I’ve been waiting to do a Beauty and the Beast review since 1991. Yes, before I even knew a live action version was possible. I know I’ve worn out my Beauty and the Beast VHS to the point it was almost warped. So let me tell you, I had high hopes for this movie. I had tons of anxiety, wondering if my high hopes would be crushed. Would the music be just as good? Would Emma Watson give my favorite book-obsessed princess cinematic justice? And the yellow dress – will it still be super poofy and flowy?
Beauty and the Beast Fan Event
We went to the super exclusive “Beauty and The Beast Fan Event”, where there were giveaways and “exclusive fan content”. Honestly, it was a total letdown. They talked up the event but all we got were some extra scenes that could have been slipped in a DVD, a paper flower, and a Beauty and the Beast popcorn tub. Not worth the steep price of the ticket by a long shot. The upside is I still got to see Beauty and the Beast before anyone else. However, I couldn’t really justify the high cost for first access and a paper flower. But hey, the display was kind of pretty.
Watching excited fans, young and old, file into the theater was amazing. There were two little girls who were the same age as I was when I first saw Beauty and the Beast. They could hardly stand still for a picture. They were so excited and it reminded me of my own excitement when I was their age. If you need your dose of adorable and cute, here you go. These girls absolutely melted my Disney-obsessed heart.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
We get a snippet of a young Jack Sparrow and he’s pretty hot. This pirates movie looks pretty cool in 3D. Of course, I may never get tired of anything pirate-related.
….hmm, I feel like I’ve seen this movie before.
*Spoilers Galore! Proceed at Your Own Risk!*
I live for the Disney logo and how it changes over time. It’s very amazing to see! The castle seems bigger and Tinkerbell does her sparkle arch at the end. It’s the part where you realize this is really happening; we’re finally going to see Beauty and the Beast in live action.
The cottage is real? Where is it and where can I buy it? It’s absolutely beautiful! The “Bonjour” musical number is spot on for the original and you’ll find yourself singing along. Great singing voice, Emma Watson. The ensemble cast in this musical number is amazing.
So the Beast has his backstory and wait… I know that singing voice anywhere. It’s Audra McDonald! This Broadway legend sang her heart out in the opening castle scene and I am all here for it. Stay peeled, cause you even see a split second of Chip as a human boy right before the transformation.
Later, we also get a view of the library Belle visits and goodness, it’s small!
And Le Fou Steals the Show!
We finally meet Le Fou and Gaston. Gaston is just a spot on, self-obsessed man who has obviously never been told “no” in his life. Le Fou is a character you can instantly fall in love with. He stole the show and became my favorite character when he said, “Never gonna happen, ladies,” to Gaston’s trio of adoring women. Man, I’d like to go have a beer with this guy. I bet he would be a hoot.
Maurice, France’s Best Dad
We meet Maurice, Belle’s father, and get even more of a backstory. Instead of pretending that Belle’s mom never existed, in true Disney fashion, we get to see the pain of a missing parent. We also get to see the pain and confusion from Belle never understanding what had happened. I quite like the dad, and his artistry is amazing. Why do the townspeople think he is just a crazy inventor? Oh yeah, because anything different is weird. This will be a theme throughout the movie that will have you thinking of recent world events.
What My 5-Year-Old Self Referred to as “The People Furniture”
Well, the clock is really… a clock… and Lumiere is definitely a candle. Not a people candle, but a candle-like candle. I thought it would be a lot creepier for the furniture to be – well, real. However, as you got to see them on screen more and more, you were able to accept it.
First impression: Beautiful! Just amazing! I’d move in, but I bet the gas bill on heating a place like that is astronomical.
No One is Quite the Jerk Like Gaston
I super loved this number! Gaston is still a jerk, but this song used to get me super hyped up as a kid. Also, sorry if you have kids, because after watching this scene, they will be dancing on tables for weeks.
Be Our Guest in 3D
I will say this movie wasn’t the best for 3D. There were a few cool moments and that was it. The one that stood out the most to me was the ending of “Be Our Guest”, which was fairly incredible in 3D. I’m not sure, aside from this scene, that the 3D was worth it, but I think we are all a little spoiled after seeing Avatar in 3D.
Gaston: Still a Jerk
The crowd literally gasped when Gaston punched Maurice. Seriously dude, how much of a jerk can you be?
It’s More of a Growing Romance than Stockholm Syndrome
So there is this ongoing joke about Beauty and The Beast being more about Stockholm Syndrome than an actual romance. However, I really appreciate the progression of their friendship into their budding romance in this version. The Beast went from being terrifyingly stubborn to being kind of a sweet dork. He was actually pretty funny, and you can see why Belle falls in love with him, with or without that bomb-ass library (and, yes, when you see the library for the first time, remember to breathe).
Ready to Cry at a Movie You’ve Seen a Million Times?
The song, “How Does a Moment Last Forever” is… be right back, sobbing.
The Only Yellow Dress in the World that Matters
Again, remember to breathe when you see this dress. The buildup is completely worth it. Not only is this dress absolutely stunning in real life, it is super flowy and spinny throughout “Tale as Old as Time”. If you loved that song as a kid, this scene is perfect.
Disney with a Side of Social Commentary
So again, back to how this movie reflects current times. How easy it is for a crowd of people to follow the one who is the loudest, or how fear, whether or not it’s justified, creates chaos. As a kid, I often wondered why no one spoke up to Gaston, and why everyone just went along with him so easily. Of course, now we can see how that is all too real.
I love how much butt Belle kicks throughout this movie. She is not your typical damsel in distress. She definitely holds her own in the final scene with her, Beast, and Gaston.
Gaston was such a jerk I didn’t even care that he died.
Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You that You’ll Cry
Guys, I’ve seen this movie a thousand times. I can quote it from beginning to the end. However, when the furniture was becoming less human, I still cried. I lost it as Mrs. Potts frantically looks for Chip before she turns into a real teapot.
Seriously, don’t try to tough it out. Bring tissues specifically for this end scene.
The Beast turns into a human. Agatha is actually The Enchantress. She put us through all this hell to get to the point where Belle and The Beast can have a happily ever after, but meh, such is life.
The ending is a beautiful ballroom dance scene, with Audra McDonald singing in the background. You leave the movie feeling good, feeling hopeful, feeling ready to pursue your own happily ever after.
I was so glad my fears about this movie didn’t come true. The movie was wonderfully shot, beautifully sung, and the new scenes gave me the closure I was craving.
Now I have one question: what the heck was all the fuss about the exclusive gay moment? I didn’t see anything even slightly blush-worthy. But, hey, I guess it’s Disney.
What do you geeks think of this film? Do you agree with my thoughts, or did you leave the theater with different opinions? Let me know in the comments!