People were worried that the new movie wouldn’t be as good as the original animation when they saw the trailer for the first time. However, Emma, Dan, Luke, Josh, and the rest of the cast and crew proved them wrong. Photo from: Walt Disney Studios
It was a “tale as old as time,” until director Bill Condon decided to pick it up and create a new live-action version. This refreshing take on a timeless classic brought the enchanting story of Belle to a whole new generation.
Beauty and the Beast begins with the same prologue as the animated version, and then delves into the beloved story of Belle, a young village girl who ends up trading with her father to take his place as prisoner of the Beast. When the castle comes to life and offers Belle a room outside of the tower, she takes it, slowly falling in love with the people-turned-antiques and the charm of the castle. The plot thickens as the Beast finds himself falling in love with Belle, and Belle notices something that “wasn’t there before.” After Gaston tries to kill and then institutionalize Belle’s father Maurice, Belle comes to the rescue and tries to compromise with Gaston. The village learns about the Beast and goes to kill him, while Belle realizes she loves the Beast and goes to warn him.
I went to go see Beauty and the Beast with my sister and fellow Jaguar Sierra Lasher. I was so excited to see the new movie, as it is my all-time favorite story. This version did not disappoint, and is now my favorite movie! Photo by: Maggie Nuckols
The new movie was an exact replica of the original animation, down to the lines. With all that the movie stands for and means to so many people, the creators had to maintain its integrity yet also add new elements to the already classic story. They accomplished this with elaborate story lines, costuming, architecture, dialogue, and even songs. It had all of the original songs that people know and love from the animated hit, but the addition of a couple new songs added to the repertoire. One of the most notable was Evermore, the Beast’s new solo that brought me to tears. How Does a Moment Last Forever and Days in the Sun were also some of the new songs that shined alongside classics like Gaston, Belle, Something There, and the movie’s namesake, Beauty and the Beast.
“My favorite part was when Beast got his own song, because we got to experience his own feelings throughout the movie, which we really didn’t get in the original animated version,” said junior Sierra Lasher.
While this version of the movie did the original justice, the creators and stars were not about to back down from making it their own. Emma Watson’s Belle is an innovator and a farm girl, and not just a young woman who is
Junior Sierra Lasher and I went to go see the movie after school, and even for a 4:50 movie, it was packed! Beauty and the Beast ended up making $350 million in its first weekend worldwide. Photo by: Ellie Nuckols
dreaming of a better life. In this movie, she makes her better life for herself. The film is better for the slight shift in Belle’s character, along with a few plot changes, such as an enchanted book and the backstory of both of their mothers’ tragic deaths and their subsequent childhoods. It also showcases Gaston in an even more evil light, and is able to tell the story of all of the characters while staying true to the original time period of the tale with historically accurate architecture and costuming.
“The new backstory was very beneficial because it cleared up some of the major plot holes from the original film,” said Sierra.
This movie is the most visually stunning movie I have ever seen, and every scene in a new setting took my breath away. The artistry in Beauty and the Beast was the true star in the movie, and it was obvious that the cast and crew cared about portraying this story with the utmost grace and beauty.
Junior Sierra Lasher loved the movie’s design and visual appeal, adding that “It was clear that there was a lot of time put into it.”
As for the characters themselves, Emma Watson as Belle was a no-brainer casting decision. She pulled off the role as Belle stunningly. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly reporter Clark Collins, Watson shared her love for the movie and why she feels that Belle is a great role model for younger children through this film, just as she was for Emma as a child. “It troubles her that she doesn’t necessarily fit in, but I think she really holds close to her heart her dreams and her aspirations. She was definitely a role model,” said Watson.
Starring alongside Belle is Dowton Abbey’s Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as the dashingly, villainous Gaston, and the voice of Frozen’s Olaf, Josh Gad, as Le Fou. It also stars Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Exan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, and Audra McDonald.
“It was very well casted! Emma Watson was a perfect Belle. Even the side characters shined as a result of the casting,” said Sierra.
Belle and the Beast’s classic dance scene was one of the biggest scenes in the movie, starring Belle, the Beast, the candle-lit ballroom, and the famous yellow dress. Watson said the shoes were her favorite part of the outfit because she was “able to [run and dance] in them.” Photo from: Walt Disney Studios
All of the stars, cast, and crew made an already marvelous story into an even more stunning film that is sure to make you laugh, cry, and remember your inner prince or princess. But nothing I could write would bring the movie justice. You will just have to go see it for yourself.