Beauty and the Beast: Disney Does It Again

Walt Disney Pictures

Our childhood comes back to the big screen with the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The retelling stays true to the animated classic but fills in the plot holes that they were unable to do with the animated film.

If it were up to me, Beauty and the Beast would also get a Best Picture nomination.

Directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, the star-studded cast features Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

Alan Menken is back to score the film. Old songs by Menken and Howard Ashman return with new songs contributed by Menken and Tim Rice. Lyrics originally written for “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast” by Howard Ashman were not included in the 1991 film but were included in the new film. The film stays true to the original classic songs–“Be Our Guest” is as amazing in live-action as it was when it was animated.

We all know the story. Belle travels to the castle to find her father and discovers him to be imprisoned by the Beast. She takes his spot as his prisoner and eventually falls in love with him after looking beyond his skin. She’s as beautiful and independent as she’s depicted in the animated classic. Emma Watson holds her own and does justice to the role of Belle.

“The delightful animated film from 1991 plays as classic animation, but if you want to go a level deeper into the story and into the songs and into the emotions, that’s what this live-action film delivers: a greater depth of emotions,” says director Bill Condon.

We find out more of what the Prince was like prior to his transformation into the Beast. At the same time, we learn more about who Belle is as a person.

Disney has been remaking their animated classics for the screen over the past few years with the likes of Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book (they did not produce either live action version of Snow White but adaptations of Aladdin, Dumbo, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Mulan, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, and The Sword in the Stone are in the works).

Beauty and the Beast dates back to 18th century France with the publishing of La Belle et la Bête by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Despite the retellings over the years, it’s the 1991 Disney film that remains the definitive and beloved film of all time. The theme of beauty coming from within is a message that can resonate with audiences today.

Walt Disney Pictures opened Beauty and the Beast on March 17, 2017.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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