If you loved the 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast, then the new live-action adaptation is sure to bring you feelings of nostalgia as Disney takes you on a magical journey through a tale of friendship, family and courage.
Beauty and the Beast features Belle, a book-loving and courageous girl who is wonderfully portrayed by Harry Potter star Emma Watson. If Belle isn’t burying her head in a book, she’s following in the footsteps of her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) and inventing things. Throughout the film, you’ll feel like you’re in the actual movie as you follow Belle on a enchanting adventure filled with multiple dance sequences and musical numbers.
Maurice often sells his inventions at the market, but when he doesn’t return one day, Belle leaves the village to find him. She later discovers that he’s trapped in a hidden castle in a forest, taken captive by Beast (Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens), who is actually a prince under a spell. However, Belle’s daughterly love and courage shines through as she takes her father’s place as prisoner in order to set him free.
via E! News
Beast gives off a sense of anger and hatred towards Belle at first, but when Lumière (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), and Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) help him realize that she could break the spell, it leads to a new beginning for the two. Despite their growing relationship, things take a turn for the worse when the egotistic and narcissistic Gaston (Luke Evans) learns that Beast is keeping his one true love, Belle, hostage and becomes determined to kill Beast to take Belle’s hand in marriage.
The live-action adaptation was directed by Academy Award winner Bill Condon, best known for directing Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. In this remake of the Disney classic, Condon brings a fresh new look to the classic tale while maintaining the charm of the original storyline from the 1991 animation.
Here’s The Rundown:
Interior vs. Exterior: At first, Belle is unsettled by Beast, mainly due to his feral and predatory looks. As the story develops, Belle uncovers a different side of Beast and acknowledges him for his inner qualities, rather than his inhuman appearance.
Family Bonds: It goes without saying that Belle and her father constantly look to each other for courage and strength. The father-daughter bond the two share ultimately creates the base of the story, as their shared motive is each other’s safety.
Female Empowerment: Belle remains a strong, independent character throughout the film and doesn’t rely on anyone to save her. Instead, she is able to channel her inner tenacity to fight her own battles. On top of this, Belle is eminently intelligent, freely sharing her knowledge with other girls in the village. She demonstrates that a girl doesn’t have to dress up in fancy gowns to become someone important, even though this is not socially accepted in her village.
Diversity: Even with the focus on the love story between Belle and Beast, or the conflict between Gaston and Belle, this movie stands out from other fairy tales as this version of the classic story becomes the first Disney movie to introduce a gay character to its audience. There’s an undercurrent of homosexual attraction in the movie as LeFou subtly shows signs of more-than-platonic admiration towards Gaston, an element absent from the 1991 animation.
Musical: With new songs written by Alan Menken, composer of the 1991 Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, Disney brings you a whole scale of song-and-dance sequences in this live action adaptation. From having a large ensemble number of Belle singing in the village, to the iconic scene of Belle dancing in a beautiful gown with Beast, it’s nearly impossible to take your eyes off the screen with the grand musical numbers in this film. This musical element definitely defines the magic of Disney and pulls itself apart from other films in theatres.