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-- Spoilers for the live-action film (and I guess the animated one if you seriously haven't freakin' watched it in the past 25 years) ahead! --

With Beauty and the Beast being one of my favorite Disney movies, I had high expectations for the live-action remake. Last Sunday, my friend Alyssa, Steven and I went to see the movie for the 11:45 AM showing. In my mind, I thought that there would not be too many people at the movies since it was a Sunday (with church services and all) and some people sleep in. Just to be safe though, we ordered tickets the night before.

Right as we were leaving, Steven checked online... our time was sold out! Thankfully, we left very early and had lots of time. We were at the theater about 45 minutes before the movie and were the first ones in the theater. Picking awesome, halfway-up seats, Steven and I set down our jackets and went to get snacks while we also waited for Alyssa.



By the time Alyssa arrived around 11:30, the theater was packed. Imagine kids and teenagers outnumbering the parents accompanying them. Plus, the screen was not on to show early ads and the "First Look" at upcoming shows and movies, as AMC calls it. 11:45 arrived and there was still nothing on the screen. By 11:50, after seeing no one looking determined walk out of the theater, I got up and went to tell someone. Five minutes after I got back to my seat, an employee walked into the theater and told us his manager was in the projection booth and working on the film. To make up the time, if no one minded, they would skip the previews. Everyone cheered! It was hilarious.

The only two trailers we saw then were for Disney films--Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Pixar's Coco--which were the only ones I actually wanted to watch.

The AMC "it's time for the movie" thingy they do happened and I almost lost my breath! I had been waiting and waiting for this release since it was announced and I was so excited!

The castle in the classic opening for Disney films has started to recently been replaced to represent the story about to be told. For Beauty and the Beast, we see Beast's castle instead of the normal one.

Then, the story began. First off, I loved the opening. The way that they showed off the Prince's world before the curse and showing us the characters who would become the cursed objects. One of the best additions was here: the opening explained that the spell also caused everyone not in the castle at the time to forget about the people there and the royal family.

However--thinking back now--I have a few questions that Disney still did not address from the animated film. How did no one age? Were the people in the castle cursed to remain the same age? What about the people in the village? Like Mr. Potts? And Cogsworth's wife? Why is everyone the same age? If so, how did Belle not seem to remember the royal family at the end? Yes it is all magic-based and fairytale but I am still curious!

Anyway, the complete opening scene was still amazing. I was basically frozen in my seat in awe seeing one of my favorite Disney movies come to life.

Emma Watson then entered the scene as Belle and oh... my... gosh! When the song "Belle" started, I almost cried!

Pause.

I'm going to take a moment to talk to you about movie-going etiquette... actually just basic common courtesy.

Number 1: The entire movie, about every fifteen minutes or so, there was a flash of someone on their phone taking a picture of the screen with their flash still on. Why are you taking photos and not even checking the flash is off? In the first place, your phone should already be on silent/off away. There is no reason to be taking pictures all throughout the movie. I understand maybe SnapChatting the title appearing on the screen but that is it! 

Number 2: If you are taking children or teenagers to a movie, you must discuss the rights and wrongs of courtesy to others before entering the theater. First, I had a child kicking my chair the entire time... which I got over as it was a young kid. However, the parent should have noticed and done something. Second, the majority of photo-taking was from teenagers. And third, the teenagers were distracting! Groups of them were running in-and-out of the theater giggling and having the flashlight on their phone on.

Reasons like this are why people are sick of going to the movies. Yes there are the rising costs, but common courtesy to others is lacking. Everyone paid to sit and watch the movie. Please, be respectful or stay home and watch it in a month.

Anyway...

I won't go scene by scene through the whole movie in paragraph or we'd both be here forever! So here are some points about the live-action versus the animated that I wanted to discuss:
  • Gaston was at first more of a villain we could understand at first. But then, he somehow became worse than the one in the animated film! I did not know that was possible!
  • Gaston also isn't shown hunting in the beginning like in the animated film and was more a Captain who fought in the war and that is why he was so sought after by some girls in town. Approve!
  • We actually get to see the Enchantress in person! That was a great touch that allowed her to remain a part of the Prince/Beast's story throughout the movie. Also, the coincidence of the tree falling in front of Maurice's path and her assisting him heal later make me almost question if she saw Belle's loving heart in the village and set a plan in motion.
  • While Maurice was still inventing it seemed, Belle also did (that laundry idea was very smart) and usually was right by Maurice's side when he was inventing. She also seemed to be getting ahead on inventing as she would pass Maurice's train-of-thought of what was next and already have it ready for him. Go Belle! Girl Power! *By the way, there are a lot more Belle-as-a-boss-woman moments in the film!
  • LeFou was freaking hilarious! Who doesn't love Josh Gad? I wish, however, they had kept the scene of LeFou outside of Belle's house as a snowman. That would have been a great nod to Olaf.
  • LeFou--as controversy brought to light--can be portrayed as having romantic feelings for Gaston. However, none of this was clear and was mostly speculation of the audience and a few seconds of assuring the audience. The only time we definitely know LeFou is okay with guys is in the last scene where another guy begins to dance with him and he smiles. It is so short that if you blinked, you'd miss it! Also these scenes would go right over kids' heads, in my opinion.
  • Stanley Tucci was a great addition along with the new character of Cadenza--a composer turned piano. 
  • The curse is even more harsh in the live action remake! If the beast did not find love before the last petal, he would remain a beast... but alone. The enchanted characters of objects in the castle would become simply objects. Made me tear up at the end!
  • Also, the curse causes harm to the castle with each falling petal. Pretty cool effect for us movie-watchers, not for the world of Beast and the castle's occupants.
  • THE GIFT OF THE ENCHANTED BOOK! That was cool! It added such a deep moment between Belle and the Beast. (Even if Steven kept asking me, "Wait, she's from Paris? Why is she English?")
  • The book also brought along understanding of where Belle's mother is and what happened to her. 
  • We finally get reason to why the Beast is such a jerk. Knowing he was raised the way he was explains a lot. (It also, in my opinion goes to show a lot about the reaction to LeFou's possible gay status. The way you are raised can certainly affect people to react to situations completely differently. Both Belle and the Beast lost their moms very young in their lives. However, Belle's father ensured she was raised to be kind, to question and to think while the Beast's raised him to be spoiled and crude.)
  • "Human Again" which was left out of the animated film but featured in the extended edition was also not present in the live-action. Instead, we get "Days in the Sun." It was cute and I enjoy the enchanted objects having their own song.
  • Chip's childhood was a little confusing in the original animation as he was told to get into the cupboard with his brothers and sisters and yet was the only child in the end scene. The live-action shows he is clearly an only child
  • If you listen closely as Belle enters her room at the castle, you can hear the Broadway score of "Home" in a music-box tune in the background. I got so excited hearing it! However, Emma does not end up singing the song.
  • The iconic yellow ball gown is so much better when moving. The stills from the movie made me worried that it was too plain and too modern. While I still think it could have been so, so much better, I still loved it in motion and the additions we couldn't see on the poster and advertisements.
  • "If I Can't Love Her" is also missing from the live-action and was a Broadway hit! It was the Act One finale and a great tear-jerking song for Beast. Still, they gave Beast a new song called, "Evermore." It was nice but I think "If I Can't Love Her" was so much better.
  • Did you see LeFou and his constant questioning of Gaston until LeFou has enough at the end? That felt more real than the animated version.
  • In the animation, Gaston stabs Beast which means he had to get pretty darn close. In this version, he shoots him! (And there was some foreshadowing of this happening in the song, "Gaston")
  • Earlier I mentioned Mr. Potts... and while I loved that addition, I always did hope Mrs. Potts and Maurice found love with each other at the end.
  • Lastly, did anyone else think of this? Artist Maurice is painting Belle, Beast and the town dancing at the end. I was sooo hoping that it would zoom into his painting for the ending. This would have been a stellar wink to the animated film with the ending of stained glass but modernized to a painting. I was throwing my hands up like, "Did they really just waste that shot?!"
What are your thoughts on Beauty and the Beast live action? Did you catch anything I didn't? Let's talk in the comments! Thank you for reading!



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