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Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review: Another Live Action Homage to Disney’s Past

Daniel Oden, Staff Writer

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In the past few years, Disney has been creating live-action re-imaginings of some of their most remembered animated movies. These movies — such as Cinderella and a reboot of The Little Mermaid coming later this year— are always a risk because remakes tend to carry a negative stigma. For me, however, the most recent of these remakes, “Beauty and the Beast”, has reassured my confidence in the trend.

Many moviegoers’ biggest fears about remakes are that they  will drastically change the original plot. . Without giving any spoilers, I can assure everyone that the story in “Beauty and the Beast” undergoes no such transformations. Not only does the new movie not change the original plot—Belle.played by Emma Watson, still falls in love with the prince turned beast ,played by Dan Stevens, in order to relieve him of his curse— but it also does not remove any of the original songs except for “Human Again.” However, with its extra runtime, it proceeds to add more to the original plot, as well as extra songs. The subplots  go into the backstory of Belle’s mother and the Beast’s life prior to the curse. While they do add a bit of more depth to both characters, both feel tacked on, and don’t seem to affect the development of either Belle or the Beast. The extra songs, on the other hand, are well written and catchy, and don’t feel as tacked on as the extra subplots.

 

The original songs and story are both unchanged and well adapted into live-action. The designs and aesthetics of the characters are very similar to that of the original animated movie, and look very appealing in real life  — especially Belle’s golden dress and Beast’s blue suit. The characters themselves, in terms of personality, are also unchanged with great actors and actresses to bring them to life. The presentation of the songs are more extravagant than that of the original movie, with the help of modern CGI (computer generated images). Though, as a minor side note, I feel that Beast’s appearance isn’t as “beastly” as it probably should be.

 

Even with these similarities, the influence of live-action does make its way into the film, resulting in a slightly darker movie. For example, the climax of the original movie – where the servants of the castle fight the mob – was appropriately cartoony and Home Alone-like. However, this movie’s climax with the mob fight and Gaston trying to kill the Beast felt a lot more impactful and violent. While it doesn’t take anything away from the original plot, it’s definitely the biggest and most obvious difference between the original movie and this remake.
Despite this, this movie was a fantastic homage to the animated movie from 1991, and those who fell in love with the original will surely do so with this new version. As Sophomore David Eisenstadt states, “I thought it was a fabulous movie and that it was so perfectly similar to the first movie.” It would be cruel not to recommend this movie to any Disney fans, young and old, as well as any other moviegoer.

 

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