Disney does it again with a ‘tale as old as time’

Dan Stevens and Emma Watson in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"

By Daniel Morgan, Editor 

It’s finally here, and let me tell you, “Oh, isn’t it amazing?” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” remake just opened in theaters, and fans of the animated classic need to see it as soon as possible. It lives up to the hype, and it still managed to surprise me even though I saw the original many years ago.

To clear the air, in case there’s still any doubt, Emma Watson perfectly portrays Belle. It’s uncanny because there are multiple scenes where she really does look just like the animated Belle. My only doubt was the fear of watching Hermione Granger explore yet another castle, but thankfully that’s not the case at all.

In a “tale as old as time,” we see the ever familiar story of a judgmental prince being turned into a beast (Dan Stevens) along with all of his servants being turned into various objects, such as a mantle clock and a teapot. The only way to break the curse is for the beast to fall in love with someone to receive the same love back.

Well, you know the rest. But just in case, then enter Belle, a book-loving girl lost in the “provincial life” of a small French town with her father Maurice (Kevin Kline). She’s just trying to find her place in the world while also trying to escape from Gaston (Luke Evans), the cocky man that wants to marry her.

Speaking of Gaston, one of the biggest controversies surrounding this movie was that his partner in crime LeFou (Josh Gad) is gay. Let me tell you, children won’t be able to figure it out. Heck, I’m 21 years old and I barely got the minuscule reference. I’m not too sure why this has become such a big deal because something like that shouldn’t make or break a movie.

Anyway, I’m not going to give any more details about the plot in respect to the select few who aren’t already familiar with the story. If you aren’t, then you’re in for a real treat! Regardless of your age, this is an enjoyable movie that will make you think and feel like a kid again. I saw it with a group of 20-somethings and we enjoyed it more than the children in the theater.

Lumiere and Cogsworth in Disney's live-action "Beauty and the Beast"

Lumiere and Cogsworth received an updated design in Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” Photo credit: Mirror.co.uk

“Beauty and the Beast” has been my favorite of the live-action remakes so far. From the ones that I’ve seen (and we’re talking about Disney – they’ve all been good), this one was exquisite (and I never use that word. Dang Disney, you are good).

While it’s very familiar, there are some differences between the old and new versions. But since I’ve only seen the original once, I can’t say for certain everything that’s different. Every part of this film was breathtaking from the scenery to the beautiful music. There’s really not much more to say.

Except this – I really like the casting choices for the “furniture.” With Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson, who are all charming, sometimes it’s like watching a combination of “Star Wars,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Nanny McPhee.” Also, having the movie open and close with Audra McDonald singing makes it that much better.

“Beauty and the Beast” will not disappoint you. It will either enhance your love for Disney even more or introduce you to a beautiful story.

Photo credit: Digital Spy

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