Beauty and the Beast Live-Action vs. Original

As you may all have heard there is a new live-action Beauty and the Beast, I went with my daughter to see it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those of you who torture yourselves by not watching Disney movies, Beauty and the Beast is about a girl, Belle, in a small village in France, wishing for “more than this provincial life” and the unwanted attention of a brusque soldier, Gaston, who wishes her to not think at all for herself but be his “little wife”.  Belle trades places with her father who is being held prisoner by a beast that is actually a prince. The prince was turned into a beast by a sorceress for his cruel treatment of her because she was disguised as an ugly beggar. As a result, he must find someone to love him for his character before the last petal falls from the rose the sorceress gave him or the prince and all the inhabitants of the castle will be cursed forever. The inhabitants of the castle were turned into objects relating to their occupation in the castle; a French maid into a feather duster, the bellhops into a coat stand and so on.

The original and live-action Beauty and the Beast followed the same storyline but the live-action Beauty and the Beast gave more of a back story on all the characters in the movie. This allowed the characters to have more depth and gave answers to questions that one would not think to ask as a child. The Live action depicts why the Beast grew to be so emotionally contorted, explains what happened to Belle’s mother, why and how no one seemed to notice a giant abandoned castle with a beast living inside with a talking candlestick and why the servants of the castle remained by the side of their master even with his violent outbursts and hopeless situation. This helped to explain the actions of the characters, gain sympathy from the audience and why no one seemed to discover the castle beforehand.

Some changes to the characters I very much enjoyed. For example, they gave Beast more of a sense of humor and witty repartee with Belle, who did not tolerate his violent outbursts or brusque behavior. This allowed their romantic bond to seem more natural and realistic. Another character who received a revamp was Lefou. Lefou is Gaston’s wonky sidekick and cheerleader. In the original, Lefou blindly follows Gaston and receives punishment later for doing so. In the live-action, however; Lefou starts to see the fault in Gaston actions and ultimately trades sides and helps the servants of the castle ward off the villagers.

Overall the original and the live-action Beauty and the Beast are very similar but I feel the live-action grew up from the original and modernized it for all of us that were kids when it came out and now are able to enjoy it more as adults. I would definitely recommend you bringing the family to see it but it may be a little frightening for your toddlers in some scenes so the original animated Beauty and the Beast might be more appropriate. Both versions are wonderful and I believe both will become timeless classics that future generations will enjoy.

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