It’s a tale as old as time. Some may even go as far as to say; it’s a song as old as rhyme… so we pretty much know what’s going to happen down to a formulaic T. Whether you’re a fan of the 1991 original animated version, Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgen’s 2011 Beastly, or the 2012 TV series of the same name that lasted for 4 seasons – you know the deal.
But just in case.
Somewhere in the heart of Paris is a forgotten castle, where the occupants have been turned into mobile antiques and the owner – a Prince – into a wicked beast. A curse befallen them due to the Prince’s narcissistic and selfish tendencies catalysed when he failed to show compassion to a stranger.
The only thing capable of reversing the spell is if the Prince in his new form can find someone who loves him before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose. But who could ever love a beast?
I didn’t really give her casting much thought, but that could also be down to the fact that I didn’t watch any trailers for Beauty and the Beast, but Emma Watson really did a great job as the bookish Belle. It’s easy enough to look the part but we saw it in the way she sang, and the way she treated Gaston, her father and the Beast. This, I think made it easier to believe in her character because no matter how hard they dress her up – It’s Hermione Granger. As she danced I made jokes about the Yule Ball, when she chastised the Beast I pretended she was talking to Ron (it’s what I do) but all jokes aside – she was Belle, and that made me happy.
A surprising edition was Josh Gad as LeFou who was instantly recognisable as the voice of Olaf (Frozen), he provided the perfect amount of comedic relief and was the ultimate “Hype Man” for Luke Evan’s oddly fitting Gaston.
It also has to be said, that though I didn’t recognise him in the beginning – when the Beast was revealed to be Dan Stevens (who plays Schizophrenic David on Fox’s Legion) – I pretty much lost my shit – my overactive imagination laughing at the thought of all of this just being another one of Davids delusions.
Back on topic, so far as I can recall Disney have remade Cinderella and The Jungle Book before Beauty and the Beast. Focusing on comparing the Disney Princesses, Beauty and the Beast outshone Cinderella.
It’s a particularly hard dance to please the audience with a remake – keep things exactly the same and we’re bored, but change things too much and we’re angry it’s not the same. Where Beauty and the Beast differed was in its subtle new inclusions to the story as well as the up selling of comedic elements, and if this is the way forward then I approve, and Disney can bring on whichever remake they’ve got cooking up next.
Shout out to the CGI cast who were a delight to watch!