As I walked into the movie theatre, I was not prepped for the amazement and emotion that would play on the AMC screen in front of me. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is everything my inner Disney super fan wanted. Enchanted objects that sing, show stopping musical numbers and Emma Watson all spell a recipe for a near-perfect film.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairytale story about love — well, kind of. Belle (Emma Watson) is tired of her day-to-day life in her boring and typical village. Belle dreams of a better tomorrow where being a woman that reads isn’t frowned upon. Her quirkiness and hard-to-get attitude is what attracts the town heart throb, Gaston (Luke Evans). Belle is appalled by the thought of being with the chauvinistic man, and uses every trick in the book to avoid his persistent actions.
Belle’s father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), goes on his usual trip to the larger city to sell his inventions. His trip, however, is anything but ordinary as he finds himself wandering into a castle for shelter from the wolves and storm that batter him in the woods. The Beast (Dan Stevens) locks up Maurice as prisoner with no intent on letting him go. Maurice’s horse, Philippe, runs back to town to alert Belle of her father’s predicament.
Belle journeys to the castle to save her father. However, saving her father comes at a price. In order to save her father, Belle must take his place as prisoner — and she does just that.
I’ve left out some important information that I felt any Disney fan would already be aware of. The Beast and all the objects in the castle are cursed by an enchantress. In order to be turned back into humans, the Beast must learn to love another person and earn their love in return. If this isn’t achieved before the last enchanted rose petal falls, then they will remain in their non-human forms for the rest of time.
Over the course of the film, the objects in the house work together to make Belle feel welcome. It makes sense, though. How could a talking clock and candelabra not evoke happiness and warm feelings in a prisoner trapped by a horrific beast?
Lumière (Ewan McGregor) and Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) are the same funny and off-the-collar duo that they were back in their cartoon forms from my childhood. Both McGregor and McKellen deliver a fantastic performance that drives home the nostalgia that many “Beauty and the Beast” fans were anticipating when they bought their movie tickets.
The Beast learns to love Belle and finds himself struggling with keeping her as a prisoner. The Beast is so much in love with Belle that he lets her go and frees her. The enchanted objects of the house are surprised by this, as the Beast and all of the objects of the castle want to be a human again.
Belle tells her village of the castle and the Beast, which provoked Gaston to lead a charge on the Beast’s castle.
The town rallies together to take down the Beast, but little do they know all the enchanted objects are rallied together inside to put up a fight. Why watch pro wrestling when you could watch a tea pot fight a French village person?
The film ends with a dramatic face off between the Beast and Gaston. Disney being Disney wouldn’t let the Beast die, so of course, good prevails. Just as all hope is lost of turning back into humans, the Enchantress (Haydn Gwynne) sees the love that Belle has for the Beast and turns them all back into humans. It’s an emotional ending full of love, humorous bits, and dancing — it is a Disney story, after all.
The music of “Beauty and the Beast” is one of the biggest strengths this film has. The soundtrack for the film is not a regurgitated version of the cartoon film from my childhood. This 2017 version is spiced up and given a new sound. It feels more fun and fickle. It feels more thought out and inviting than the previous version. New songs in the film give a new life and background to the Disney classic, while old songs tempt the audience to sing along as the dishes fly around the dinner table. Disney did a great job with every word put into the songs in the final product.
Disney did great with this. The film made $170 million it’s opening weekend. To date the reboot has made around $490.6 million domestically. With a success like this it isn’t a surprise that Disney will continue this trend of live-action remakes. “Beauty and the Beast” needs to be the model film for any live-action version of their animated classics. If Disney follows this level of execution in their productions, they have a long road of success ahead of them for future films such as “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid.”
Cody Melin is a senior broadcast media major. This review reflects the views of the author only.