Like a whole lot of you, if box office numbers are anything to go by, I recently went to see the 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast last week. While overall I enjoyed it, there were a few things that bugged me, and other things that, while not bad, per say, definitely stuck out. I decided to list a few of those things for you there — warning, spoilers, obviously.
• Belle and the Beast both get backstories, which are interesting and help develop their characters a little bit...before the backstories start to drag on too long.
• Belle has a scene where she invents a washing machine. That was pretty cool.
• She's also a little more sarcastic about Gaston's pursuit of her, which is funny and entertaining.
• We get to see why Belle dislikes her village so much: the villagers are complete dicks who don’t think girls should learn how to read. Some reviewers think she's a little too pretentious about how much smarter she is than everyone in her "poor provincial town," but who can blame her?
• The Beast is MUCH snarkier and more sarcastic.
• Also, before the Beast is turned into a Beast, we see him as a French prince in some pretty extravagant makeup.
• There are a few remarks that nod back to the original fairy tale, which is nice.
• Luke Evans as Gaston is completely over-the-top in the best way.
• Emma Thompson was GREAT as Mrs. Potts and will make you cry.
• In fact, all the voice actors were pretty great.
• The songs aren’t as good as the originals, but they were still fun to listen to. And DAMN does Audra McDonald have an amazing voice.
• Belle’s dad is a sad widower instead of a goofy old man. I was skeptical at first, but this mostly works, actually.
• There was a new subplot where the Beast’s servants/animate household objects will become INANIMATE household objects when the last petal falls, which is much sadder than you think it will be. Like it’s really really sad. Bring Kleenex.
• There are some new songs in the movie, which aren’t very good or memorable.
• The movie SO MUCH LONGER. This really did not need to be over two hours long.
• That LeFou-is-the-first-canon-gay-character thing was cringeworthy. We see LeFou making googly eyes at Gaston through most of the movie and then gets a blink-and-you-miss-it dance with an unnamed male villager in the end scene. Disney could have done a LOT better for LGBT representation than this.
• The Beast gets a magical book that lets him and Belle time-travel. It didn’t need to be there.
• Gaston is great, but they left out some of the funniest lyrics of the “Gaston” song, aka the best song ever.
• The yellow dress WAS NOT VERY GOOD.
• The CGI household objects are a little creepy looking.
• Why cast Gugu Mbatha-Raw but then only show her face for like two seconds??
• With real people instead of cartoons, the furry undertones are DEFINITELY MORE PRONOUNCED. Like when Belle sings “New and a bit alarming” while gazing at the Beast, that seems a little more bestiality-focused than when they’re cartoons. I thought this was pretty funny and made it more entertaining for me, but YMMV.
• I enjoyed the remake but it definitely has its flaws, and nothing beats the original movie. Additionally, the remake worked for me because I grew up with the original and it was hitting the nostalgia feels HARD. If you did not wear out a VHS of the animated Beauty and the Beast as a child, it might not work as well for you.
All images via Disney
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