why I love Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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THIS POSTER IS TOO AWESOME.

“Why Beauty and the Beast (2017) Actually SUCKS!”

“I Hate the New Beauty and the Beast Live Action Movie and Here’s Why”

“Let’s Not Mince Words: Beauty and the Beast is a Terrible Movie”

“The Beauty and the Beast Remake is a Long Series of Wasted Opportunities”

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Remake Misunderstood Everything About the Original”

These and a dozen other posts convinced me that Beauty and the Beast (2017) was quite possibly the worst Disney film ever put to screen.  Emma Watson was ugly + a bad singer + a bad actor!  The CGI was horrific nightmare fuel!  The plot was long, boring, and sucked dry of everything that made the original film magical!

Um.

Did we all watch the same movie?

Because I watched a Beauty and the Beast that was gorgeous and full of emotion and deeper characterization and so many good themes that resonated with me.  When I finished the film, I messaged Katie and said “This is my Beauty and the Beast.”  I do like the original but I loved the remake.  So much.  There are a couple places where I felt it wasn’t as great as it could have been – ‘Be Our Guest’s tempo was slower and it threw off my enjoyment of the scene and the ballroom dance was surprisingly lackluster. (And there’s the whole gay controversy which I am NOT getting into, but…I didn’t appreciate it. :P)

But overall…I LOVE IT.  And I’m going to make a list of reasons why because that’s how I do things around here.

THE CHARACTERS

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The remake is forty-five minutes longer than the original film and none of that time is wasted.  There are a few new songs but, for the most part, that time is taken up with bringing different characters to life in ways that the original didn’t.  Emma Watson’s Belle is a more well-rounded heroine (which is saying something, since OG Belle is pretty amazing) – she’s made a few friends in the village, she invents things, she takes a more active role in her relationship with the Beast, and you learn more of her backstory too.  I always thought that Belle and her father had come from Paris and that’s partly why she was upset with her ‘provincial life’ so it was nice to see that confirmed. (Though she didn’t really remember Paris since she was a baby when she left.)

I LOVED how the Beast’s backstory was changed!  Instead of being a spoiled child when he was cursed, he was the kind of aristocrat that made the French Revolution ?necessary?  The opening scene, with how villainous he is, is actually kind of chilling.  And then you learn more about his super tragic past and…it’s sooooo good.  Adds a whole new depth to his character.

I also appreciated how Maurice wasn’t a buffoon, Gaston wasn’t clownish, and the townspeople were multi-faceted. (I cried when they were all reunited with their families at the end.)  The castle servants were pretty much the same?  I like how Plumette had a larger role.

THE CINEMATOGRAPHY

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I want to live in this film.  It’s so vibrant and darkly tragic by turns with glorious sunsets and gloomy rooms and everything in between.  I get that a lot of it is CGI, but STILL.  Disney live action remakes satisfy a deep aesthetic longing in me – everything from The Jungle Book to Cinderella to Maleficent…and now this.  (Even The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was eye candy, if boring.)  It’s all so perfect and gorgeous and beautifully lit.

And this isn’t really cinematography-related, but can we all stop and appreciate the Beast’s maze-like front yard?  It’s so cool and creepy!

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A TALE AS OLD AS TIME, MADE NEW

I have had a LOT of discussions with One Particular Person (you know who you are) about Disney remakes and why they seem to split Disney fans into two camps (#love/#hate).  I think most of it comes down to nostalgia.  I know from experience that if you watch/enjoy a movie as a little kid you will often unconditionally love it as an adult + be very possessive and protective of it.

In my case, I didn’t watch movies from Disney’s ‘Golden Age’ until I was quite a bit older (some of them, like The Lion King, not until this year) and so often I can’t see why they are so universally, undyingly beloved.  Yes, they are good – even great – movies.  But they haven’t captured me with their magic, unlike the remakes which delve more deeply into character motivation and they’re great to look at and they tend to take everything I liked about the OG films and do more with it.

Beauty and the Beast - Poster Gallery

So that’s why I love Beauty and the Beast (2017).  The filmmakers took a familiar story and put their own spin on it, deepening some elements and tying the whole thing together with stunning costumes and new songs and beautiful scenery.  It’s almost like a retelling and I love those so…yeah. 

Have you seen Beauty and the Beast (2017)?  What did you think of it?  Which version of the film do you prefer?

Eva

24 thoughts on “why I love Beauty and the Beast (2017)

  1. I haven’t seen this yet, though I’m certainly toying the idea.
    Yeah, I’ve noticed in remakes they seem to go deeper than the original and do more character development, which I really enjoy. Plus, they tend to be darker, which I also really love.
    I recently watched Beauty and the Beast (the original) for the first time in years and while I still love it, I don’t think I like it quite as much as I used to do when I was a little girl.
    Have you seen the Cinderella remake? If so, what’s it like?

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    1. Yes. I really enjoy the grittier, meatier aspect of the remakes. The stories feel more real and enjoyable because of it.

      I have seen the Cinderella remake! Several times in fact. 🙂 I think it’s beautiful and amazing. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah!!! I love this movie so much!!! The original was one of my favorites when growing up, and because of that I loved seeing it brought to life!! It is so gorgeous!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I tend to like remakes more than the original – like The Jungle Book, The Lion King (sorry, I like the remake more). I haven’t seen the Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella remake yet, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wasn’t a fan of the remake, but nor did I hate it like some people. I like that they added the rose stealing scene from the original fairy tale (Beast locking up Belle’s father in the animated classic felt like it was a bit too far). From an acting standpoint, Emma Watson was a good choice, and she looks the part. But the music in the original is generally better (they probably should have dubbed over Watson’s singing instead of auto-tuning her), I preferred Beast’s portrayal in the animated version, and I felt that Gaston just wasn’t as interesting in the remake.

    So far the only recent Disney live action remake I prefer over the original is The Jungle Book. That one actually adds deeper themes and makes the story more coherent. The two Cinderella movies are about equal to me, with different strengths and weaknesses. I actively disliked Maleficent. Haven’t seen Dumbo, Aladdin or Lion King yet, but I’ll see them eventually. I just have no desire to pay to see either of them in theaters when they’re basically shot for shot remakes with maybe a handful of extra songs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention the rose stealing thing in my post! I really liked how that was a callback to the original story.

      I feel like the Cinderella remake has depth that the animated film doesn’t, but yeah. That’s me. 😀 For me, I don’t buy the remakes when they come out – I go through a ridiculously long waiting list at my local library. Because yeah, for the most part they’re good – but not good enough to shell out twenty or twenty-five dollars. (With a couple exceptions.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here – I prefer to wait until the movie comes out on DVD where I can borrow it, with the exception of The Lion King remake and the possible exception of Frozen 2.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t watch the movie at first because of said gay controversy, but I ended up watching it later for a dollar and I really loved it when I did. 🙂
    It’s a pretty good movie in my opinion.
    -Amaris

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have not seen this movie due to the whole gay-thing (was it obvious in the movie?) but I saw the trailer before it came out and we knew anything about it, and my mom and I thought the aesthetic was gorgeous and the actors perfect… then we found out about THAT character. (I forget his name)

    I’ve listened to the soundtrack and I loved Emma Watson’s voice because… I CAN SING ALONG WITH IT. She doesn’t have this crazy powerful high voice that is impossible to sing along with. And I love Ewan McGregor’s version of Be Our Guest! 🙂

    I wish I could see this movie, but… *winces*

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    1. Honestly, I didn’t pay attention to a lot of LeFou’s scenes bc I didn’t want to put up with his idiocy. I think there’s just a couple moments that are overtly gay, everything else is a ‘you could take it as LeFou being an idiot or LeFou being gay’. Which sounds terrible! But it’s true. He’s just…stupid.

      But I totally get you not watching it because of that. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This BatB is my BatB, too. I appreciate the animated version, but I loved this version, and I don’t think I’ve ever loved the animated.

    Basically, yes to everything. The general plotline of the BatB fairytale is still not my favorite, and the characters still didn’t really “touch me,” but the WAY the movie was made definitely did. The visuals are beautiful, the music is beautiful, THE ENDING IS BEAUTIFUL, and just in general it’s a happy thing.

    Great post. ❤

    P.S. Also, while I did grow up on Disney's "golden age" and am very glad I did, I'm loving all the remakes so far. Now, true, they haven't remade any of my personal favorites, yet, so we'll see how I feel once Hunchback and Pocahontas and Robin Hood (?) and Rescuers and all those are given a do-over. But for now, I'm a fan.

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    1. There were many things I liked about the animated, especially when I didn’t have this version to compare it to…but it’s gone a bit flat for me now, tbh.

      THE ENDING IS AWESOME. “Would you mind growing a beard?” Lol. Plus, the extra verse of Tale as Old as Time and all that.

      I don’t even know what a live action remake of Hunchback would look like because I feel that, in live action form, it would be wayyyyy too dark for Disney. I mean, the off-Broadway musical was dark enough. I don’t thiiiiink they’ll re-do Pocahontas because of all the inaccuracies in the source material and Robin Hood is so obscure that, yeah, they’ll leave that for the very last. 😛 (But it’s so GOOD too.)

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  7. I haven’t seen this new version of Beauty and the Beast, but I’ve wanted to for such a long time. I feel like all of the live action Disney films have been so improperly ridiculed, though. I can definitely say that. I, for one, loved Aladdin, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Pete’s Dragon, Maleficent, and my family loved the Lion King despite the many bashing reviews it got. I saw all the cartoons as a kid, and I still love them, but I’m not against new remakes, and I think coming into them with an open mind is key. They are so good when you don’t constantly compare it to the original. I am equally excited for Mulan to come out next year!

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    1. Pete’s Dragon bored me but it was (again) beautiful to look at. ❤

      YES. An open mind is totally key!! There have been plenty of movies that I've gone into with no expectations and they often surprise me with how much I like them.

      Mulan is going to be THE BEST. I think it's so cool that Disney is going back to the original legend/poem/story and making a more accurate version.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am actually excited that they’re reverting to the original poem for this Mulan…even though I’ll miss Li Shang hahaha. Oh, and by the way, I’m off Instagram this month, so for our fanfic collaboration project, go ahead and send me an email through my contact form on the blog whenever you’re ready 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I think fairytales/Disney and remakes involve, to say the least (not in order of importance)
    1) Nostalgia or lack
    2) The major fairytale plotline (or lack) and Whether the person prefers one plotline before another
    3) The quality of the remake in several areas, song/sound/music quality, plot quality (improving or flattening, adding or distracting) plus the person’s personal preference in that area
    4) Whether the promotion of the remake had an effect.

    This is going to be a huge comment (probably will make it into a post). I love discussions like this, that promote analysis of movies, books, etc.

    For reference I grew up watching Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast a lot. Aladdin a few times. I adored the Cinderella remake, one of my favorite movies of all time. Beauty and the the Beast was a let-down. Aladdin was a surprise like.

    I think nostalgia can play a part in how much you like childhood favorites, like some movies (or books) seem to almost “need” to be watched in childhood to understand all the love. But I don’t think this necessarily means one will always love the film as an adult or will never love the film as an adult. I don’t think I LOVE my childhood favorites in the same way or rather am not obsessed (sometimes it might have been obsession not love, I was one for constantly rewatching). I haven’t seen some in years. I saw Tangled (came out during my adulthood) as an adult and loved it. I saw Tarzan (came out during my childhood) as an adult and loved it.

    A lot of the “original” films were based on (highly romanticized) fairytales or literature in the case of Lion King, Hamlet, and Aladdin Arabian Nights e.g. they already had time-tested plots. Some people may just prefer (stripping away all other elements for the moment) some plots to others. For example, I for one, think I just really love a Cinderella plot line over Beauty and the Beast. In other cases, the outworking of the plot may affect the preference of the movie, perhaps in cases where the person doesn’t have strong feelings for the original fairytale plotline.

    I grew up on Beauty and the Beast. But I think that maybe my love was childish/nostalgic mainly, i.e. I don’t overall love the plotline as much and don’t love it quite as much now? I don’t know, I just felt my much younger sisters loved it so much more than me. So, I don’t think I had the “oh, no, my favorite must be perfect.” I just am a stickler for excellent adaptations. And here is where things really mess with me.

    Plot-line wise, I have an innate preference for Cinderella over Beauty and the Beast period. Then the filmmakers in adding changing to the plot-line in Beauty and the Beast remake, took it in directions I didn’t care for both in preference and in quality.

    The promotion. I am FAR better off, having low-zero expectations. Cinderella was not over-hyped. Beauty and the Beast was. That is NOT the only reason, I loved the first and didn’t care overmuch for the second. I think the promotion was in direct opposite proportion to the quality.

    Those who produced Cinderella seemed to not focus on fanfare to the detriment of the quality while those who produced Beauty and the Beast did. And um, Kenneth Brannagh produced Cinderella and that shows to me, and the Twilight producer did Beauty and the Beast, and I think that shows. For me, it’s not a nostalgia thing, it’s both my plot preference and what I consider quality.

    For Aladdin, I don’t care for the original one much, and I thought I wouldn’t care for this, but I was surprised and liked it. And the same time, I still thought that it had some quality issues. But because I didn’t love it and wasn’t tied to loving it, I think my expectations played a far larger factor in my overall liking for it?

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    1. Oh, I definitely don’t love all my childhood favorites + I have undying love for some movies I saw just this year, so I totally get that.

      It really makes sense that you prefer one plotline over the other and, therefore, your enjoyment of each movie was different. I will say that I think Cinderella had a certain depth and quality that Beauty and the Beast didn’t…and I probably prefer Cinderella overall. (I’m talking about the remakes here.) But I did love BatB.

      I really enjoyed your long, long comment! ❤ (I seriously love long comments, so yeah. The longer the better.)

      Like

  9. *SUSTAINED APPLAUSE*

    AMEN TO THIS, SISTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    That’s exactly how I felt when I saw this movie!!!!! The whole aesthetic (CGI and all) was so lush and soft and rich and deep, and I was like “welp I wanna live there now.” I remember, too, that I was a bit depressed/stressed from school when this film came out, and a friend encouraged me to go see it because “it will refresh your spirit,” and that’s exactly what it did. By the time we got to the end with that GLORIOUS springtime ballroom dance, I was grinning so hard my face hurt & bouncing in my seat. That’s why I am so glad Disney keeps on making these movies. Because THEY MAKE ME HAPPY. EVERY TIME.

    Emma Watson’s Belle is a delightfully strong, smart, clever, gracious girl. Honestly not sure why so many folks have a problem with her . . . And YES, I was so pleased with the depth they brought to the Beast’s backstory. A++ character work.

    I think nostalgia does play a huge part in the resistance to the new films–and like, nostalgia is fine, and you don’t have to like any of the new films; but so often it devolves into “NO ONE should like them and if you DO like them, you have abysmal taste.” Um. No. 😛 😛

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    1. I cannot get over the aesthetic. I meant to screencap a bunch of the most gorgeous shots to showcase in this post, but then I was watching it on my phone and the quality wasn’t the greatest, so…yeah. 😛 But those who have seen the movie know what it’s all about. *heart eyes*

      I really appreciate how most modern remakes dive more deeply into character development – and I’m talking about more than just Disney remakes. It’s very refreshing.

      We all need to remember that our feelings aren’t everyone else’s feelings, lol. Everyone is different. (I feel like a broken record saying this but so many people genuinely DON’T GET IT. :P)

      Like

      1. It’s really nice, because the creators have had time to think MORE about the original characters’ motivations and arcs, so they can bring in all this extra stuff like “oh, THAT’S why they chose such-and-such. Now it makes more sense.”

        Truth. I feel like a broken record, too, but it’s TRUE. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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