I know we’re super late to this party, but we literally just watched this for the first time last night. I’ve been after my daughters for months to view it with me, but they were hesitant. They were concerned the Beast would be too scary, the wolves too vicious.
Well, within minutes, they were completely won over, and I was, too.
If you’ve seen the cartoon classic, you know the high notes of this film. The songs are pretty much the same, the circumstances are pretty much the same. Even with that being said, though, this movie delighted us from start to finish.
First of all, it’s charming. It’s just a charming movie. Everyone oozes charisma, even Luke Evans as Gaston. No one bored me; no one made me want the movie to keep moving on to the next scene.
Secondly, it made your eyes fall in love with every set. There is so much to look at, and it’s all so intricate and, well, beautiful. The art director of this film deserves a huge pat on the back. I suspect I could watch this movie a dozen times and find something new in each scene, each time. I love that kind of attention to detail.
I think the “look” of Beast is what ultimately made this movie so wonderful, though. Yes, at times his body appeared fake and disconnected when shot as a whole, but his face more than made up for it. They made his face so expressive and–believe it or not–kind, that we couldn’t help but cheer for him. His face absolutely looked real, down to the smallest hair. I will say, however, that they nailed the ballroom scene. He looked grounded during that moment, with Belle clearly holding on to him and moving with him. I’d love to watch the “behind the scenes” of that moment to learn how they pulled it off so well.
Of course, they also proved victorious with all of Beast’s “family” as well. Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Chip–all of them! They all moved with weight and fluidity. Couple that fact with excellent voice acting and you’ve got a sublime experience.
Honestly, when I finished watching this I felt like I’d just watched an instant classic. The songs were wonderful (with even a few new additions), the acting was charismatic across the board, the special effects were top-notch, the pacing moved quickly, and, best of all, it retained all of the magic and splendor of the original. My kids immediately wanted to watch it again, which is the true test of a good family movie. You can bet I’ll be sitting with them on that second viewing.
(Did you enjoy this review? Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)