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March 28, 2017

A tale as old as time gets a makeover

by Ellie Williams, Features Editor
Disney’s animated classic, “Beauty and the Beast”, is back with Emma Watson as Belle, and Dan Stevens as the Beast. The story is beautifully done and adds another dimension to a timeless classic.

The story remains the same, Belle and her father live in a small town in France where Belle feels out of place because of her bookish ways. However, the story went deeper than the animated film when it addressed the death of Belle’s mother back in Paris. The story begins as Belle’s father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), gets lost in the woods on his way back to the town and ends up imprisoned in a beast’s castle for picking a rose from his garden. Upon learning of her father's imprisonment, Belle takes his place as prisoner, and to her surprise, starts to see the man behind the beast.

Beauty and the Beast

(released March 23, 2017)
Beauty and the Beast is a beautifully crafted film that all audiences can enjoy. Courtesy of Disney
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Belle and her father live in a small town in France where Belle feels out of place because of her bookish ways. Belle’s father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), gets lost in the woods on his way back to the town and ends up imprisoned in a beast’s castle. Upon learning of her father's imprisonment, Belle takes his place as prisoner, and to her surprise, starts to see the man behind the beast.


This movie mixes magic, love, action, music and humor with the classic story of a princess finding her prince. You get comedic relief from Gaston (Luke Evans) and his sidekick LeFou (Josh Gad), as Gaston tries to win Belle’s hand in marriage, and from Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) and Lumiere’s (Ewan McGregor) witty back and forth which keeps the mood light in the castle. There's also plenty of action for a princess movie, with Belle racing around on a horse, the townspeople being attacked by magical household objects, and the fight between Gaston and the beast.

The soundtrack is beautiful and includes favorites such as “Be Our Guest” and “Something There” as well as new songs like “How Does A Moment Last Forever” sang by Celine Dion. The wardrobe, Madame Garderobe is played by Audra McDonald who has a powerful voice, and sings “Beauty and the Beast” at the end of the movie. Emma Watson sounds good throughout the movie, and has a clear, pretty voice that compliments every song.

The cinematography was smooth and shows scenes from all sides and perspectives. When Maurice first enters the castle you see him from the beast’s point of view from upstairs and on top of the rose bush. There are also many wide shots contrasting Belle against her surroundings, for example you see Belle from the top of the castle as she rides off in her bright yellow dress to rescue her father. She discovers the impressive library, and they have a dance in the bright ballroom which makes the castle seem more alive than when she first arrived. At first the castle seems dark and empty, with cool tones, it warms up as Belle and the beast get to know each other.

The special effects were seamless and intricate throughout. This was an important in a movie where the candelabra, piano, and wardrobe are talking, singing, fighting and moving around the castle. The CGI of the beast was realistic and detailed, as was the CGI of the castle characters.

The movie has created a bit of controversy because of and end scene where you see LeFou dancing happily with a townsmen, which has caused some controversy. Some believe having a gay character in a disney movie is inappropriate and not suitable for children. However this is a film depicting a girl falling in love with a beast, which, unlike homosexuality, should be frowned upon in society.

Overall "Beauty and the Beast" is a beautifully crafted film that all audiences can enjoy. The music, cinematography, animation, and acting are all exceptional and add to the heart warming story.



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