Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Live Action Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast Movie

Enchanted Rose at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

The live action version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast was released this week and I was able to head to the movie theater on the first morning of its premiere to see the full film! I was so excited for this film to be released, being a 90's kid, Beauty and the Beast is one of the "Big 4" of films from my childhood - The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King! These were all released around each other in consecutive years and I was at a prime age for the films when they came out.

When I found out Disney was remaking Beauty and the Beast into a live action version, I knew it would be a great translation from animated film to live action because of all of the cinematic elements of the story and rich character stories. The classic story has grown on me as I've gotten older, and I've enjoyed the Beauty and the Beast entertainment at Walt Disney World, with the stage show at Hollywood Studios and Be Our Guest restaurant at Magic Kingdom.

Beauty and the Beast stage show at Hollywood Studios, Photo Courtesy Disney Parks, Gene Duncan, photographer

I will try not give away TOO much about what has been added into the movie, but please note there may be a few spoilers below. Although if you've seen the animated version and are familiar with the story, you can be sure that you'll recognize the framework for the story in the live action version!

Stand Out Parts in the Movie

The live action Beauty and the Beast had a few stand out moments for me that I thought really set the tone!

- When Belle sees the library for the first time. This scene was fantastic and you really get a sense of this wonderful connection Belle is going to have to the castle and contents inside. When it is found out that the Beast not only likes to read but knows many of the stories well it gives the audience an instant sense of the connection building between the two.

The library does look quite magnificent! Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

- Be Our Guest dining scene, this is such a fun scene! They did a tremendous job at carrying this over into the live action version and it felt very magical! We will leave it at that to not spoil any of the fun!

- Learning more about the backstories of both Belle's mother and the Beast's mother. This is a really pivotal plot line that was mainly left out of the animated version, but I felt like it added so much to the movie it really was important that this part of their stories be told.

- Belle and Beast's first dance, this is where you see their love story start to blossom.

Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Enriched Character Stories

One of my favorite parts of the live action version of Beauty and the Beast, were the enriched character stories within the movie! Every character, from Belle to the enchanted objects around the castle, is introduced and brought into the story with more depth than the animated version. I really liked how they brought more of the story of Belle's mother and Beast's mother into the story, and I felt like it showed how the two had a unique connection.

We learn a lot more about the enchanted objects in the live action series compared to the animated version, their personalities seem fuller and more vibrant. The special effects of bringing them to life blended seamlessly with the actors.

The enchanted objects all have vibrant personalities! Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

I also loved how fearless Belle appeared in the movie, Emma Watson made the character very strong yet still distinctly feminine. I felt like Belle was more involved in the final fight scene between Gaston and the Beast, and it suited the movie that she was intertwined with that scene more. Luke Evans who played Gaston, truly personified the childhood image of Gaston from the 1990's animated version - it was like looking at the animated Gaston that had jumped onto the screen. Overall the entire cast was extremely solid and I was completed immersed in the story while watching.

She's just not that into you. Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Would I take the kids to see Beauty and the Beast in the theater?

So you'll probably noticed by now in my recap it was a lot of "me" and "I"... not "we". I did go see the movie in the theater while my husband was at work and while the girls were at school. The timing hadn't worked out for our babysitter to be available on a weekend for my husband and I to go see the film - and the girls' haven't yet seen a live action film in the theater, so I wasn't sure how they would do as far as sitting through it.

The biggest issue with my girls and movies is they do get scared easily during intense parts. I knew from the animated version that there would be some tense parts with the wolves and also at the end final fight scene. After seeing the movie, I do think the few scenes with the wolves would be our toughest moments with the girls, but I feel like they would be capable of sitting through them.

The movie is quick moving and I feel like would hold the girls' attention well. Their ages are 5 and 6 currently, and Beauty and the Beast is a story that they are well acquainted with, so I am going to try to fit going to the movie theater on the weekend into our schedule if we can find a time that isn't sold out! If you have a child that loves Princess Belle, this movie is sure to capture their attention!

She really is a lovely girl. Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

I felt the content in the movie was appropriate for kids of all ages to watch with their parents, especially those ages 5 and up - I think that children will especially enjoy the added elements of "magic" during the Be Our Guest scene. The story line remains true to the story of our childhood, so if you are familiar with the animated 1990's version, the live action story will seem familiar to you with a bit more character detail added.

I hope you found my review helpful and I think that any Beauty and the Beast fan will love to see the movie in the theater! The sweeping scenes across the countryside and views inside the castle were certainly extraordinary on the big screen for sure!

Be sure to check out our Beauty and the Beast movie viewing party of the animated version at home, in anticipation of the live action release! And if we do find a time to go to the theater with the girls, I'll be sure to follow-up on their reaction!

** This is not a sponsored post. I was able to screen portions of Beauty and the Beast at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017. All opinions are my own.


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  2. I'm so in love with this movie. I live 15min away of WDW today is my lil girl 2nd course she will be wearing Belle dress at Hollywood Studios and momma will watch the movie tomorrow at the Spring Village theatre. My other girl (5) still can't handle the scare or drama action parts on movies so my husband will take care of the girls while I'll be in the theatre yeah!thats how clearly He knows that I love TB&B lol. Saying Hello from the Sunshine State, Isa Henriquez

  3. Excellent review, and what a fun idea to go to preview the movie! As Moms, we don't get to do things like that on a regular day :) I took my seven year old to see this movie, and I am not sure which one of us enjoyed it more!

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