It is a tale as old as time, and the magic of “Beauty and the Beast” returned to the big screen this past weekend in a live-action remake of the original 1991 classic Disney film. The beautiful and talented Emma Watson, of “Harry Potter” fame, took the role of Belle. Her other half, the mysterious and at times frightening Beast, was played by Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey.
Other big-name actors also participated in the film by voicing and then playing the real-life versions of other lovable characters; Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson are just a few of these.
The story is well-known and beloved by millions—possibly billions—of people: French peasant girl, daughter of a kooky inventor, essentially enslaves herself to free said father from the dungeon of a hideous beast.
This beast is really a prince, and only true love will save him and his entire enchanted castle from an eternity of damnation, but love is hard for him to come by. The French girl wins his affections, and she his, but they are almost cruelly separated by death when the girl’s creepy stalker kills the beast in a raid on the castle.
He is brought back to life, turned back into a man and they live happily ever after.
It is a beautiful love story, and my personal favorite Disney movie, which is why I was cautiously optimistic as I entered a sold-out theater on Saturday night.
If Hollywood ruined this movie for me, I was going to be crushed, devastated, destroyed—you get the picture.
However, not a minute into the movie, I fell hopelessly in love with “Beauty and the Beast all over again.”
The music was the same. The dialogue stayed true to the original. Major plot holes were filled in more than sufficiently.
New songs were added to make sense of the story where before only instrumental music had ushered audiences into the next scene.
Humor was added to make the story more relatable to the times.
Emma Watson made Belle so much more than some silly peasant girl—she made her a strong, beautiful heroine and role model for girls of a new generation.
The Beast’s behavior was better explained and he was developed more as a character, not just some crabby furball.
It was everything I had wanted and more.
If you are hesitant to see a remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” don’t be. Rush to the theater and get a ticket, provided the showing isn’t already sold out, and experience your childhood again.
It is a movie that you will not regret seeing, I can promise you. 11/10.