The much-anticipated Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is out in theaters on March 17, but I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of it yesterday at a screening here in Austin. Bottomline, I thought it was magical – read on to hear more of my Beauty and the Beast Review and why I think everyone should see it.
We all know the classic story – beautiful girl meets horrifying prince, but sees beneath the fur and the fangs to his heart, and falls in love with him. Anyone growing up in the 90’s will remember the classic songs from the animated version – and can still hear Celine Dion and Pebo Bruson crooning the theme song together. And with the era of live-action Disney movies, it was the perfect time to remaster this classic. This version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a treasure.
You are going to love the elaborate costumes that you want to play dress-up in – yes, Belle’s golden-yellow dress is exquisite. You are going to love the breathtaking setting of the story – from the adorable French-town to the gigantic castle the Beast resides in. And when the songs come on, anyone who liked the animated version (can can still sing the songs word-for-word….ahem) will get chills. I’m not going give it away but I didn’t think they could top “Be Our Guest” better than the 1991 version – oh they did!
And for those who haven’t watched the first movie, they will be enthralled with the story, the beauty (no pun intended) and the fairytale-ness (is that a word?) that comes with this modern version. Bill Condon does a superb job of keeping fans both young and old throughly entertained for the full 2 hours.
But let’s address the elephant in the room.
And I’m not going center my review around the controversy that came out a few days ago. Because this movie deserves more. It deserves better.
So, yes, the character Le Fou is gay. So what?
Beauty and the Beast is simply about Love. Falling in love with a person despite what they look like on the outside. The movie begins with us learning how the Prince became the Beast – not a surprise, it has something to do with appearances. And thoughout the story we see how personalities, sacrifice, and who a person is on the inside is so much more important than what they look like. And isn’t that an important lesson for EVERYONE to see?
For those of you who don’t know who Le Fou is – he is the sidekick of Gaston. He is Gaston’s “yes man” – he simply happens to also have a crush on Gaston. But it’s not overtly obvious – there are no “gay references” – what he says and sings are so very similar to the animated version, that if the controversy hadn’t have come out, I would never have thought twice about it. Josh Gad is such a funny actor – and he brings life to Le Fou – not as a “gay character” but a guy with a funny personality and an endearing change of heart. There are subtle references to his affections for Gaston – but they are tiny and you could miss them if you didn’t have the controversy front of mind.
If you are concerned about taking your kids to see Beauty and the Beast, you needn’t be. It is a beautiful story about LOVE. I was so wrapped up in the love story slowly happening between Belle and the Beast, and seeing the Beast change because of it, sacrificing for who he loved – it was heart-warming. That’s the story of Beauty and the Beast. That’s the reason to go see it.
Turn the world off for a bit and go escape for 2 hours of beautiful costumes, goosebump-envoking songs, and endearing dialogue that makes you laugh and cry. You will walk away feeling refreshed. I promise.
Beauty and the Beast is in theaters March 17, 2017
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