Posted in Film Reviews

Animation to Live-action: Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
I want it more than I can tell
And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they’ve got planned”

WARNING: The author is a bit obsessed with gifs. Expect loads of ’em.

As far as I can remember, whenever someone asked me who my favorite Disney princess was I always told them that Belle was my favorite and that Beauty and the Beast was my favorite fairy tale. Little me didn’t have any grand reasons as to why she preferred that particular princess and her story, indeed, the reasons were much more simple than what they are now.
I’ve heard some people relate why Belle’s character resonated with them so muchΒ  when they were mere kids and their reasons make me scoff so loud it can wake a dead person. Reasons like “she was such a strong character” or “the film changed my life” and the like. Folks, these are valid reasons and I totally believe that Belle is such a person. What I can’t believe is that that is why you liked her when you were, like, 6 years old. Pfht, seriously.

So what, you ask, were my reasons? They were two exactly:
a) Belle had brown eyes, I had brown eyes.
b) Belle had brown hair, I had brown hair.

It was like looking into a mirror. Tehehe.

When I was in school a lot of the girls had bags, geometry sets, notebooks and other stuff with all of the Disney princesses on them together and we would pick our favorites and these two things compelled me to say Belle from Beauty and the Beast every time.
There was another reason but it sat at the back of my mind and I never truly paid any attention to it: Beauty and the Beast was considerably more exciting than other fairy tales like say, Cinderella or Snow White. There was also the stark absence of any breed of step-mothers and it didn’t revolve around the girl wanting to get married. But this I understood later, not then. Children can be creative, thoughtful and intelligent but this kind of analytical thinking is possible only when you’re a bit mature, Hence the hideous scoffing.

So, now that we’ve covered what midget-me found appealing, let’s take a look at what dwarf-me loves about the beloved tale (in no particular order).

My New & Improved Reasons for loving Beauty and the Beast:

    • Belle has brown hair and brown eyes.
    • The story has more action and thrill than the other fairy tales.
    • I don’t care how bad it sounds but there’s something so exhilarating about the idea of seeing the ‘man behind the beast’, understanding him and then falling in love. Or the enemies-to-lovers thing, whatever you want to call it. It just shows how powerful love truly is.
    • Talking objects and the hilarity they cause.
    • There are no step-mothers.
    • Belle is fierce and brave and stands up for what she wants.
    • She wants more from her life, a feeling I’m sure all girls out there experience to varying degrees and extents. Including me.
I’ve never acknowledged how true these words ring, until now.
      • She loves books so much that she’s deemed odd by her townsfolk. Now why does that sound familiar?
Switch ‘Belle’ for ‘Sara’ and you’ll have the tag line of my life.
  • Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast.
  • Be Our Guest. I was absolutely captivated whenever I watched this part.

I automatically look for Beauty and the Beast based books whenever I’m researching retellings. The different takes on it are always fascinating but nothing beats the original. Which brings us to the 2017 live-action adaptation.

It was about 85% faithful to the original and it was extremely satisfying to see most of my favorite bits come to life. Some parts didn’t make it and I wasn’t much bothered by that. The film makers added more backstory to Belle, Beast and even Gaston and I appreciated that a lot. Since lists dictate my life and make it easier, here’s the film’s review in a list:

  • I liked every single actor in the film especially Kevin Kline as Maurice.
  • The CGI effects of the Beast and the household objects were actually pretty good. Not sure why people were making such a fuss about it. I believe the translation of the animation’s Beast to the live-action one was perfect. The horns were a nice touch.
  • I adore Emma Thompson and I think she’s the coolest person on the planet but she had this really, I don’t know what to call it, weird accent? Like the one where you don’t pronounce the ‘h’. So instead of here it is ‘ere. It would have been fine had it not shown in Tale As Old As Time. It ruined the overall sweetness of the song for me to be honest. I prefer the original.
  • Be Our Guest was also underwhelming. I was visually spectacular in some places but I ended up not liking it one bit. The one in the animation was more lively and fun while this one tried too hard but failed.
  • Luke Evans was delightful as Gaston. The thing that surprised me the most was the fact that unlike in the original, after listening to Maurice’s pleas about Belle being captured by the Beast, instead of dismissing him outright and making fun of him, he actually went along with him to find his daughter.
  • Gaston was the funniest and most well-executed song in the film.
  • The ballroom dance was PERFECTION. Le sigh.

  • There was, sadly, too little of Adam and Belle together. The dance at the end didn’t make up for it. I wanted a little more.

All in all, it was a mesmerizing experience, full of wonder, smiles and nostalgia. I loved it!

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Just a little change
Small, to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the beast…

Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong

Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast


3 thoughts on “Animation to Live-action: Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

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