By Gianna D’Argento
Many Disney fanatics were eager to see the live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast that premiered in theaters on March 17. Although the hype for the film definitely existed, many were skeptical about various aspects of the film: whether or not it would properly represent the original animated film from 1991, or if Emma Watson was a right choice to play Belle (which she made an incredible Belle, by the way).
Coming from someone who grew up watching—and re-watching—Disney, the recreation almost seemed magical. It brought every aspect and detail of the film to life; from Belle’s village in the opening scene, to when Lumière, Cogsworth, Chip, and Mrs. Potts transformed back to their human-selves at the very end. With that being said, there were also many minor modern changes to the film that, at the same time, did not take away from the Disney classic we all know and love.
The changes of the film seemed to add more depth to each of the characters, from the Beast to Chip and his mother, Mrs. Potts. The film gives a backstory to the Beast’s past as well as Belle’s discovery as to why her mother passed away. Along with this new scene, a new song was written and blended in nicely with the rest of the film’s soundtrack. Unlike the animated version, the Beast also had his moment in the spotlight as he sung his own song, which, again, felt like it belonged in the film and was not forced.
A controversial twist: Gaston’s right-hand-man, LaFou, has been revealed by director Bill Condon to be gay—making him Disney’s first-ever LGBTQ character. Although this is a called-for modern twist, it has received some negative backlash. A movie theater in Alabama is refusing to show the film because of the “inappropriate” homosexual innuendos. Unaware of LaFou’s sexuality prior to viewing the film, these “scandalous LGBTQ undertones” personally went unnoticed. There were a couple of scenes that specifically hinted at it, but they were humorous and light—a good a subtle way to introduce this character. I mean, it’s 2017, a LGBTQ Disney character is long overdue and has diversified the film.
Although this is a remake of a Disney film, there were more teenagers and adults in the audience than young children. Even though this movie depicts one of Disney’s famous Princesses, that didn’t stop men from accompanying their moms and girlfriends. One man in his 20’s who brought his mom to the movie says, “I honestly just came for the popcorn… I didn’t expect the movie to impress me this much. I thought it was very well put together… with the soundtrack, choreography, and the acting really portrayed this animated movie I haven’t seen in years.”
Another moviegoer who brought her boyfriend, but totally not against his will, told me, “I’d watch this movie everyday of my life. I have no other words. It was that good.” The movie received praise from young adults and parents, but one mom in the theater says, “I can’t picture my four-year-old nephew liking this… it’s a bit too intense for kids his age. But I loved it, and so did my teenage girls who grew up idolizing Belle.”
Even if you had the slightest of enjoyment from Disney classics, this live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast will still find a way to impress you and fulfill the nostalgia void you didn’t think you had.