REVIEW: Disney’s Live-Action Beauty and the Beast

By Cameron Hawkins

People will disagree with me, but I think that Disney’s original “Beauty and the Beast” from 1991 is their best animated feature film. Yes, even better than “The Lion King,” which I think is a little overrated. Regardless, Disney has finally released their live-action remake of this “tale as old as time” featuring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast.

This reiteration of the animated classic is a loyal one, almost beat-for-beat like the original. They have added more character development for the original characters as well as new characters that do not deteriorate the story. All the original songs are in this new version along with a few new songs that fit well.

Emma Watson
Emma Watson. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Each member of the cast plays their role well. I was hoping, before Disney even announced it, that Watson would play the heroine, and she was as perfect as I expected. But the one character that stood out the most is Belle’s father Maurice, played by Kevin Kline. In the animated film there was really no telling of his story. But in this version the character is fleshed out with a strong backstory as to why he is so passionate about keeping Belle safe.

For most the film it feels as though you are watching the animated film all over again, which isn’t a bad thing. However, in the final act changes were made that changed powerful moments in the original to be anti-climactic in this version.

While this is the best live-action remake of a Disney film made so far, it doesn’t completely live up to the original. To be fair, I don’t think any of the live-action Disney films do. They were originally made to be animated films and there are just some things in animated films that do not work in live-action.

I loved the new characters and story elements they brought to this version of “Beauty and the Beast.” They allowed this to be its own film while remaining loyal to the story in the original. This is a great adaptation to the French classic and I enjoyed it a lot even if it isn’t on the same level as its animated predecessor.

Cameron HawkinsCameron Hawkins is a Journalism student at the University of Nevada, Reno. He hopes to have a career in Film Journalism writing about news and reviews in the industry. He is also a saxophonist who has played for 12 years and is a member of the University of Nevada Marching Band as well as the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity. In his free time Cameron likes to watch movies, play video games, and read comic books.

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