My favorite Disney is probably Peter Pan or the Aristocats, and at first nothing was calling me to see Beauty and the Beast. Nothing except Emma Watson who is one of my favorite actresses, both for her talent and for her commitment to the UN.
So can we successfully adapt long time classics of animation? The answer was, for me, a shy yes with the Jungle Book. Shy because, if the graphics were magic, the story was not really enhanced, and a year later, the film is easily forgotten. So what about Beauty and the Beast?
Again the graphics are dazzling, probably being their “to go for” argument. If the village is picturesque, how not to be dazzled by the castle? Whether it is the mythical ball scene, the dinner, or other little moments, the spirit of the old Disney is well transcribed, while being dazzling. And at the same time, without it becoming too much like bad Blockbusters.
The character is also enhanced, the format allowing it more. So Gaston’s acolyte is by far less idiotic, and Belle’s father becomes attaching. The cartoon side of the animation is replaced by something more mature, more serious, without weighing on the film. Thus, Belle is also empowered, as much by collateral effect as by Emma Watson’s acting.
It’s a Disney, so you will not escape from the songs! They actually were very subtle in the Jungle Book, which is less the case here. At the same time, we are in the classic fairy count so tact is a bit superfluous. Regarding the music, there’s some positive and negative points: the voices seem to have undergone a lot of treatment. Emma Watson’s voice seems much richer than the natural one, and in general, it’s way too clean for me. (Note, I saw the English version). The positive point, however, is that some songs are new, and this, with a true respect of the original themes and with subtlety. The little touch that makes bring added value to the mmovie.
In conclusion, Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful adaptation, with excellent actors, beautiful graphics and a quite honest soundtrack. I think the best approach is to go see this movie with the idea of reconnecting with a classic of your childhood, and you will be pleasantly surprised!
Go find your screening here : IMDb