Everyone knows the tale. The beautiful outcast falls in love with the horrid beast with the help of a talking candlestick, clock and teapot. Disney lovers now have a new reason to rejoice, as “Beauty and the Beast” has been brought to life through beautiful songs, dances and cinematography.
The story holds true to the original. Belle, a bookworm living in a small town in France is seen as a “strange girl” unlike the rest. Gaston, a strong man who is worshipped by his friend LeFou (along with the rest of the town), takes a strange liking to Belle, purely for her beauty. However, when Belle’s father is trapped in a castle with a terrible beast, she leaves the town and takes his place as prisoner.
While living amongst the castle, she makes new friends, who all happen to be talking house objects. Through song and dance, they make Belle feel more at home. Belle later discovers that each object was once human, but are now trapped in a spell that can only be broken if the Beast can learn to love again.
After a rescue in the woods, a romantic ballroom dance and a battle between the Beast and Gaston, Belle discovers her love for the Beast, thus breaking the spell and saving the kingdom. The classic tale stays true throughout the entirety of the live action movie.
Each element of the movie is an ode to the previous animated feature, keeping Belle in similar costumes, incorporating the classic songs, as well as keeping the character consistent with the previous tale. However, new elements are also incorporated, including some new songs that are often in the live musicals, new backstories on Belle’s mother and even a few new character plot twists. By meshing the musical version with the original animated film, it creates a new version of “Beauty and the Beast” that everyone is sure to love.
In order to pull off such a classic story, Disney needed to have an incredible cast, and they certainly delivered. Known for her role as Hermoine in the Harry Potter series, Emma Watson stars as Belle. Dan Stevens, known for his role of Matthew Crawley in “Downton Abbey,” portrays the Beast. Luke Evans from several films, including “The Girl on the Train” and “Furious 7,” plays Gaston. Josh Gad, known as Olaf from “Frozen,” plays his goofy sidekick, LeFou. Other stars include Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth.
The impressive cast list works wonderfully together in this movie; each dives fully into character, perfectly resembling the original characters everyone knows and loves. Along with the spectacular cast comes an equally amazing crew: Bill Condon, known for movies including “Chicago” and the “Twilight Saga,” is the director of the film. Alan Menken, known for multiple songs from classic Disney movies, works as the Music Composer, and Jacqueline Durran, known for her work on Pride and Prejudice, works as the Costume Designer. Together, they bring the “tale as old as time” to a beautiful reality.
“Beauty and the Beast” is causing an amazing uproar in box offices, making over $170 million in North American ticket sales on its opening weekend alone. Reviews are also positive; the film earned a 70 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.9/10 rating on IMDb.
Whether you are a fan of the classic animated film, the musical, or simply a fan of Disney movies, “Beauty and the Beast” is a must-see for all moviegoers. Classic Disney lovers will feel the nostalgia of the tale as old as time, and the soundtrack, costuming and cast bring together a movie that people of all ages will be captured by.