Beauty and the Beast

Michaela Korges, Cactus Writer

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What do get when you take a tale as old as time and turn it into a mediocre movie? A view from the top of the box office, apparently. Disney has re-imagined its 1991 cartoon as a live action movie and this dork is taking a look at it through the lens of childhood nostalgia. After almost three decades we finally get to see if the studio has done well with its original story that swept us off our feet.

If you think that the new movie will provide more plot and substance then you would be… not wrong. We do get more character development and motivation especially where Maurice and Lumiere are concerned. Belle’s mother and the enchantress both make an appearance and further the plot and the theme of the movie with their brief screen time. We also get more of a message about the need for education and the rampant illiteracy of the time period. What we do not get is a properly despicable Gaston. He feels almost sympathetic, until he tries to kill Maurice about halfway through the film, and that is not acceptable for one of Disney’s baddies.

Unfortunately, characters and plot compete with new songs that make it feel like this movie is trying to become even more of a musical than it already is. None of these new songs are as memorable as the ones that are still stuck in your head from the original. Another drawback to the new additions are that they make the pacing feel rushed, even though the movie is longer than the original.

Perhaps the best part of this movie is that it is just incredible to look at. The costumes have the detail that one might expect from a theatrical production with a Disney budget. The set artist appeared to draw inspiration for the Beast’s castle from the Palace of Versailles. Even though the village can look a little cartoony at times it is still beautiful to see. The enchanted household items transition well from objects to people and even move more like people than the original. The attention to detail is incredible and the artists and designers deserve a round of applause.

If you are looking for lovely scenes and a passable film then this might be worth a rental. However, if you just want a well-written movie that hits you right in the nostalgia, be your furniture’s guest and just watch the original cartoon again.

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