Disney strikes again, this time with a familiar throwback.
The release of “Beauty and the Beast” came with a lot of excitement for many fans of the original cartoon version. The previews for this film appeared to be very similar to scenes from the original cartoon version of 1991.
Perhaps people were most excited for the star of the film, Emma Watson. Watson, who was most famous for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise, seemed to be a perfect fit for the role of Belle. Watson lived up to those expectations.
From the opening scene on, Watson does a fantastic job of portraying Belle as she was in the original cartoon. The Beast, played by Dan Stevens, was on point to the original as well. All of the side characters like Clogworth, played by Ian McKellen, Lumiere, played by Ewan McGregor, and Mrs.Potts, played by Emma Thompson, serve as comic relief and comfort during various points in the film.
I personally enjoyed Luke Evans and Josh Gad as Gaston and LeFou. Gaston is probably my favorite Disney villain, and other than Watson, Evans does the best job in his role. He brings the same conceded ignorance that we saw from the original 1991 version of Gaston.
A lot of attention was brought to LeFou played by Josh Gad. One of the main differences between this film and the original was LeFou’s relationship with Gaston. In the original LeFou is more of a kiss-up or a little brother who looks up to their older brother. In this edition, LeFou seems to have a deeper admiration for Gaston, and although it is never clearly stated, LeFou appears to have a different sexual orientation than the character from the original. This is another example of how Disney is making an effort to add diversity to their films.
Like the original, this movie has a lot of singing, I suppose it wouldn’t be a Disney movie if there wasn’t a lot of singing. All of the classic songs from the 1991 cartoon version can be found in this version. There are even a few new songs to help set the movie apart from the original
While this movie has a lot of solid performances and is a nice nod to the 1991 version, in some ways it seems too similar. Chances are that if you have seen the cartoon version, this movie will seem like almost the same thing only in a live action version. That doesn’t make it bad, but that also means that it can’t really top the original as there isn’t enough for it to totally stand on its own.
All in all I enjoyed this film, if you grew up on the original cartoon films, this is a nice throwback to those. With the upcoming release of Mulan in 2018, it appears as though we can expect more films like this from Disney.