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Random Thoughts: Beauty and the Beast, or This Isn't the Last of Disney's Animation-to-Live Action Adaptations

"You had me at 'library'."

•This isn't a shot-for-shot remake of the original 1991 animated film by Disney. This is more or less a very similar retelling, updated for a modern audience, particularly those who weren't born yet when the original was released.

•There are more songs here than the original one, but the great thing is, it's by the same composer and lyricist, Alan Menken and Tim Rice. And I believe that's the reason the new songs are a great fit to the old. Like, to someone who hasn't seen the original, all the songs in this 2017 version would have a unified feel to it, and they probably wouldn't be able to tell which songs are more than 20 years old.

•Emma Watson can sing, yes, but just barely. Like you can tell musical theatre isn't her background. In fact, she is, in my opinion, this film's weakest link. But I can't seem to think of anyone else who could've played Belle in this live-action version.

•Ewan McGregor was awesome as Lumiere. We've heard him sing before, in Moulin Rouge, so no surprise there. And to think he'd never seen the original before he signed up for this project. But with the way he sang "Be Our Guest", you can't tell. You'd probably even think he's seen the original a thousand times on VHS.

•I'm not a fan of the boots, Emma Watson. I understand it was your call to wear them. What were you thinking? No. Just no.

"You're not wearing those hideous boots, are you?"

•Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou were awesome. Unlike Emma Watson, these two are great singers. Josh Gad has already shown us his vocal prowess in Pixels, so it's nothing new, really. But Luke Evans came as quite a surprise. And to think I used to refer to him as a "poor man's Orlando Bloom".

•Apparently, LeFou is the first openly-gay Disney character. I just found that out recently, because it wasn't really obvious in the animated version. But I think Josh Gad is really gay. Or at least he could pass for gay. Actually, he's a family man with two daughters, so I don't think he's gay.

•I understand it was a stylistic choice to put Mrs. Potts's face on the side of the teapot instead of having the spout as her nose. But the animation looked kind of tacky, of you ask me. Emma Thompson in lieu of Angela Lansbury is okay, but I just don't like how the animation looks, sorry.

•I didn't know Ian McKellen was Cogsworth. I can picture him in a superhero film franchise. But I thought voice acting would be beneath his status as a skilled thespian. Apparently everyone has a price. I wonder how much he got paid for this gig.

•Dan Stevens was perfect as the Beast. First, because he sings quite well. Second, because he kind of looked like the prince in the animated version. With all the effort he exerted in his performance, it's a shame director Bill Condon didn't opt for practical make-up over CGI, but it was still a good job nonetheless.

Why does Cogsworth look like a Transformer?

Beauty and the Beast. USA. 2016.

Original rating: 8.0/10
"Be Our Guest": +0.1
"The Mob Song": +0.1
Emma Watson's singing: -0.1
Underutilising Kevin Kline: -0.1
Underutilising Stanley Tucci: -0.1
Audra McDonald's singing: +0.1
French translations at the end titles: +0.1
Final rating: 8.0/10


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