I have loved Beauty & the Beast since I saw it for the first time, right before Christmas break at the University of Montana (Missoula) 1991. I loved Belle. I identified with Belle — the odd bookworm part, not the most beautiful girl part. I bought the soundtrack as it was available sooner than the VHS tape. I bought that too. Then the DVD. I kinda wanted to steal Jessie’s Belle Barbie when she got the princess set. When we went to Minneapolis last summer and I found out Beauty & the Beast was at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, I added that to our list of things to do. I’m not obsessed with the movie, but Belle is my favorite Princess and I was sad that we didn’t get to meet her in her blue dress at Disney World (next time).
So of course, we had to go see the new live action movie. The girls and I went opening weekend. The three of us loved it. Emma Watson is a perfect Belle, with a fairly decent voice.
I really enjoyed the expanded story as I really bought Belle falling for Beast in this version. But still wondering why does he never tell her his name? It seems rude to simply call him Beast once she begins to see him as a person. The two of them bonding over books seems believable.
I’m not sure what I think of the new songs. Perhaps they will grow on me over time but neither of them jumped out like in the original movie. But really, how can you beat the awesomeness of “Be Our Guest”? Ewan McGregor did a fine job on the song, but I think Jerry Orbach’s version is far superior.
The set design, costumes and all actors brought the story to life. The 2 hours flew by. I cannot wait to see the movie again, hear the songs (hopefully fall in love with the new ones!)
This is still my favorite fairy tale. The morale of falling in love or learning to like someone based on who they are, finding things in common, what’s on the inside is what’s important is a story that stands the test of time.