We previewed Beauty and the Beast this week. Review in a nutshell, it was fantastic. I predict all Disney animated movies will be remade into live action films at some point because this is going to be a hugely successful film. And it will have earned all that success because the adaptation into live action was done seamlessly, and feels like a completely different movie, while remaining the classic that we fell in love with years ago. That is the magic of Disney!
The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s live-action adaptation “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated ﬁlm “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice.
Sitting in the theater and listening to these Alan Menken tunes brought back wonderful memories of the times I have heard these songs played in the original, animated classic. That new songs were added for this live action piece, by that same talented man, was a treat!
The characters we all know and love were also perfectly played by the cast. Josh Gad immediately stood out with his flamboyant singing and witty style. There was a lot of ridiculous hubbub about his character being gay, and his over the top sense of humor was perfect for this role, and the subtlety, or not so subtleness of his character’s homosexuality, was delicious and delightful. And very funny! Whenever he was on screen, Josh stole the show!
The Beast was also wonderfully portrayed by Dan Stevens. The evolution of his character was perfectly captured in this live action film. I felt the love growing in him and Belle!
Special mention to Lumiere as played by Ewan McGregor. He was perfect!
I was mesmerized from the onset by the beautiful music, and then blown away when the “Be Our Guest” musical scene came onto the screen. I was blown away. It was beautiful and brought me to tears. I cannot wait to own the Digital copy of this movie to replay this scene over and over again. As well as the whole movie! It is a film you will want to see multiple times, just like the original animated classic!
Lastly, even though I knew the ending, it was horribly sad when all of the furniture in the house became frozen as the actual furniture they represented. And even though we know there is a happy ending, the movie stills draws all of the emotion out of you and I was filled with delight as everyone came back to life!
Beauty and the Beast Opens Nationwide this Friday, March 17th. Run, do not walk, to get tickets!
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Disclosure: We were provided preview tickets to see this movie. All opinions are always 100% honest and our own.