Goddamn does Disney know how to entertain. In a way, this movie is an incredible opportunity to study different storytelling techniques, and how to efficiently adapt a written story into film. As many readers will complain to you, it’s easy to screw up novel adaptations. Perhaps this movie wasn’t such a train wreck because it already had a fantastic template to work off of.
Live Action Adaptations
Comparing the live action to the animated version gives a deeper understanding of the film, and a theory to the thought process behind the creation of this one. The two movies are very similar, sharing set pieces, songs, story beats, dialogue, costumes and even some camerawork. The humor in the animated movie was very child-oriented, and a product of its time. The live action movie lifts a lot from the animated version, not only to keep the original story intact, but also so as not to lose that classic Disney Charm.
The changes made to the film in order to adapt it into a live action movie in 2016 took a lot of thought, and though a lot of the movie is incredibly similar to the animated film, it would be unwise to claim that each scene and line wasn’t analyzed in order to deliver the best possible product.
Beauty and the Beast is still a children’s movie, but doesn’t always treat its viewers like children. We’re thrown many thought-provoking shots and lines. Short enough so they don’t steal the spotlight, but not so short so it detracts from its message. The movie made an effort to be topical and sensitive enough so that these little references made their impact, without greatly impacting the tale.
My favorite character to watch was Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou. In the animate movie, he was little more than a caricature, without anything of substance to his character. In the live action version, the potential of his character was properly utilized, and in a way that I was surprised came from a children’s movie. The relationship between these two men doesn’t strike you as a one with much depth, especially if you’re a child. Your mind understands what your eyes see, and the relationship at first glance is exactly the same as the one in the animated film. But the power of subtly and body language that is lost in a cartoon can be utilized to its maximum with actors.
The little glances, the closeness of their bodies, the way LeFou acts around and admires Gaston strikes me as a possible homosexual relationship. It’s never spoken of, it’s never shown and the evidence is so thin, they can still maintain plausible deniability. Except in the last scene, when we see LeFou dancing with a man with a twinkle in his eyes. This man is first shown to be another admirer of Gaston, and he stands there with a little bit of a rainbow flair to his stance. Later, during the attack on the castle, he’s forcefully decked out in fancy women’s garb. The other men who have the outfit change imposed on them run away, but this one looks up at the Wardrobe with a little look of approval and thankfulness in his eyes. The Wardrobe then sings, “Be free!” I don’t need to spell out what’s going on with that, but I will.
Y A B O I G A Y
I chose to analyze this movie more than review it because reviewing something that’s been in production twice is unfair to me. They took an engaging story and adapted it into a movie. Then, they took that movie, revised it, fixed their mistakes, added in a little more depth, sprinkled in some fantastic visuals, hired some talented actors, and produced the film again. This movie had the advantage of knowing what its final product would look like, and changed things so they could create something they wanted it to look like.
For the sake of a review, I’ll tell you that the movie is incredibly entertaining, looks very beautiful and has a lot of substance to it. Blink and you’ll miss it. 7/10. I don’t like musicals and this movie had a lot of songs. I should’ve seen it coming.
You should be proud of me, I got through the whole review without talking about how pretty Emma Watson is.