Disney’s Beauty and the Beast a Family Review

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Last night the Big Guy surprised the girls with tickets to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, now playing in theaters. This should be no surprise to anybody who knows us because everyone knows that we are huge Disney fans but more importantly, this is one of our favorite Disney films.

I went to see Beauty and the Beast with big expectations.

I wasn’t sure that the movie could live up to the way I felt about the animated movie. I mean, I’ve loved that movie for 26 years. I won’t lie, Beauty and the Beast has a very special place in my heart. In a lot of ways, the Big Guy and I are very different but when we met, we both agreed that we loved Beauty and the Beast. It was one of the first things we had in common.

The Big Guy is an artist and he loved the original Beauty and Beast because it was animation at its finest. It was traditional Disney. He’s old school like that. I loved the original movie because it was an epic love story between a bookish, head strong brunette with a wanderlust in her heart ( ahem) and a Beast who became beautiful on the inside as his true nature was revealed. I loved the story and the characters. I couldn’t wait to see how that parlayed into live action.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

I knew the cast was stellar and so was the directing. Bill Condon outdid anything I could have expected. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, themantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts. With this cast, how could you go wrong?

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within.

My family loves musicals and Beauty and the Beast did not let us down.

I’m listening to the soundtrack as I type this post. In fact, we’ve been listening to it since watching the movie last night. The original score by Alan Menken was stunning and new songs added a level of depth to the live-action movie that wasn’t there in the original. My favorite songs are Days in the Sun, Gaston, Be Our Guest, Something There and Evermore. If you weren’t in love with the Beast by this point in the movie, his very Les Miserable like solo Evermore would make you fall head over heels with this character.

I have to say I absolutely love the live-action Beauty and the Beast.

Dare I say, even more so than the original. The story was just as beautiful but the cinematography was out of this world and there was something about the film that not only told you what was happening but was so masterfully written, acted and directed that it immersed you in the film. I felt the film.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Scene by scene, you fall in love with the Beast along with Belle.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

We get to know his soul and it is beautiful. Near the end, when the enchanted household items begin to turn into just household items, I felt the souls leave the pieces. I know it sounds crazy but it was that good. You felt it, you didn’t need to be led by the nose to the outcome.

 

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Emma Watson was the perfect Belle, for me. She is girl-next-door, smart and strong and she plays the part without being ostentatious. I feel like Watson’s Belle was right on the mark. Her understated reaction to everything balanced out Dan Stevens powerful presence as the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellan as Lumiere and Cogsworth were marvelous. The Be Our Guest performance was nothing short of magical. I would have to say that it was so spectacular that it outdid the original in the wow department. I really didn’t think that was possible. Ewan McGregor’s delivery of Be Our Guest was reminiscent of Cabaret’s Vilkommen. Also, Disney fan alert, be on the lookout for the easter egg during the song.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Emma Thompson’s Mrs. Potts was spot on. She was just as wonderful as Angela Landsbury in the original but softer around the edges.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Luke Evans was the perfect Gaston. He was definitely more despicable than I remember. I guess there must be more redemption for animated characters because in that version I found his bumbling endearing. In the live-action film, I hated the character. Luke Evans played the part perfectly.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Josh Gad as LeFou was one of the highlights of the movie. I’ve loved Josh Gad since Book of Mormon (I told you we love our musicals) but Gad made LeFou endearing. In the animated movie, LeFou was annoying and a pest. In the live-action version, he was the voice of reason. He served as Gaston’s ignored moral compass. In the end, he did the right thing. His rendition of Gaston was one of the highlights of the film. Gad played LeFou with flawless delivery.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Here are our reviews of Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.

I love it! I would see it 100 more times and I just might because it was that magical to me and who can’t use a little more Disney magic in their life? The story was even more endearing to me than I remembered it being ( and I just watched the original over the past weekend to prep for the movie.)

The Big Guy, who I told you is an artist, an animation traditionalist and this is his favorite Disney animated film, said that he loved the live-action film but still prefers the animated one. He said he didn’t like some of the creative license that, he felt, deviated from the original. I thought it filled in the gaps nicely. Then again, I am all about the story because I am a writer and he is more about the animation.

Bella, my just turned 12-year-old, is with me. She said she LOVED the movie and she can’t wait to see it again. Her favorite part was the Be Our Guest sequence and she loves Emma Watson as Belle. She loves the pageantry of Beauty and the Beast and she said that she loved absolutely everything about it.

Gabs, my sweet 9-year-old, said she loved the movie but she isn’t ready to say whether or not she loves it more than the original. She’s my analyzer, she likes to weigh her options. However, she’s promised me a video interview that I will add later today.

Overall, our family emphatically agrees that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast live-action film is a must see.

It’s the perfect movie for all ages. The only warning I have is if you are taking really small children, there are a couple times that the Beast roars really loudly and it may startle toddlers/preschoolers but other than that, be prepared to be wowed by the magic. And you might as well get the soundtrack now because you will be wanting to play it non-stop afterwards.

If you’ve seen both Beauty and the Beast versions which is your favorite and why?

 

 

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Comments (17)

I’ve heard such amazing things! I’m not going to lie, I generally prefer the original animated versions over the live-action counterparts, but Disney has created such visually stunning live-actions that I still appreciate them. Looking forward to seeing Beauty & The Beast!

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to see this! The animated movie was one of my favorites from Disney, and I think this live action version will have even more feels.

Ahhh! We are all so excited about the new Beauty and the Beast. Even my husband is excited, and he doesn’t get into this stuff.

What a marvelous experience to see it LIVE! There is nothing like the energy of live theatre especially when it comes to musicals!

I really think I saw another movie. Am I the only person in the planet who was not blown away in amazement with this movie? To me is just another movie. Beautiful and entertaining like its original, but it was not AMAZING! It lack so much. It’s hard to top the original cast and the music was a tad much.
I really wanted to love this. And seriously, I’m starting to wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Because I don’t get the hype 🙁

I seriously can’t wait to go see this movie! Already have my ticket to go watch it tomorrow! So excited!

Disney’s Beauty and The Beast live action would be amazing to see. We love musicals and this is a great story with a wonderful message. I can’t wait to see it with my niece’s kids. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Interesting to hear how you and your hubby’s opinions differed. I’m really looking forward to seeing this movie too, but not sure if I’ll like it as much as the original animation either. Totally agree with you that the casting choice can make or break a movie, glad to hear it was properly cast.

this was one of my favorite Disney movies as a young-in ! I’m happy to see they made it into a movie with great visual effects! I’m going to see this with the kids as soon as we have free time : ) Thanks for the review!

We are going to go see Beauty and the Beast on Wednesday.We are so excited. It has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl.

I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s on my must see list. My friend saw it with her son and said her son cried twice!

I can’t honestly remember if I have seen the original movie or not. However, I can’t wait to see this movie. It has struck a ton of controversy but in my opinion people shouldn’t let it get in the way of the storyline. 🙂

I saw it live on Broadway many years ago! Priceless! So happy to see how much you’ve enjoyed it!

I’ve only heard great things about this movie. It’s actually convincing me to see it!

I loved this movie! We saw this the other night and it was amazing. All the artists were perfect for their roles.

We really enjoyed it as well. You’re spot on about LeFou being a much improved character in the live action. There were a couple of spots that I felt it start to drag on a little bit (the musical number when Belle leaves to rescue her dad comes right to mind) but overall does a great job of fleshing out in the right ways.

Beauty and the Beast have always been my favorite Disney movie of all time. I haven’t gotten around to seeing yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

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