By Allison O’Connor
Walking into the theater with excitement, I took my seat and waited for the lights to dim. Seeing Beauty and the Beast for the second time was just as magical as seeing it the first time, maybe even more.
Starting with the opening scene. It gave a great context of what time period it was in France and more background on who Prince Adam was. Following the curse placed on Adam and the castle workers, it is told that there is a spell placed on the village as well so they have no memory of the castle or anyone who works there.
In regards to “Belle,” one of my personal favorite numbers, many people have argued that Emma Watson did not sound like Paige O’Hara, the original Belle.
With that said, I thought she did an incredible job for an actress that has never held any large singing roles in films before.
Meeting Gaston and LeFou was perfect, as Gaston (Luke Evans) was as handsome and self absorbed as he could possibly be.
The writers also gave Gaston lines to give backstory to his character, including that he was a captain in a war.
Moving along, we meet Maurice (Kevin Kline) singing a new song “How Does A Moment Last Forever”.
I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard it. It had a slow, sweet melody that pulled at the audiences’ heartstrings.
As the film continues, Maurice arrives at the castle and we meet Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), Cadenza (Stanley Tucci), and Chip (Nathan Mack). Cadenza is a new character the audience is introduced to, an organ who loves Madame Garderobe, the opera singing wardrobe.
Finally, when Belle makes her way to the castle the audience meets the Beast. Played by Dan Stevens, the Beast was portrayed perfectly, from the enormous horns to his hostile words and demeanor.
Following their first meeting comes everyone’s’ favorite number “Be Our Guest”. I did find it very different from the original but just as entrancing with dancing plates, colorful lights and spectacular acts.
I thought the cast did a great job with the number, considering the pressure from the original number.
Jumping ahead, we get to the wolf chase where the Beast saves Belle and she ends up saving him. In comes another new song “Days in the Sun,” which is my favorite new song on the album. It includes all of the castle staff with Belle, reminiscing about their days as humans and Belle realizing the Beast is not as horrible as she had first believed.
Following Belle nursing the Beast back to health, we learn that the Beast received a gift from the enchantress that is able to take him anywhere but nowhere that he will fit in with his surroundings.
He and Belle travel to Belle’s childhood home and learn that Belle’s mother had died from the Plague.
This connection the two now share leads to one of the best scenes in the movie “Beauty and the Beast”. Many people were unhappy with the iconic “yellow dress” that was designed different for the remake.
But, I thought Watson looked beautiful as ever and the scene was just as romantic and loving as the original.
Another new song that was introduced was “Evermore,” which the Beast sings after Belle leaves to rescue her father.
I was more impressed after learning that Dan Stevens had never held a singing role in a film before and did as well as he did in this film.
Moving though to the end of the movie, I did not like that Gaston used guns to try to kill the Beast due to the setting of the film. But, I loved the fight at the castle and LeFou changing sides, realizing that he and Gaston “needed some time apart.”
The transformation was just as perfect as it was in the original and the ending was as happy as could be. Disney received a lot of negative feedback for LeFou’s dance partner at the end, but I thought it was a great push toward the progressive age.
In all, I thought this version of Beauty and the Beast was just as good as the original and would recommend to anyone who loves the tale as old as time.