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“Beauty and the Beast” Wows Audiences

Disney's reboot exceeds expectations

Lyndsey Guiseppi, reporter

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Beauty and the Beast is Disney’s live-action remake of the classic 1991 animated musical directed by Bill Condon, with Emma Watson as book-loving, independent Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Outstanding storytelling, delightful animation, and compelling characters make this both a wonderful film for kids and an enjoyable movie for anyone. One unexpected yet delightful modern twist on the 1991 animated version, is that LeFou, a character brought to life by Josh Gad, who clearly has an innocent man-crush on his friend Gaston played by (Luke Evans) something the original movie did not have. This modern twist allows people to relate more to the characters.

The story line begins a with vain prince (Dan Stevens) who is cursed by an enchantress (Hattie Morahan) to live his life as a beast in an enchanted castle, as a lesson about making judgments based on appearance alone. The curse can only be lifted if someone loves him, despite his beastly appearance, before all the petals fall off the rose. Belle (Emma Watson) finds herself in the enchanted castle and trades places with her father to set him free. Over time, Belle’s heroic character infects all the residents of the castle including a talking candlestick, a clock and a teapot, among others.

Eventually, the Beast realizes just how much he loves Belle. He even goes as far as to set her free so she can help her father, even though that means he’ll likely remain alone and permanently cursed.  What follows is a problematic romance in which she falls in love with the Beast.

Visually this movie checks all the boxes. Disney has done a tremendous job of making their live-action remakes of their animated classics on screen. The best thing about the movie was the casting of Emma Watson as Belle. Not only does she look the part, but she brings the character to life. Watson plays Belle as a brave, independent woman atypical of most traditional Disney princesses. Among the beautifully unique costumes, clever humor and music, this film truly makes you feel as if you are a child again.

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“Beauty and the Beast” Wows Audiences