Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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This was my most anticipated film of the year. I was so excited. I saw it twice and I loved it both times. Whatever I say here, unless I blatantly state as such, is not knocking the original animated film, nor am I detracting from it or anything like that. This review is for this film only. Due to it being a remake, I may say something about the source material but as comparison if anything.
Summary: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this film but they were all so great that I have to talk about them. Some will probably get more detail than others, but just bear with me.
  • Emma Watson as Belle. I loved this casting when it was announced. I think she was prefect for the role, she embodied Belle’s intelligence, her spunky attitude (plus a bit more depth), her beauty and her love for those and the things she loved. I saw a lot of criticism before the film came out about Emma not being graceful enough for Belle and I think that’s just silly. In this film, Belle is a farm girl and she gets her hands dirty, she even makes her own washing machine. She’s beautiful yes, she’s whimsical yes, but she also takes charge and does her thing. When she goes to save her father, she drops everything and goes. I loved it. I loved how she stood up to Gaston, she didn’t stroke his ego, she just said no. Her love for books was evident, it wasn’t just holding one, she really loved them. I wonder if some of these aspects came easy to Emma being that she played Hermione Granger (who in some ways is very similar to Belle) and is very similar to Belle herself. When it came time for her to be graceful, she could. The dance was beautiful and she took charge there as well. I liked her quite a bit. She handled her emotional moments very well, and she had control of her eyebrows lol, sometimes Emma Watson does the eyebrow dance and it was under control here lol.
  • Dan Stevens as The Beast/The Prince. 
    • We see him as the Prince in the beginning, the douchebag Prince. It was quite entertaining to see that, I’m glad they did that, also by showing us that he was an adult when he was cursed. I know his age is still in question from the animated film** but he’s obviously well aware of his actions here.
    • The Beast: We spend the most time with him in his form and he was so sassy. I grinned like an idiot during a lot of his dialogue (I’ll talk about his appearence later). He was mean and he was course and unrefined. His shock at Belle wanting to take her father’s place I thought was well done, as his experience with fathers wasn’t good. He’s really only mean in the beginning and I thought Dan Stevens did a great job in portraying that, even if his expressions were CGI’ed, his eyes were a great catalyst for his acting. Some of the nuisances he would do, like his expressions or his movements were great additions to the character. He also had great chemistry with Emma Watson both as a Beast and a man later.
  • Luke Evans as Gaston. I like Gaston because he’s a villain in the animated film, but I do NOT like him as a character because he’s terrible. However, I actually liked him in this film. Luke Evans was so charismatic that he was more on the thin line of being a villain more than giving off that impression the entire time. I think it helped that he wasn’t a gigantic muscular dude. His humor was on point, his facial expressions when he’s admiring himself, when Belle turns him down, when he gets angry but is calmed down by LeFou, it was on point. I quite enjoyed him. Plus, I don’t think I ever disliked Luke Evans in a film. It’s easy to see that he enjoyed playing this part. When he did go into full villain mode, he was a scary dude. His demeanor changed and that makes for a scary villain.
Supporting Characters. Oh man. I’m going to go through them as quickly as I can.
  • Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. I think he was my favorite. I read about Ewan McGregor being worried about the accent, I’m not French but I thought it sounded fine. At least for the type of film and character. I liked that he was a little man who could make his form look like a candelabra, it helped him move differently and quickly. His take charge and almost busy body attitude makes him the orchestrator for a lot of things. Lumiere was also the source of a lot of humor in the castle. He’s so romantic and carefree it’s hard to dislike his character. His mocking impressions were great. The emotion at the end… *sniffs*
  • Sir Ian McKellan as Cogsworth. He was great. He’s the head of the household but he’s totally afraid of The Beast. It’s hilarious see him to talk about him to the others but when he thinks he’s around, how scared he gets. McKellan has a great voice and at first it might be odd but it fit the character.  He also had some dry humor going on which I love.
  • Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts. She’s amazing. Her Mrs. Potts is the same in her motherly attitude towards everyone but don’t make her mad, she will put you in your place. I loved it. The voice Thompson put on for her showed that she was mostly likely a village woman and obviously a servant. I loved her relationship with Chip and how she was the one who tried to guide the others.
  • Kevin Kline as Maurice. He was great, definitely can see in a way where Belle gets her “oddities” and headstrong personality from. Kevin Kline is great in this role. He is an active father and will do anything for his daughter.
  • Josh Gad as LeFou. He’s very different from his animated counter part, which was fine with me, all that controversy for this character didn’t bother me. He’s funny, he didn’t overdo it which I think he can do a lot. The little nuances he did for this character was great and cute.
  • Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe. A renowned opera singer who gets turned into a wardrobe. I bet Audra McDonald had fun in the recording studio for her character, she sings more than she actually talks and she’s hilarious. Being that as the petals fall they become less and less human, she has a hard time staying awake. It’s great. Also, Audra McDonald is a QUEEN. Her voice!
  • Gugu Mbtha-Raw as Plumette. Also has a French accent, I think it’s really just her and Lumiere which was fine. She was flirty, sassy and romantic. I also loved her reveal at the end, it was so cute.
  • Nathan Mack as Chip. Aww so cute! He definitely seemed a bit older than his animated counterpart, but he was cheeky and used his saucer as a skateboard, which like Lumiere, helped him move around quicker.
  • Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza. I love Stanley Tucci, he’s a chameleon. He was a cool character, we don’t see tons from him but a talking piano, that’s awesome. He has some great scenes at the end with the mob.
The Costumes. Jacqueline Durran’s costumes are to die for! The attention to detail on them just blew my mind as I watched the film. I liked the little pockets on Belle’s apron, I liked the detail on the inside of her cloak. The red/pink dress she wears during the “Something There” was so beautiful. I know a lot of people didn’t like her dress but I loved it from the first time I saw it. It pays homage to the original dress but it puts it’s own spin on it. I’m not a big ruffle person but the way the dress moved, it worked. I read it took 12,000+ hours to make that dress. It was beautiful on Emma Watson. The Beast wears this tattered cloak and it’s so haunting and scary, it shows that he is still in his angry and pity mindset. Later, he wears this long blue cloak and OMG I wanted that thing. His suit during the dance was also beautiful and the suit at the end. The attention to detail on the clothes. Gaston’s red coat in his iconic “Gaston” scene was also beautifully made, I want that too. All of the clothes, all of the nods to the French fashion was there.
The Relationships. This is going to be broken down a bit.
  • Belle and the Beast. Of course this is the most important one and I thought they handled it well. They added a bit more for them to do, more conversations and interactions. We can see the influence she has on him. The looks they give each other, it’s really cute. I thought Emma and Dan had great chemistry, even with the CGI Beast lol. The ending is also really cute.
  • Belle and Gaston. He was definitely persistent and it was funny. However, I liked the fact that she always just said “no” or turned him down without stroking his ego. I also liked how she stood up to him during the climax. It showed her strength even more.
  • Belle and Maurice. Such a great father/daughter relationship. He really loves her and would do anything for her, and same for her. She wastes no time in going to him both times. The love they have for each other was evident, I thought Watson and Kline had some great chemistry.
  • The Beast and his servants. Always a humorous relationship. They are his family, no matter how badly he may have treated them. They were afraid of him but they also stood up to him quite a bit, mostly Mrs. Potts and Lumiere. The scene before the dance was a great scene with all of them.
  • Lumiere and Plumette. So cute and romantic. I also loved the interracial aspect of it.
  • Lumiere and Cogsworth. Of course, a great friendship. It’s easy to see that they are polar opposites but Cogsworth respects Lumiere’s carefree attitude and Lumiere appreciates Cogsworth’s loyalty and sarcastic comments. The ending scene when the last petal falls, quite emotional.
  • Mrs. Potts and Chip. I’m glad the whole idea of Mrs. Potts have 50 million children was “addressed” here, lol but they were adorable. Her frantic-ness at the end. This mother loves her son and I don’t think she was too old to have a kid that young. *rolls eyes*
  • Maestro Cadenza and Madame Garderobe. Another interracial that I loved. They were separated due to the curse as she’s a wardrobe and he’s a piano but the end lol. He misses her voice and she misses his music, perfect couple.
The Production Design. The sets on this film are so beautiful. The Beast’s castle is so large, with it’s many twists and turns and the attention to detail with the French inspired architecture. The way it continues to change as the rose continues to wilt is pretty amazing. The layout of his entire land, whenever there was an aerial view of the castle grounds, it was so breathtaking. The town is also nicely done, it looks like a small town, closed in which helps adds why Belle wants to leave it. The forest, the way the snow looked in the forest, and even how it looked at the castle. So beautiful.
The Character Design. I’ll mention this again later, but I liked how the supporting characters looked in their looks. I thought with Lumiere being a little man who can manipulate his appearence to look like a candelabra was smart and unique. It allows him to move quickly and more. Cogsworth was so intricately designed. I understand that some found Mrs. Potts and Chip to be creepy, but seeing them on the screen, I don’t think so. Definitely French designed tea set. I was a little wary about Plumette’s look but I ended up loving it. I liked the fact that she could fly, it made sense with all of her feathers and it made it easier for her to maneuver and do her thing, she was also really beautiful. The wardrobe, seeing her talk was kind of weird but awesome at the same time, her design was great and the piano as well. All of the trinkets in the house were very well designed.
The Music. Alan Menken returned to help with the music once again, especially as the iconic songs were slightly changed in their arrangement and he wrote four new songs for the film. I liked that The Beast had a song, it helped give a bit more insight to him at the moment and it was my favorite song actually. There’s a song that the main people in the castle sing and it was very sweet. It reminded me of “Human Again” but it was a slow and sweet song. Belle also has a song in a particular part of the film, I liked the song. Maurice also has a quick short song. The other songs were also very well done and I think the actors did well in the singing of them. I was impressed.
  • The Musical Numbers. So this film is definitely a musical and for the most part, they are very similar to how they are in the animated film which isn’t a bad thing, but they do put their own updated spin on it. In the “Belle” number, the town is smaller so it feels a bit more suffocating and I don’t think there is a Bookshop, I think that dude was the Priest but just happened to have books that Belle could borrow. I also loved how Gaston and LeFou were outside the town (which makes sense if they were hunting lol). “Be Our Guest” was also well done, it was colorful, it wasn’t as big as it could have been but I thought it was sweet and they did a good job. “Something There” allowed for us to see more interactions with Belle and the Beast and it was cute and had some funny moments. “Gaston” was definitely the most fun and “Beauty and the Beast” was lovely.
The story/Updates. So the story is the same as the animated film, obviously, they take some notes from the original story in which Belle asks Maurice to bring her a rose from his travels. I love this story. It’s not Stockholm Syndrome, especially not even here because she definitely could have escaped, was going too and she even leaves.
  • The updates (without spoiling): I’m just gonna name a few, I think a lot of the updates helped answer questions the original left a question.
    • The fact that Maurice was a music box crafter.
    • Belle made her own washing machine and wanted to teach girls how to read.
    • Maurice’s reactions to the castle.
    • Some extra details in the opening scene, about why the town doesn’t seem to know about the castle and prince.
    • A few more conversations between Belle and the Beast in understanding each other
    • How Belle got the Beast back to the castle after the wolf attack
    • A conversation between Gaston and Maurice
    • LeFou’s character
The Transformation Scene. I was worried on how they were going to do this scene and I thought it was handled well. It’s ultimately the same, but how it gets started is a bit different and I don’t mean with Belle’s confession. There’s a nice musical beat and BOOM. It was even better the second time around. Of course the close up shot of his eyes is always important. Funny thing: When I saw it the first time, and Dan Stevens did his dramatic turn around, my friend and little sister said “Ooooo” and “OH he’s hot. Oh yes” lol. When I saw it the second time, and he turned around my two friends said “Gaston is way cuter” and I just cracked up. I find Dan Stevens to be very handsome and I love his eyes and I think Luke Evans is also very handsome, two very different looking men.
Cons:
The Beast’s Animation. Overall, I liked his look but there were a few times in the film where it looked weird. Sometimes when there was a wide shot where he see his full body, it was strange. Also, in his solo song, he’s like bounding around, it looked kind of weird at times. Also, it would have been nice if he was a bit bigger, in terms of width, like his chest could have been a bit bigger. Sometimes, his height seemed to change, it might have been the camera angles but at times he looked maybe a foot or two taller than Belle and other times he look huge! It was inconsistent.
The Opening Scene. So, I appreciate the opening in that we get to actually see the Prince be a jerk, but it was also a little weird. I think it was the narration that wasn’t doing it for me. I think it would have been better to just see it without the narration attached.
The Paris Scene. So there’s a scene in the film, it’s about the halfway mark that I could have done without. It was cute and sweet and I liked Belle’s song but I also don’t think it was necessary. It seemed to be a deleted scene that was left in the film.
Overall, I loved this movie. It was easy for me to separate this from the animated film. I think the animated film is the best Disney movie to date and I was excited to hear about what they were planning to do. I was excited and I think my expectations were met, it didn’t exceed them but met them. I expected a good film, with a new spin on the original and I think I got that. If you love the original and think it should never be touched then you might not like this and should not see it. If you refuse to have an open mind, then don’t bother. If you love the original but are curious to see what they do, then check it out. The original will never go away, it will always be superior and it will always be there.
Beauty and the Beast did a lot of things right, the casting was well done, everyone was great in their roles, their respective looks and songs were good and I enjoyed watching and listening. I think Emma Watson and Dan Stevens had great chemistry and I think Ewan McGregor and Luke Evans were standouts in their roles. The music holds up, even with slightly new arrangements it’s still beautiful and I enjoyed the new songs. I loved the look of the film, the costumes, the production design, the attention to detail given to everything is so evident to me that I think this film will be a contender in some technical awards Oscar season. It does have it’s missteps, I think the animation of the Beast goes in and out on looking real at times, the opening narration just didn’t do it for me, I wish it was just the scene, the extra plot scene could have been put on the deleted scenes floor.
With that said… I still loved this movie.
 Rating: 4. 27 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Beauty and the Beast? Have you seen the original? If not, what’s wrong with you? What did you think of the remake? Comment below in the comments and let me know!
My Disney Live Action Remake List from Best to Least Best:
  1. Jungle Book
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Cinderella
  4. Maleficent
I don’t count Pete’s Dragon as I never saw the original.
**I almost forgot about this, but in reference to my asterisks above, I wanted to mention about the Prince’s age in the animated film. I never thought that he was a child, I always assumed that time stopped. I mean, thinking about it now, it’s odd because that would mean did the town age? Or…? But the stained glass windows in the opening of the film didn’t look like a child whereas I guess in the Enchanted Christmas, he was a kid. I don’t know… it’s always weird to me. So I’m glad they made sure we knew he was an adult in this film.
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Trailer Reaction: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

 OH MY GOODNESS!!! You guys! The Beauty and the Beast trailer dropped yesterday. Look at it! Look at it!!
We had a teaser trailer earlier, I feel like it was in May, which showed us a nice view of the castle, the music played in the background (it was lovely and I got chills), we got a hint at Belle and the rose. I adore the animated film, I think it’s Disney’s best film, yes even better than The Lion King, but ya know opinions and what not. It’s my second favorite Disney film (The Little Mermaid is my fave) and Belle is my second favorite princess (Ariel is my first).
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I always identified with Belle the most though, she was intelligent and I used get different reactions from people in school due to being smart. I read quite a lot and anyone who knows me, or knew me, would probably tell you that. I mean, I haven’t met any men cursed into beasts or wandered into a dark cursed castle full of talking objects so… we have that difference.
Anyway, so we had a few pictures, of the design of Cogsworth, Lumber, Plumette (the feather duster, though I think she looks more like a quill… but I do think they gave her those wings to have “arms” since in the animated version she was just a handle), and Mrs. Potts. So now the trailer has come and I’m so excited that I need this movie now. March is too far away.
So we get the Disney classic opening, with the castle.
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Then what I found interesting is how they are already adding elements from the original fairy tale instead of just being a completely retelling of the animated classic film. Here, we have Maurice played by Kevin Kline going to get a single white rose for Belle instead of going to another town to sell his inventions. Of course I don’t have a problem with it either way, I love the animated version and I love the original fairy tale version, so I’m glad they’re combining the two. In the story, Maurice in fact, has three daughters (and three sons), the older two ask for material things and Belle asks for a single rose. The Beast is very particular about his roses, catches Maurice and locks him up.
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So, in the trailer, Belle goes to find him, they talk and I’m already having animated movie flashbacks lol. I love Emma Watson and I think she is a great choice for Belle, her intelligence, her ability to be sassy and stern while being “soft”. I know a lot of people have issue with her casting, calling her “mousy”, not “pretty enough”, her features aren’t soft enough, etc but I mean, Belle doesn’t have to always be this gorgeous woman, there are other things about women that can make them beautiful. In the story Belle was beautiful yes, but so were her older sisters… the things that set her apart was her intelligence, her kindness, selflessness and her compassion… however, I find Emma Watson to be very beautiful so again, I have no problem with her casting. Anyway, I approve of Emma’s casting. The only question is, can she sing? lol
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She demands the Beast to come into the light and we get a good look at him. Now, EW.com released their magazine cover, along with more stock set photos of the film and of course, no one can ever please everyone so people were of course complaining about the Beast’s design. His horns apparently are facing the wrong way, or they’re “Satan like horns”, his lips are too human and his nose is too flat, or “Dan Stevens has beautiful blue eyes, why are the Beast’s eyes brown?” In terms of the eyes, they are definitely blue… when he looks into the mirror ‘Show me the girl’, his eyes are clearly blue, so I don’t know where brown came from lol. I think the horn thing is petty, and I think he looks how his animated version would look like in real life. Perhaps a bit softer… but I mean…I like it. I guess, he’s too handsome as a Beast but I never thought the animated version was very horrifying (minus that part when he first steps into the light and he stands up all tall and stuff lol). The internet thinks he’s ugly… look at the pic below… I beg to differ lol.
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So we see Lumiere and Cogsworth, and Lumiere’s design changed. Before he looked like a regular candelabra, and I wondered where his face was but then new pictures and this trailer and he looks like a little brass man with candles on his head and for hands… I kind of like it. I love Cogsworth’s design, it’s so intricate and of course Sir Ian McKellan is always a win. We see Chip (see below) and I think he’s cute. Sure, the faces on the objects is a little weird but what do we expect from a live action Beauty and the Beast film? Especially maintaining these enchanted elements from the animated version? I also think in the original story, she’s served by invisible servants (which is where I got my inspiration from in my B&B version). Mrs. Potts by the way is voiced by Emma Thompson, who is brilliant, of course Angela Lansberry would be an amazing return but I’m okay with Emma Thompson as well. Also, I read that Ewan McGregor was told not to do an actor-y French accent like he tried to do in the beginning, since I know people were complaining about that. Nathan Mack plays Chip. In the second photo, is Lumiere and Plumette (which I think her name in the animated version was different but whatever, she was the Featherduster to me), see what I mean about the feathers? She looks like a fancy quill instead of a feather duster… or that’s an extremely fancy featherduster, she is played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
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I love the fact that when we see iconic scenes shown, how updated Belle’s clothes look, or how subtle emotions and things are.
screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-35-40-pmWe see this scene, which I read this movie is a musical, how much music will be in it, I’m not sure, but this is one of the moments where Belle starts to fall in love with the Beast. I love this moment because it’s so sweet. I love her pink dress in the film and I love the hint of it here. Also, I love how she looks to him to encourage him to pet the horse and the look of surprise on his face when he does it and the animal doesn’t run away in fear. I love it. I love the scene in the library, it’s one of my favorite scenes in the animated film and it looks great here. The details on the top of her dress… amazing from what I can see. The library looks grand, I hope it really is grand because when I was a kid, I always wanted a library like that and I might wilt a little bit if it’s not.
Oh yes Gaston. He is played by Luke Evans in the film, I like Luke Evans and I think he’s very handsome, obviously his frame is not like the animated Gaston’s which is okay… I would have loved to see a huge dude but as long as Gaston is a pompous, amusing, vain and a bit terrifying, I think they casted well. Josh Gad is perfect for Le Fou, just perfect lol. So I hope they have a good time with character while making him intimidating as well. We only see a few hints to him in the trailer.
So now, we come to the most iconic scene from Beauty and the Beast and that is the ballroom scene.
screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-36-21-pm Belle’s iconic yellow dress and the Beast’s iconic blue jacket. At this point, my heart is fluttering and my brain is chanting “I need this movie now”, I have turned into Veruca Salt. They meet at the stairs. We’ve seen the dress in the photos, there are two of them, the magazine cover and her solo photo. I love the dress. Just like with Cinderella’s dress it has been updated. I personally think they went overboard with Cinderella’s dress but it was very lovely, minus the butterflies. So I appreciate the tone down-ness of her dress here. I do miss her gloves but I’m okay with them being gone, just like I was okay with Cinderella not having gloves either.
screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-37-16-pmBut I think it’s great. You can tell the dress still has the layers and tiers, the shoulder straps are the same, just on her shoulders instead of off, which is a minor detail. I’ve seen a lot of criticisms and complaints about her dress, or the way the EW.com photo looked. “At this point, Belle was in love with the Beast, in the film she never turned away from him, here Emma Watson looks like she doesn’t want to be there”, or “Ugh, why couldn’t they just make her dress the same from the movie”, or “why couldn’t they be accurate and give her a really French 17th century ballgown”, or “ugh, her dress looks like a prom dress”.
My thing is, I want to see it in the film where the cuts are not so quick for me to really see it on set, in the moment. It’s the same thing with Cinderella’s dress, when I saw the trailer, I saw the dress and went, ‘wow, it’s really big.’ I saw a large poster the theaters had of her running in the dress, ‘wow, it’s really big… are those butterflies??’ When I saw the movie, I said “oh wow, it’s really pretty” and watching her actually move in it, I appreciated it more. I feel like it will be the same here, for some people anyway. I think the color fits Emma very well, I like how they updated it and made it flowy and I love the way it seems to move from what we can see in the trailer. In terms of their position in this photo:ne2g9ulbensu57_1_b
I believe this is what the poster looks like, she’s not looking at him. Oh my goodness, she should be in love with him at this point, WHY ISN’T SHE LOOKING AT HIM!?? Perhaps, because they are dancing the Waltz and this is the proper form?? I mean, I don’t see the problem lol. I think that was a petty complaint.
So in the trailer, the music swells (Alan Menken has returned and I’m so excited because his work in Disney is iconic and amazing and I’m crying), Belle watches as Gaston and the Beast fight, she jumps across a crumbling bridge and the Beast seems to overcome Gaston. A lot of other shots, the dancing people in the ballroom are either from the end when Belle breaks the curse, or from the beginning or a flashback where they talk more about the Beast’s curse. Then lastly, we see the rose lose a petal.
You guys, I’m so excited I don’t know what to do with myself. I need this movie now. I’m going to see it, probably multiple times, I don’t care. I have high hopes, The Jungle Book was really good and I think the fact that the animated film didn’t really set the bar high helped that. Beauty and the Beast is a different story, the animated film was the first Disney film to receive an Oscar for Best Picture, it’s so iconic, classic and amazing that this is almost questionable and worrisome. However, I’m not worried. It seems like great care has been taken with this from what I have seen and read and I’m excited for the finished product. I may be one of the few people who hasn’t criticized it up and down but there’s no reason too without really seeing the film.
Sure, you can watch a trailer and judge from what they show but I think that also does a disservice because someone times trailers suck compared to the amazingness of the film. On the other hand, the trailer could be amazing and the movie isn’t very amazing(I’m looking at Fant4stic), or they both suck lol. It’s hard to say really but I think it’s best to wait and see. I try to do that in everything I watch because who knows… you could be wrong.
With all that said, I do think they’re showing a lot in the trailer, especially the climax, I need trailers to chill out overall.
Just to let you know, in case you didn’t:
  • Yes, it’s supposed to be a musical, I don’t know what all the songs are included but yes.
    • Alan Menken said he’s writing three new songs.
  • Maurice isn’t an inventor, he makes music boxes from what I understand and is very protective of Belle, due to the loss of her mother.
    • Belle is the inventor, because the question came up, what does she do in her spare time that makes people think she’s so odd other than reading books? I’m curious of how it comes full circle in the film.
Things I’m curious to see:
  • If they give more insight into the Beast’s backstory, what happened to his family etc?
  • How the singing turns out.
  • How the Beast’s transformation scene plays out.
  • How long will it be before we see Belle actually start to fall for him and vice versa?
    • Obviously the animated film happens, but we don’t know how long she’s there (we can probably gauge thanks to the many side B&B animated films, like the Enchanted Christmas ) so let’s hope there’s a lot more time.
  • There was something else I was thinking about but I completely forgot… shoot.
But regardless, I’m excited from what I saw, I have been excited since it was announced and casting was announced. So… March 17, 2017 needs to put itself on rushed order.
Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Barely even friends, then somebody bends, unexpectedly. Just a little change, small to say the least, both a little scared, neither one prepared… Beauty and the Beast. (You probably just sang that a little bit didn’t you?)

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Disney Remakes Thoughts

I love Disney, I have always loved Disney and I will love Disney FOREVER! I think their movies are great, sure there are some misfires but overall, Disney is solid. So there are a nice amount of Disney remakes coming up, they are live action remakes of some of their animated features.
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

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I remember when they announced this, it seemed to take a while since I think Angelina Jolie got sick around that time. But, I was excited. I never really liked Sleeping Beauty like that, however, I started a Disney animated marathon (didn’t finish) and I have a new appreciation of that film. It’s a beautifully animated film. Man. Anyway, I expected more, I left disappointed. I didn’t mind the fact they tried to give Maleficent a reason to be angry other than “not being invited” but a few things I didn’t like:
  • The fact that her name was Maleficent as a child, her parents set her up for failure.
  • The fact that she mended her curse instead of allowing the fairies to give a loophole.
    • The curse is supposed to make “Aurora prick her finger and DIE!” and Merryweather uses her gift to make her fall into a “death like sleep”. In Maleficent, the King begs and she changes it herself. Meh.
  • The fairies were stupid. If anything, Sleeping Beauty is the fairies’ movie and I did not like how they were turned into twits just to make Maleficent look good. Meh.
Anyway, this is not a review but I’m just saying. Maleficent was okay.
Cinderella (Cinderella)

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I actually liked this one, I wasn’t sure how I felt about her dress because of the butterflies but once I saw the movie, the transformation, while long, was beautiful and I understand why the butterflies were there but I still didn’t like them.
I appreciated that Cinderella and the Prince (Kip) met before the ball and their relationship continued and that it wasn’t just a one night thing. I know in some versions of the story, it’s a three night festival but ya know Disney cut it into one. I also appreciated how Prince Kip received a story line instead of just being Prince Charming. The stepsisters of course were there and were funny but not important. Cate Blanchett was wonderful as the Stepmother and I did really like Ella’s character.
The only “negative” thing, I can think of right now is that it didn’t seem like Ella really had a reason to stay… she left and that’s how she met Kip in the first place. She said she didn’t leave because she wanted to protect her house or whatever, but then she marries the prince and leaves the house anyway. So, it didn’t really seem like she didn’t have a choice to stay compared to the animated film where Cinderella really seemed locked into her life… I don’t know, just something I noticed.
Cinderella was really good. Beautiful movie and the music was lovely.
The Jungle Book

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I really really liked this one, probably my favorite live action remake out of the three we’ve gotten in recent years. I would need to watch it again to do a review, which I always planned on doing, just never got around to it. But the young actor who played Mowgli was great in his role, I appreciate his casting. The music is great, and I just loved how real the animals looked.
Pete’s Dragon

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I thought this was cute, I never saw the original but I enjoyed the movie. You can read my review for this film here.
So moving forward, we’ve had a few announcements about live action remakes. Up next is Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens which I am super excited about. Personally, I find Beauty and the Beast to be a masterpiece and to be Disney’s best animated film, so I have high hopes for the remake, it already looks promising. Next we’ve been told about The Lion King, Mulan and I think I saw rumors about Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, I’m not sure if the last two were confirmed but I’ll mention them anyway. I’m excited about them all honestly, yes the animated versions are amazing and are untouchable but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore anything else that comes out of them.
Mulan: Mulan 2
The Lion King: The Lion King 2, The Lion King: 1 1/2, a Broadway show, Timon & Puumba, and The Lion Guard
Aladdin: Aladdin: Return of Jafar,  Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Aladdin: Animated Series, Jasmine’s Princess Power Hour (it was a special thing with Ariel).
The Little Mermaid: The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, The Little Mermaid: Animated Series, Broadway Show.
So it’s not like these movies are “untouched” lol.
Mulan

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I think Mulan, if given a Pirates of the Caribbean treatment, could be awesome. Disney needs to give it an epic feel.
Cast: An all Chinese cast is imperative.
  • Eddie Murphy should reprise Mushu, if they bring him back. Excepton.
  • NO CRICKET.
  • Real horse for Khan but animate Khan’s expressions though.
  • I think Ming Na Wen should play Mulan’s mother, as she was the original Mulan voice.
Music: The music needs to be amazing.
  • “Make a Man Out of You” should actually be in the film.
  • “Reflection” could be instrumental in that scene, or be internal instead of outright sung.
The Villain: They should do a bit more with him because that dude is one of the “weaker” Disney villains. Very forgettable.
Mulan could be epic. Just imagine that avalanche scene in IMAX or even the scene where Mulan uses the fireworks to blow up the villain. I think it could work if they give it lots of care.
The Lion King

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It’ll be given the same treatment as The Jungle Book, which is fine with me.
The cast: Black actors. Do not ignore African actors.
  • Bring back James Earl Jones, Mufasa must be James Earl Jones
    • However, I will not be opposed to Samuel E. Wright voicing him. He was the Original Broadway Mufasa. Fun fact: he also voiced Sebastian in The Little Mermaid.
  • Heather Hedley could be Sarabi (Nala from original broadway cast).
  • Jeremy Irons should reprise his role as Scar, he would be an exception lol.
I think it would be nice to show Simba’s teenage years with Timon and Pumba.
Music: The Lion King has some of the most iconic music, and only three of them are technically sung by characters in the film.
  • “Just Can’t Wait to Be King” should be sung by young Simba.
  • “Hakuna Matata” obviously, though I was never a huge fan of that song.
  • “Be Prepared” I think that would be a cool scene.
I would like for some of the Broadway songs to be added:
  • “Endless Night” is such a beautiful song. I think that song could be part of the soundtrack, Simba doesn’t have to actually sing it, it could be an internal song.
  • “Shadowland” is great song for Nala and a nice introduction to her adult character.
  • “They Live In You” and “He Lives In You”
    • It’s been a while since I’ve seen the animated film, but perhaps the instrumentals of these songs are sort of there.
Thoughts on Rafiki: I am not against Rafiki being male in the movie, but I wouldn’t mind a woman like in the show and she can lead “Circle of Life”. We don’t have to see Rafiki singing it but the actress could sing it. I think it could be great! I’m excited lol.
Aladdin

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My third favorite Disney animated film.
Cast: People of color. That’s it. As the location is based on a few different places, it’s hard to say so just people of color.
  • Iago shouldn’t talk if in the live action film.
  • Abu didn’t really talk but he shouldn’t either (think the monkey from Night at the Museum).
  • Rajah should also be there, as I read that tigers (and monkeys) are a large population in Agra India.
Agrabah is based off Baghdad, Iraq and Agra, India. The Sultan’s palace is based off of the Taj Mahal.
The Genie: I think this would be a challenge as Robin Williams has passed and he was iconic in this role. I’m not sure how he would be handled. They shoud look at some genie or jinn mythology
  • A physical person, use technology to help his appearence, but I don’t think he should look exactly like his cartoon counter part.
  • They shouldn’t try to copy Williams’ performance with someone else as most of his lines were improvised and that version was written with Williams in mind.
  • “Friend Like Me” is hard to replicate without Robin Williams, as well as that particular version’s energy, comedic timing etc… but if approached different might be okay. Otherwise, leave it out. Or look, at the Broadway show for ideas.
The live action Aladdin could have an “epic” feel to it too. Give a chance for more story telling, character expansion, especially for Jasmine.
  • Explore Aladdin’s life a bit more before meeting the genie.
  • The Cave of Wonders could be kind of scary in certain aspects.
  • Aladdin and Jasmine should have a few more meetings before they decide they’re in love.
  • I think the final showdown between Aladdin and Jafar should be a bit more involved.
    • It’s great in the film of course, but let the people do some stunts!
Music:
  • Aladdin doesn’t have to sing “One Jump”, it can just play in the beginning, just to prevent from being too cheesy and too “musical”.
  • “A Million Miles Away” is a song from the show, it’s during the scene in Aladdin’s apartment after they meet in the marketplace. It’s such a great and sweet song, gives insight into both characters.
  • “A Whole New World” can stay in the same spot. Bring it!!
The Little Mermaid

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My favorite and I will be totally critical of this one, so critical. There is a version in works with Chloe Grace Moretz attached, but to be clear, her version is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s book, not the Disney film, which is why she will keep her blonde hair and her name will not be Ariel. While the Disney film is based from the book, the live action DISNEY remake will be on their own movie, not the book. So, just like with Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, there will be two The Little Mermaid movies.
Music: It’s such a big part of the movie and I think it should stay.
  • “Part of Your World” may be a challenge as it’s an underwater scene. It should remain in the movie but be handled carefully.
  • “Poor Unforntuate Souls” is the same, a great song and scene.
I think this one would require a ton of care due to the nature of the film. It’s not like mermaids can’t be done, we’ve see it, in Splash, Aquamarine, Hook, The Thirteenth Year, Peter Pan (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and H20: Just Add Water, just to name a few. They all looked good in their respective movies and different, only thing would be with the talking underwater. Obviously, they wouldn’t really be talking underwater, but it’s just making sure it looks believable. So we’ll just have to see with this one.
So these are my thoughts, at the moment, on these Disney live action remakes. Considering what we have, I’m optimistic about what’s to come. I truly believe Beauty and the Beast will be wonderful and I think the others will be too, just as long as Disney takes my suggestions lol. Just kidding, but no seriously. I’m excited to see what they do with these upcoming films, I can’t wait to start pictures and I can’t wait for Beauty and the Beast.
Below are some links to songs I want to be included. Enjoy them, they’re all beautiful.

Aladdin: A Million Miles Away

The Lion King

“Endless Night” sung by Jason Raize (RIP).

“Shadowland” sung by Heather Headley.

“They Live In You/Reprise” Samuel E. Wright is Mufasa in this video and Rafiki is a woman here.

She Was Perfection

Tonight was the night. Tonight he was going to see how she felt about him. For months she would come, they would talk, walk about the grounds, tend to the garden that his mother used to pride herself on. Her company was wanted, it was needed. He loved having her around. It became a necessity for him. The young man would wait patiently, well almost patiently every day, until she arrived, so he could just be in her presence.
Pierre and Ben stood before him checking him over. His green eyes stared through the tall Pierre at the wall as he tried to remain still.
“My lord… calm down. You’ll do wonderfully.” Ben’s gruff voice stated.
“Yes yes, you should take deep breaths Master.” Pierre agreed. The young master nodded trying to get his thumping heart to slow in his large chest. She hadn’t been afraid of him since the first few days, he shouldn’t be so worried. However, he couldn’t keep himself from worrying. He was…a monster, had always been one on the inside and for years his outsides matched. She was so beautiful, so energetic, curious and fiery… he loved her.
Once they finished brushing his suit free of lint, and tamed his fur, he looked at himself in the large mirror. It’s been decades since he looked like this, dressed up. Even though he was much larger than his human body, he supposed it would have to do.
“It’s time sir.” Ben held the door open, he took a deep breath and followed Pierre out of his room and into the corridors. He followed them through the winding halls to the ballroom. Pierre opened the door and he descended the right set of stars to wait for his… what were they calling it these days? Date? The young lord waited, feeling nervous as time ticked by. What was taking so long?
The door opened and there she stood at the top of the left set of stairs. His eyes widened as she gracefully descended to meet him. Her curly dark hair was slightly pinned, allowing her face to be framed by small curls, the yellow gown she wore complimented her brown skin so beautifully. Where did Prudence even find that gown? He’d never seen it before? He mentally berated himself, focus Jasper. He needed to focus on her. She was perfection. Inhaling nervously, he held his arm out for her, she smiled and slipped her arm into his and they walked side by side down the middle stairs into the ballroom.
Music began to lightly play, Mrs. Chambers materialized at the old piano. It’d been meticulously cared for over the years but today it looked new. She began to play. The young lord took hold of her waist gently, mindful not to hurt her. “Relax.” She whispered resting her left hand on his shoulder.
They began to dance. Yes. Tonight, he would tell her how he felt and he silently prayed to whoever was listening… that she felt the same way.

One of my shorter ones, but as I haven’t posted in a while, I just had to! But this is part of my “Beauty and the Beast” novel, unfinished lol so this part is completely new.

The Golden Hourglass

There was one last door left unexplored. It was so unlike the other doors, it was as if whoever came to care for the Manor left this door just as untouched as they did the land around the Atwood Manor. The outside looked dark and twisted, the trees overran the grounds, the iron gate was dark and rusted, the light posts, tangled in roots and vines. There was no way she was going to venture the outside grounds by herself, especially with Atwood Manor being pushed so far back into the forest. It was creepy enough. But this door…creepy doors were different. Kind of.
Yasmine twisted the bronze doorknob and the door creaked open. She half expected it to be locked. She pushed the door open further only to see… more stairs. That was fine with her, she was going to see what was up there anyway. With a deep breath, the young woman climbed the stairs to the landing. It was dark and unlike the rest of the house, extremely cluttered and dusty. The only light was a dimming candelabra. The dark curtains blocked the moonlight from the large window at the end of the room.
The dark room contained lots of… junk. There were trunks pushed into corners, one of them held old dresses that seemed similar to the ones in one of the rooms downstairs. Just not nearly as nice. Another trunk held moth eaten clothes fit for a young boy.
“Hmm, I wonder why these clothes aren’t as nice as the ones downstairs.”
There were also a few family portraits, none of which looked professionally done similar to the ones hanging on the walls in the corridors. Old paintbrushes, easels and caked up paints were stashed in wooden crates. Perhaps one of the Atwood’s painted? Of course the fairy tale she kept near and dear to her heart did not detail much outside of the regular story but it would be nice to know. Hanging on the wall was a ripped portrait of a person. They were slashed right across the face, the only part she could clearly see was the green of their eyes, they were so intense, so arrogant that she as she attempted to the fit the pieces together, she couldn’t help but to dislike the handsome face.
“Hmm.”
Who destroyed this portrait? Who removed it from the wall in the corridor? These questions were quickly forgotten as something near the window caught her eye. Sitting near the window was a tall bedside table, atop that table was something golden slightly hidden beneath a cloth. Yasmine tilted her head in curiosity and removed the cloth.
“An hourglass… it’s so beautiful.”
The hourglass was golden, as if it was shined and buffed everyday. There were three columns connecting the top to the bottom and the glass cups held tiny grains of sand. However, the weird thing was, was that the sand sat at the very top of the hourglass unmoving. The sand was not falling the way it should. Yasmine bit her lip wondering if she  should touch it, but why not? She lifted the beautiful object and stared at the sand trapped in the top half. If she just shook it, the grain should start to move.
Just as she started to shake the hourglass, she froze feeling hot air against her neck. Her brown eyes widened in fear, she clutched the object tight prepared to use it as a weapon.
“What are you doing in here?” The voice was deep, gruff, inhuman and animalistic. Her breath caught in her throat at the voice and it took everything in her not to scream in fright. “Do not make me ask you again.”
The figured moved from behind her and stood before the dark curtains. His form was hidden from her but it was large, tall and wrong. It… couldn’t be human.
“I-I was j-just looking. I didn’t mean any harm.”
The figure growled, it actually growled at her before snatching the hourglass from her hands. She jumped back, a yelp escaping her throat at the abnormal hands… no paws… claws? that jumped out at her.
“Wh-what are you?”

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This is super late but man this day was busy lol. This is also sort of kind of a scene from a book I’m working on and it worked for this free write. I wonder if the story it’s based on is easy to figure out.