Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Be Our Guest! Beauty and the Beast Review

image copyright Disney - used with permission
I was never much of a fan of Disney's animated Beauty and the Beast movie. I felt the message of not judging someone's character by their looks was portrayed too obscurely for most kids, and saw many children cheering and making punching arms during Gaston's pub scene, since clearly he was the hero to be emulating! The ending with Gaston stabbing the Beast in the back was also more violence than needed, and more than I expected from a Disney kids movie! But I couldn't say no when I was offered pre-screening tickets to the live-action version starring Obi Wan, Gandalf, and Hermione! *Swoon!*

I must say, not only was the all-star cast amazing, but this new version changed a lot of the issues I had with the original, and the whole thing was so epic and moving that honestly, I didn't mind the bits that had bothered me that weren't changed! For example, live-action faces are much easier to read, and I felt it was clearer early-on that Gaston wasn't a nice guy, and there was less punching in the pub scene. Already a win!
image copyright Disney - used with permission
Since the showing was during a weekday when my kids would be at school, I knew my mom was the perfect choice to take with me! She'd appreciate the majesty and music like I would, and would also enjoy seeing familiar actors and hearing familiar voices that my kids just wouldn't appreciate. The chorus was just more epic in a live action setting. I cried like I do at theatre musicals, just from the spectacle and beauty and a touch of nostalgia when the "provincial" townsfolk started singing "Belle!" I must admit, by the end of the movie I had tears runneling into my shirt!

I think this version has much scarier moments, with the real-looking wolves snarling and growling in several scenes, and the fight scene at the end is dark and harrowing, so expect to find your younger ones needing to be held during this film - but I will definitely be taking my anxious 5- and 8-year-olds to see this!
image copyright Disney - used with permission
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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens in theatres everywhere on March 17th!