- “Beauty and the Beast” — You’re invited on set for the filming of this beloved, classic scene.
- Deleted Scenes
- Introduction by Director Bill Condon — Director Bill Condon presents a collection of scenes that, for one reason or another, ended up on the cutting-room floor.
- Gaston Courts Belle — Pleased with himself after settling a disturbance with the townspeople, a triumphant Gaston attempts to woo Belle.
- Bread and Jam for Agathe — On her morning market rounds, Belle stops by to see Agathe, the village beggar woman.
- Storming the Ice Gates — The angry mob of villagers, led by Gaston, overwhelms the castle’s defenses.
- Lumière Torches LeFou — As the fight rages around them, LeFou scuffles with Plumette … until he experiences a sudden, extremely heated interruption.
- Monsieur Toilette — LeFou escapes from the brawl into a small room, where he’s startled by a castle resident.
- Cogsworth Rescues Lumière — When Clothilde the fishmonger threatens Lumière, Cogsworth leaps into the fray.
- Treacle the Lasses — Three village lasses chase Chip and Froufrou – Madame Garderobe’s dog-turned-footstool – into the kitchen, where a surprise awaits.
- LeFou and Monsieur Toilette Reunite — After the spell is broken and the castle residents are returned to human form, LeFou and his new acquaintance meet again.
- Extended Song: “Days in the Sun” – Learn more about Beast’s childhood in an alternate version of this beautiful song, introduced by director Bill Condon.
- “Beauty and the Beast” Music Video – Award-winning artists Ariana Grande and John Legend perform a moving version of this iconic song.
- Making the Music Video – Go on set to capture the magic as it happens in Ariana Grande and John Legend’s “Beauty and the Beast” music video.
- Disney Song Selection – Jump directly to all your favorite songs and sing along with the movie.
- “How Does a Moment Last Forever” (Music Box)
- “Belle” (Reprise)
- “Be Our Guest”
- “Days in the Sun”
- “Something There”
- “How Does a Moment Last Forever” (Montmartre)
- “Beauty and the Beast”
- “The Mob Sing”
- “Beauty and the Beast” (Finale)
Even if you prefer the animated classic, there is no denying that Beauty and the Beast is an instant classic and will be a favorite for years to come. Bring it home today and watch your children escape into the magic.