“Beauty and the Beast” delights Disney fans


Angela Mammel, Feature Editor

Movie theaters across the world are abuzz with Disney magic as the live action remake of the classic story of “Beauty and the Beast” is finally out in screenings. Featuring Emma Watson (“Harry Potter”) in the iconic role of Belle and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) as the Beast, the talented and star-studded cast made the beloved tale come to life through this colorful reanimation.

Set in France in the mid-1700s, the widely-cherished film follows an outcasted young woman named Belle as she wishes for adventure, and finds it when she daringly trades places with her father after he was captured by a beast. When Belle begins to explore the castle she is now hostage in, the personified objects within it tell her of a curse that has been put upon them which transformed their once-human figures into such furniture until a spell is broken. Although the beast treats Belle harshly near the beginning of the movie, as they spend more time together, a heartwarming love story emerges between them and breaks the curse, as Belle learns to look beyond the surface of those she meets for the beauty that lies within them.

Although some entered the theater skeptical of Disney’s new wave of live action remakes, this movie absolutely proved to be worth the price of admission. Through including a brilliant new score by Alan Menken on top of all of the beloved songs from the original, the remake brought the animated movie to life perfectly, as well as adding even more magic to the story. Songs such as “Evermore”, a ballad near the end of the movie about the beast’s fear that he will never see Belle again after he sets her free, added depth and emotion to the story, drawing viewers into the narrative even further. The movie also included an incredible amount of special effects in an attempt to bring the magical story to life, and the charming use of these effects during scenes such as the iconic “Be Our Guest” number, wherein the enchanted objects of the castle prepare Belle an extravagant dinner, filled the hearts of the many Disney fans who have grown up with this story. The part in the beginning of the animated classic where the beast’s curse is explained through illustrations of stained glass was completely re-imagined in live action for the remake, adding yet another factor of excitement to the movie for those who know the story by heart, and helping the cartoon translate to this new medium in a wonderful way.

Although all of the acting in the film was perfectly executed, one of the criticisms this movie has drawn is the prevalent auto-tuning of Emma Watson’s voice during most of the songs- the tinny quality to her voice caused by this editing detracts from the immersiveness of the story to an extent. In addition to this, Disney widely publicized that their first gay character would be included in this story, but far too much media attention was focused on this, as the “gay moment” they had built up for weeks occurred at the end of the movie and only lasted for a second or two.

Seeing a childhood favorite spring to life in a reimagined fashion on screen is an experience like no other, and although it had its flaws, due to the amount of nostalgia and Disney magic it exuded, the movie receives a 4.5/5 star rating.