I always answer Beauty and the Beast when asked to name my favorite animated/Disney film of all-time, so the possibility of me finding the new live-action movie better than the 1991 classic is non-existent.
These were some things I loved (and didn’t like so much) about the Bill Condon-directed movie, which hit theatres this week.
This 2017 adaptation stays very faithful to the original animated film made 16 years ago, including re-adapting the musical gems created by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Many lines from the animated film are also heard again in the new movie.
The French flavour
Lumiere’s accent was pretty much the only thing about the animated movie that felt French to me. The new movie however feels like a story that indeed took place in the heart of the Parisian country: the architecture, the costumes, the spirit.
The gradual falling in love
In pre-21st century animated flicks, the romance rushes in quickly. Thanks to the post-Y2K rejection of this fantasy, fairytale adaptations are now told more realistically. Belle and the Beast’s romantic interactions become more gradually progressive, which makes the love story even more authentic.
‘Be Our Guest’
The entire scene was pretty stellar, honoring the exuberance of the original animated sequence. I won’t describe it in detail. Just watch and you’ll understand.
The origin stories
We finally get our answers to two questions that I honestly never cared about: where is Belle’s mother and why is the Beast such a bastard? I don’t mind backstories especially if they enrich the story, but they were inserted quite abruptly into the movie. Had it been more seamless, I would’ve found it cool.
Emma Watson’s singing voice
Emma Watson is many things. She’s a beautiful actress. She’s an inspirational feminist. She’s a brilliant academic. She’s a stunning Burberry model. She’s fricking Hermione Granger. But she is not a singer. Somehow I found the texture of her voice to be slightly vocoded in this movie. Maybe they toggled it in the editing bay because it was too thin.
How small the library and ballrooms were
They were spectacularly immersive in the animated film, largely (pun intended) because they were enormous. In this live-action adaptation, both the library and ballroom were disappointingly tinier than I would’ve liked them to be.