I have so many words to describe the new live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast… remarkable, extraordinary, outstanding, innovative, breathtaking. However, there are 10 scenes which really stand out and take this movie from just great to utterly amazing.
5 Scenes From the Original Animated Feature Which are Even Better in Live Action
The original movie holds a special place in heart of all Disney movie fans so when I heard they were doing a live-action remake I had a list in mind of the scenes which had to be included. Here are five classic scenes from the animated feature which were actually better in live action:
- The “Be Our Guest” scene was the one I was looking forward to the most and it didn’t disappoint. While it takes its roots from the original, the new version is visually stunning (Is there a bigger word than stunning? – if there is please insert it). From the dishes to the silverware to the table clothes to the food and the characters, it was a spectacular scene to watch. It far surpasses the original in scope and complexity.
- One of the pivotal scenes from the original is where Belle attends to the Beast’s wounds after saving her from the wolves. The writers of the new movie kept this scene completely intact. I would have been quite disappointed if they had altered it in any way as this is where we see Belle and the Beast begin their affection for one another… even if they don’t see it themselves.
- The performance of “Gaston” maintains the same spirit and boastfulness as the original. While there are some small lyric differences which make it even better, Josh Gad and Luke Evans’ performances are on point in conveying message of the song.
- The Beast and Belle’s dance in the ballroom with Mrs. Pott singing the title song was extraordinarily emotion filled and if it can’t be Angela Lansbury singing I can’t think of anyone better than Emma Thompson. And lets talk about the dress for a second. I had seen pictures of the dress before viewing the movie but a true appreciation for it’s intricacies can’t be appreciated until you see it on the big screen.
- “The Mob Song” leading to the siege on the Beast’s castle was almost exactly the same as the original with some minor differences. However, in live action it takes on the feel of a fantastic epic battle scene belonging in a blockbuster action movie. (NOTE FOR PARENTS: This scene, holding true to its original form, could be scary for little ones. This is especially true when viewing the film in 3D.)
5 New Scenes That Take This Movie to the Next Level
This version of Beauty and the Beast does contain some new material which enhances the story and gives us a deeper understanding of the characters. These five scenes stood out:
- The scene when Prince Adam becomes the Beast was only shown through snapshots in the original. Here we see it played out as the self-absorbed Prince turns away the hag only to find out she is a witch. The transformation of the castle and the characters takes place right before our eyes.
- The new songs written specifically for this movie added even more layers to the characters singing them. This is especially true for “How Does a Moment Last Forever” sung in the movie by Maurice (Kevin Kline). (Stick around for the credits where you will hear Celine Dion’s beautiful version.)
- In the new movie the Beast is highly educated. Belle and the Beast even have a great conversation about books. In the original the Beast could barely read. I think this new version makes more sense as the Beast was noble before the curse took place.
- In the original we never got to see the story about how Belle and Maurice came to be living alone is their cottage. The new movie give us the answers we wanted, and needed, to add even more depth to the characters.
- Unlike the original, we actually see the enchanted characters of the castle turn into the inanimate objects they were cursed to become after the last rose petal fell. All the feels were in full effect as they were forced to say goodbye to one another.
And the Icing (or Grey Stuff) on the Cake – The Casting
This movie would not have succeeded without extraordinary casting. I can’t imagine any of these characters being played by another actor after seeing this film.
The Beast – Whether it’s Dan Stevens’ emotion-filled performance coming through the layers of make-up or CGI enhancements to the Beast, it doesn’t matter, its the humanization of Beast that brought so many new layers to the character.
Belle – When I first heard Emma Watson was cast as Belle I immediately thought, “YES! PERFECT CHOICE!” I know there were many naysayers but I couldn’t think of a better actress to play the part. She was the right age, the right look, the right temperament and she delivered… both in her acting and in her singing.
Gaston – Luke Evans plays the conceited Gaston to perfection. And his singing voice… I was beyond impressed. I actually thought his singing voice was one of the best in the movie.
LaFou – I mean seriously, can Josh Gad do anything wrong? Apparently not! (Oh by the way, THAT scene… put your pitchforks away folks. It’s nothing… Literally!)
See it now! Then see it again. You will not be disappointed.
Sue Nowicki is an alumna of the 2014/15 Disney Parks Moms Panel. She splits her time between planning her next Walt Disney World vacation and being team mom to ten high-energy volleyball players where she fills the roles of secretary, navigator, head cheerleader, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist. You can follow her on Twitter @MQPodcast.