I wouldn’t consider this a review. My comments are far from impartial and I feel certain I cannot be as fair and balanced as I usually strive to be. Belle has always been my favorite princess and the animated Beauty and the Beast has been my favorite Disney animated movie since I first saw it in the theater in 1991. Everything good thing I heard and saw about the live action remake seemed exactly right, so The Fam and I planned way in advance to catch the film during opening weekend.
I bought the tickets in advance and made sure we’d arrive at the theater with plenty of time to get excellent seats and grab some snacks. Megan had seen the movie on opening day and sat next to me promising not to give anything away. This proved to be an excellent arrangement! She was there to hold my hand during all the (slightly) scary and emotional parts (there were several) and didn’t make fun of me for crying (which Joseph certainly would have done).
Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast
To say the movie surpassed everything I’d hoped for is probably the best praise I can give it. Stunningly beautiful in every detail, each scene brought me completely into the story. I can’t recall a 2+ hour movie going by so quickly before. The original storyline was front and center with exactly the right amount of “more” added to hold my undivided attention.
For me, the best part of the movie was this: Every character was richly developed in sometimes surprising ways that added more depth and meaning to an already excellent story. Maurice was not a simple absent-minded inventor and Belle was not just a selfless bookworm waiting for her life to begin. We learned many of the characters’ backstories and the knowledge made the movie ever more enjoyable with each new insight. If you thought Belle was wonderful (and an awesome role model) in the animated version, you’ll absolutely adore her in this adaptation.
Finally, if you’ve heard controversial statements about this film’s suitability for the entire family, all I can say is that our family found it to be a clever, endearing, immensely entertaining movie. Had our children been little, I’m certain the “controversial” parts would have completely gone unnoticed. If I hadn’t heard about them, I honestly wouldn’t have noticed them myself.
By far Beauty and the Beast is Disney’s best live action remake to date and sets the bar high for future films. Have you seen it yet? What did you think?