Disney is remaking their animated movies into Live-Action movies. A Live-Action movie is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of the movie being an animated cartoon, the movie is made with real people and computer graphics. Disney remade its 1991 animated blockbuster, Beauty and the Beast, into a Live-Action movie, and my review is mixed.
Beauty and the Beast is a classic movie that inspired the 1993 Broadway musical of the same name. This was Disney’s first Broadway musical and ran for thirteen years. This paved the way for the future Disney Broadway musicals The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Aladdin, and soon-to-be on Broadway Frozen.
Six-time Tony Award winner, Audra McDonald, auditioned to be in Beauty on the Beast on Broadway, did not get that job, and was cast in the musical Carousel. She went on to win her first Tony Award in 1994 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her work in Carousel. Audra being in the 2017 Live-Action movie of Beauty and the Beast is definitely a full-circle moment.
Belle is a beloved Disney princess of many. Therefore, casting her role was crucial for the success of this project. Emma Watson was originally slated to be in the movie La La Land. She walked away from that movie to play Belle, a dream role for her, and she did a good job. My main criticism of her performance is not her singing. She is actually a good singer. My main issue with Emma’s performance is her accent. I understand that Emma Watson is a British actress. But as Lumiere says in the show-stopping number Be Our Guest, “After all, Miss, this is France.” I found Emma’s accent distracting. (Emma Thompson’s portrayal of Mrs. Potts also has a British accent, but I give her a pass since she is playing a British teapot made iconic by Dame Angela Lansbury).
Before seeing the movie I heard about the “Beauty and the Beast Gay Controversy.” Some people are boycotting the movie because of Disney’s decision to include a gay character. Josh Gad (Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon on Broadway, William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Broadway, the voice of Olaf in Frozen) who plays Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, said that the script did not explicitly state that the character was a homosexual, but he decided to portray moments where instead of LeFou wanting to be Gaston, he wanted to be with Gaston. My friends and I did not know what to expect. Based on our observations, there are three nods to homosexual relationships throughout the movie, so if that is a concern for you, know that before seeing the movie.
Overall it was challenging for me not to compare the Live-Action movie to the animated movie. Yes, the Live-Action movie was well done. I appreciated the additional character development for Belle and the Beast, loved that Belle excelled in STEM, and that Belle was shown to be an even stronger female than in the original. But the Live-Action movie lost some of the magic of the original. The animated movie was so fantastical, that I found the computer animation falling flat.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of this movie.
Disclaimer: My ticket was purchased to see this movie, and the opinions expressed are 100% my own.