The Herald Review: Beauty and the Beast - The Herald: #Life

The Herald Review: Beauty and the Beast

Kirsten Larrison | #Life Editor | Posted: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 5:00 pm

The latest in a series of live-action Disney remakes was “Beauty and the Beast,” which was released March 16. The commercials and advertisements made it clear that the movie would be visually stunning, but for hardcore Disney fans it left out the aspects that would make the movie much different from the animated version released in 1991.

Some changes added bits to the story that helped clear up long-standing issues, such as why no one came looking for the Beast (Dan Stevens) after the transformation and the age at which the Beast was transformed. Instead of the Beast being a young child who must find love before he is 21, the live-action version gives him an older age and a more ambiguous deadline. Of course, no one came looking for him or the rest of the castle because the Enchantress (Hattie Morahan) simply erased the memory of the castle from the villagers’ minds. Another change added Belle (Emma Watson) discovering why her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), never talked about why he had to leave her mother. 

The most controversial change seems to be the addition of making the household items become more like their objects as time goes on. Some people love the addition from the musical and how it changed the design of the live-action characters. Others despise the change and the new more realistic character design.

Some aspects, however, were not quite as good. Belle’s iconic yellow dress, for example, only paid homage to the original by the color, as Watson insisted Belle would never wear corsets and that the style of the dress should be light and fluid. Viewers hoping to see the descending layers and off-the-shoulder dress might be disappointed.

One other controversy -- and arguably the biggest one -- was the additional information that LeFou (Josh Gad) was gay and in love with Gaston (Luke Evans). Unfortunately, this information is mainly used as the butt of the joke in most of his scenes. LeFou comes across as longing to the audience, who knows what’s going on, but if someone hadn’t known they might just think he’s a very loyal follower.

The Beast’s animation also seemed to freak some people out by being too realistic or too attractive for an animated beast. To people who think he is too attractive, I say good for the animators. They did their job well.

Overall, the movie is OK on its own. It’s nothing too special, but as something entertaining, it gets the job done.

Final Rating: One thumb up, one thumb down!