A Beauty Despite the Beasts

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On March 17, Disney’s much-anticipated live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was released in the United States. Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, the movie was announced by Disney in 2015. As soon as the first teasers were revealed, longtime Disney fans and moviegoers alike were excited to follow Belle in her tale as old as time.

Breaking box office records, the movie earned a total of $500 million after its first week of release. Although great results were expected, not many could have predicted the stunning repeat of box office domination that happened a week later. Moviegoers seem to be going and returning to watch this remake of a beloved classic and all with great reason.

For one, the movie is very much true to the original animated version of the story. Nearly all details, from the name of Belle and Maurice’s horse to Chip’s adorable bubble trick, were emulated in the live-action Beauty and the Beast. Thus, audience members had the nostalgic pleasure of seeing the beauty of the original cartoon from years ago now play on the big screen with a sense of reality one could almost grasp.

Some plot points, such as the background story for Belle’s mother and the role of the mysterious spinstress Agatha, were added but did little to detract from the movie’s original story line. Rather, these newer plot points actually added more dimension to the movie.

However, as a successor to a highly beloved Disney classic, this adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was bound to have its fair share of critique. The most common one was how the movie almost excessively panders to the audience with overwhelming, multi-colored visual effects that became almost straining to the eye. During certain parts of the movie, in an attempt to capture these visuals, the panning blurs and only frustrates more than pleases viewers.

Despite these small, beastly criticisms, the movie was essentially a beautiful success. Not only was the audience treated with new plot points, generally great visuals, and new songs, but the audience also had the opportunity to bask in nostalgia for two hours.

Personally, I believe that Beauty and the Beast stayed true to the original and offered a new experience for Disney fans and first-timers alike. As I watched the movie, I found myself constantly smiling and almost constantly in disbelief that I was watching a classic story come to life. Because of my own experience and the success of the movie, I give Beauty and the Beast a 4/5 and highly recommend the movie to anyone and everyone.

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