Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast is now in theaters everywhere! We had the opportunity attend an advanced press screening for the film and I’m thrilled to share that it’s SO good! So, we’re excited to share some fun thoughts on the movie with you today! Honestly, I was a bit nervous going in because the animated version was my absolute favorite as a child. Bookish & brunette, Belle was the princess I could identify with. I’ve belted out “Provincial Life” and “Something There” more times than I can count. So, a live action retelling made me both excited and skeptical. But, I’m thrilled to say that it was fantastic. In fact, there was so much nostalgia in it for me I think I found myself channeling my inner eleven-year old self… and even getting a little teary in parts! It has all the music and classic scenes from the animated film, with added story and songs that work beautifully in the film. Here’s the trailer in case you haven’t seen it:
Here are the top 5 reasons why you should add this to your must-see list:
Beautiful Imagery – Sometimes you just want to see beautiful things and you’ll get exactly that with this movie. Gorgeous landscapes, a grandiose castle, stunning costumes, fantastical detail, it’s all in the film! In fact, here’s a few fun facts about the sets & details that help make the movie so visually stunning:
- Over 8,700 candles (or 104,400 inches of wax) were used as set decoration during production.
- The ballroom floor in the Beast’s castle is made from 12,000 square feet of faux marble and its design is based on a pattern found on the ceiling of the Benedictine Abbey in Braunau, Germany. The 10 glass chandeliers in the ballroom – each measuring 14 feet by 7 feet – are based on actual chandeliers from Versailles which were then frosted, covered in fabric and candlelit.
- Approximately 1,500 red roses were grown or purchased during production for use as research or set decoration.
- The enchanted forest which surrounds the Beast’s castle and features real trees, hedges, a frozen lake and 20,000 icicles, took 15 weeks to complete.
- Approximately 180 feet of feather light satin organza was used to create Belle’s yellow dress. The dress, which required 3,000 feet of thread and took over 12,000 hours to create, was accentuated with 2,160 Swarovski crystals.
Fantastic Cast – They nailed it! The casting just felt perfect in this – every character was completely on point! Once I got past the fact that this wasn’t Hermione ;), Emma Watson was practically perfect as Belle. But oh my goodness, Luke Evans as Gaston was SOOOO good! And, the hilarious Josh Gad was just GREAT as LeFou (and made him a much more likeable guy than the animated version).
The Music – Oh the music! How I love the music from this musical! Alan Menken is just a musical master, so I’m thrilled he was involved with this project as well. He did the music for the original 1991 animated version, the Broadway version, and now the live-action version and it’s great! As I said before, all the songs from the animated classic are in this version. But there are a couple new songs as well that are really beautiful and emotional. The beast has a number that feels very “Phantom of the Opera” to me – which I’m totally good with since Phantom is one of my favorite musicals!
Back Story – I won’t give any spoilers away, but I’m thrilled that we get a little more back story and depth to both Beast and Belle in this movie. We even get a little more story and characterization of all of the castle cast as well! And without giving anything away, I’ll say I LOVED the whole end of the movie scene!
Belle – As I said before, I’ve always loved her character and spirit. But, I like her even better in this movie. Not only do we get more back story that helps with her characterization, but we get more of a glimpse into just how smart and ahead of her time she is! LOVE!
The film really is fantastic and I can’t wait to see it again – this time with my crew of boys. And now for the question many are asking…
Is the movie OK for kids?
Overall, I think definitely yes. I’ll be taking my boys (ages 4, 6, and 9). They’re excited to see it – but they have seen the original, along with many other Disney films. So, there aren’t many surprises for them. However, I DO think that it is scarier and more intense than the animated version, so that could be an issue for sensitive little ones. Two parts in particular come to mind for that “scary/intense” portion:
- The scenes with the wolves are indeed scary & intense! Since this is live-action, the wolves are significantly scarier than in the animated version. I know this will be a scene that my 4 year-old will have his ears covered.
- The infamous Gaston-Beast confrontation. Instead of a knife like in the animated version, Gaston has a gun in this one. More than one shot is fired. So, that makes that whole scene even more intense/violent.
Otherwise, there is nothing in the film that I think would be an issue for kids. This truly is a beautiful family-friendly film! So, make plans to take the whole family and enjoy a this beautiful tale as old as time! In theaters EVERYWHERE – March 17, 2017!
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