A Tale as Old as Time: Beauty and the Beast Reviewed
April 10, 2017
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The magical Disney animation classic, Beauty and the Beast, is back in theatres this spring. With a real-life twist, Harry Potter veteran Emma Watson and Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens portray the “beauty” Belle and the former prince turned “beast.” The “tale as old as time” follows the journey of bibliophilic Belle in 18th-century France and her encounters with a beast that resides in a castle tucked in the middle of the forest.
When the young and arrogant Prince of France denies entry of an old beggar in his palace on a stormy night, she curses him with a spell that will last until he finds true love. The curse entails that the prince and all of his palace staff will transform into inhuman objects, yet still obtain their humanly souls.
Distraught with the life-long loss of hope, the beast captures Belle’s father, Maurice, when he is caught trespassing on the castle property. Locked in his dungeon, Belle searches out looking for him and stumbles upon the beast’s castle, surrounded by snow in the middle of June. To save her father, Belle takes his place as a prisoner and is locked in the castle for what may be forever under the eyes of the beast.
Through her journey of imprisonment, the castle’s enchanted staff, including talking clocks and animated candle holders, befriends her and attempts at making her feel more at home. The beast, soon enough, opens up to Belle, sharing memories of when he was human, and they begin to create a special, and unexpected, bond.
Although I am a huge fan of Emma Watson’s work, as well as an avid Disney fan, I was not expecting much of this remake. In my explicit opinion, most Disney remakes or spin-offs have not been very successful or accurate. But Beauty and the Beast scrupulously brought the same engaging enchantment to the screens just as they did in 1991, especially with the “Be Our Guest” number.
What I liked most about this remake is that it mostly mirrored the original animation perfectly as far as the plot, but minor details and scenes were added. With sarcastic humor from the beast, politically correct details among minor cast members, and the technologically advanced editing and graphics? It was totally worth the $12 movie ticket.