When I first heard that there would be a Beauty and the Beast 2017 live action movie I have to admit, I was nervous. The original animated Disney film holds a special place in my heart and I couldn’t bear to think of this ever being tarnished. Beauty and the Beast has always been a go-to comfort film for me, and let me tell you – it’s seen me through some dark times. I’ve spent many an evening curled up with my daughter on the sofa, crippled in pain from my auto-immune disease issues, watching this and feeling like maybe things weren’t so bad after all. When she was little, and had to stay off school with a sickness bug for a week, it was all my daughter wanted to watch – on repeat. If we didn’t already know all of the words to all of the songs, we soon would!
This and so many other Disney classics have been there through times of grief, the loss of loved ones and more. In their own little ways they have helped shape who I am today. I know a lot of people can relate to this and feel the same way too. Something about Beauty and the Beast in particular seems to have been softly etched upon our hearts. The characters are like these friendly, familiar faces that we’ve grown up surrounded by, and in short – it’s a classic.
So, when the Beauty and the Beast 2017 Live action movie was announced I think that there was certainly an air of trepidation from the fans. Did we really even want or need a remake?
After being poorly with the flu for a week or two, I finally managed to get out and see Beauty and the Beast at the cinema last night with my sister and my teenage daughter. Here are some of the thoughts that I wanted to share….
Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review
Firstly, let me quite bluntly get this out of the way by saying that I loved this movie. From the opening sequence, to the final credits it completely blew me away. The first thing that is quickly apparent is that this isn’t just a standard word-for-word, play by play copy of Disney’s original classic. There is so much more to this re-imagining and it has all been cleverly and quite wonderfully executed.
The first thing worth noting is that the supreme talents that are Alan Menken and Tim Rice returned to work on the music. We are treated to some of our old favourite songs throughout the film, but also to a few new and exciting numbers that not only work perfectly, but add a new layer of depth and energy to the entire story. As a huge fan of Alan Menken’s work (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) I felt as though although some of the songs were new – they somehow felt familiar. For example, when we hear the Beast’s new song it instantly feels like a classic. For some reason it often made me think of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Quasimodo’s song. It also conjured up memory’s of another Menken favourite ‘A Christmas Carol’ – The Musical. This was a made for TV release that features Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge. It’s a ‘must watch’ by the way, if you haven’t already!
The Beauty and the Beast 2017 movie is filled with these little nostalgic moments that fans will appreciate. It also takes the time to elaborate a little further on some of the back story that we didn’t get to see in the animated version. We touch a upon Belle’s mother’s absence, Gaston’s story and also The Beast’s own life and how he became the way he did. Belle’s father is no longer just an eccentric old man – he’s got more of a heartwarming role that was played to perfection by Kevin Klein.
Emma Watson is simply stunning as Belle. She captures the very essence of the character and adds her own twist. Dan Stevens as the Beast was a truly excellent choice and his charm and humour manage to shine through perfectly in the Beast’s more human moments on screen.
In all honesty I don’t think there was a cast member or a character that I could fault. I would be here for days if I tried to talk about the reasons why I loved them all, but in my opinion they all stepped up to the mark and seemed to fully embrace their roles. With gorgeous set designs, costumes and imagery to aid them, it is no surprise that the movie feels like an instant hit.
Beauty and the Beast 2017 live action movie is a must-see for grown-ups and children alike. A shining example of how to re-tell a classic and still stay true to the original. Well worth a watch!
Read our feature on some of the fab new Beauty and the Beast movie merch here.