MPAA Rating: PG-13
for some action violence, peril and frightening images
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Runtime: 129 minutes
Directed by: Bill Condon
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor
Although Disney has released a slew of movies and DVDs about Beauty and the Beast, there is always a new generation ready to indulge in the heart-felt story of heart over beauty. Some may ask how they can improve the 1991 classic or the numerous DVDs with better animation effects. The answer is to go see this new re-make and discover just how that happened.
The plot remains the same only this time instead of animated characters it's Live-Action actors portraying the characters in the film. Of course the Be-Our-Guest characters, the Tea pot, Candelabra, Dishes and so on are still animated and they seem even funnier and cuter than in previous films.
Bill Condon directs this film based on the 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast. The screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. The wonderful music score is by Alan Menken and includes recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman. Menken and Tim Rice have also written three new songs.
When they say “The Tale as Old as Time” it’s the perfect description of this Beauty and the Beast. The plot is the same but there are new additions and actions, and the live-action of actors really steps up the intrigue in the story. That begins with Gaston (Luke Evans, The Girl on the Train) who has a larger presence in his role as the one who wants to have Belle for himself. He tries to court her but his rude and mischievous antics don’t appeal to her, which only makes him more determined to win her over. Evans does a great job as the guy we don’t like.
Emma Watson (Noah), does a wonderful job as Belle. She’s sweet, caring and even finds good things about the beast that others have not bothered to discover. The household and living objects just adore her and hope she sticks around. The Beast (Dan Stevens, Norman, Night at the Museum) is a little shy when Belle shows up. He doesn’t like visitors since he’s always bullied by anyone who sees him. Belle however has the humanity to look beyond his looks and sees he is a good person.
In addition to the story and acting a huge credit goes to all the behind-the-scenes contributors to this film; other actors, Cinematographer Tobias A. Schliessler (Patriots Day, Lone Survivor), Production Design by Sarah Greenwood, the voice actors Lumiére (Ewan McGregor), Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson), Chip (Nathan Mack), Plumette (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), and others. The composers and musicians’ work is top notch. Not only did I really enjoy the beautiful, fun, exciting production, but watching how splendid it is; I felt like I was seeing a huge play on a Broadway Stage.