Before anything, I must start with a disclaimer…I love Beauty and the Beast. I have seen it in IMAX, on Broadway, off Broadway, as a ballet and on ice. My prom dress was a take on a modern-day Belle ballroom gown.
I ain’t even ashamed. My dedication to this movie is intense.
As you can imagine, I have been anticipating this live-action version like a five-year-old awaits her 6th birthday. Then came the firestorm of controversy surrounding the movie. This world wouldn’t be this world without a good dose of controversy to post, hashtag and tweet about.
As a mom of little ones that had seen the B&B trailer and were already excited to see it at the “big movie,” I naturally wondered what all the talk was about.
Most of the moms I know had the same thoughts and questions.
I was glad I had already planned on seeing the movie by myself so I could “screen” it for my little ones. (I didn’t want any rug rats ruining this moment for me with the inevitable movie wiggles and multiple bathroom breaks.)
Beauty and the Beast was a beautifully made film with some of the prettiest landscapes these live action films have provided.
The cozy feel of the animated film was definitely kept. The town was well done and the cinematography did make for wishing you were snuggled up on your couch.
Without spoiling anyone’s fun, I will say I appreciated the extra story line and explanations of certain childhoods. This was not explored in the original, but it brought the audience into a deeper connection with the characters.
The townspeople lacked a bit of energy, as did Emma Watson in her portrayal of the beloved Belle, but I’m a tough critic.
Concerns for Parents
I was a bit surprised by the step-up in violence. For example, instead of Gaston using a dagger to kill the Beast, he used multiple gunshots. There is also a moment with Maurice, Belle’s dad, where Gaston leaves him tied to a tree in hopes that Maurice will be eaten by wolves.
On the flip side, the love stories shown between the castles’ objects were very touching.
The “love” theme was very evident throughout the film.
For the moms who are wondering what exactly makes LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick, Disney’s first official openly-gay character, here are the specifics:
- LeFou, played by Josh Gadd (Olaf, for all you Frozen fans), plays this character with some feminine mannerisms.
- During the “Gaston” bar song LeFou opens his shirt when singing “in a wrestling match nobody bites like Gaston.”
- Later on, Mrs. Potts says to LeFou that he deserves better than Gaston.
- Then, at the very end of the film Le Fou is dancing with a woman and then switches to dancing with a man. This is shown for approximately 2 seconds.
Besides LeFou’s character, there is a part, like in the animated film, where three of the townsmen are dressed up as women by the enchanted dresser.
Two of the men are upset by this and one is shown happily admiring himself. The dresser then goes on to sing “be free, be free, be free!”
My Take on the Remake
At the end of this theatrical event, was I excited to go back to the “big movie” and see this film again?
I left the theatre craving the cartoon. The original is just too good!
Blame it on nostalgia if you must, but I prefer the first “old provincial town.”
Copyright 2017 Stephanie Stovall