Beauty & The Beast (1991 / 2017)

BEAUTY & THE BEAST (U)
D: Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise
Walt Disney/Buena Vista/Silver Screen Partners IV (Don Hahn)
USA 🇺🇸 1991
85 mins
 
Animated/Fantasy/Musical
 
W: Linda Woolverton [based on the fairytale by Madame Leprince de Beaumont]
Mus: Alan MenkenHoward Ashman
 
voices of: Paige O'Hara (Belle), Robby Benson (Prince Adam / The Beast), Jerry Orbach (Lumiere), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), Richard White (Gaston), David Ogden Stiers (Cogsworth)
 
A return to top form from Disney after a decade of near dormancy. The movie also sparked a host of animated movies from Disney which saw them regain their stronghold on the market.
The story follows a prince who is turned into a monstrous beast by a curse and must find true love to return to human form.           
Beauty & The Beast became the first animated movie to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, an accolade highly deserved, and all the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman penned songs are all fabulous.
A treat for children and adults alike. 
8/10

Beauty & The Beast
Beauty & The Beast
Did You Know:
Angela Lansbury, the voice of Mrs. Potts, thought that another character would be better suited to sing the ballad "Beauty and the Beast". The director asked her to make at least one recording to have for a backup if nothing else worked, and that one recording ended up in the film.

BEAUTY & THE BEAST (PG)

D: Bill Condon

Disney/Mandeville (David Hoberman & Todd Lieberman)

USA 🇺🇸 2017

129 mins


Fantasy/Musical


W: Stephen Chbosky & Evan Spiliotopolous [based on the 1991 screenplay by Linda Woolverton & the fairytale by Jean-Marie LePrince du Beaumont]

DP: Tobias A. Schleissler

Ed: Virginia Katz

Mus: Alan Menken; Tim Rice & Howard Ashman

PD: Sarah Greenwood

Cos: Jacqueline Durran


Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (The Beast / The Prince), Luke Evans (Gaston), Kevin Kline (Maurice), Josh Gad (LeFou), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Stanley Tucci (Cadenza), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts)


Disney studios seem to be quite content churning out live action version of their famous animated classics, with Alice In Wonderland, Cinderella and The Jungle Book all having big budget makeovers, to varied effect.

The 1991 version of Beauty & The Beast made history by being the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, so to say that this live action update had big shoes to fill is an understatement.

Visually, the film ticks all the right boxes, with outstanding production design, costumes and visual effects which really bring the fantasy world to life, but aside from the technical aspects the rest of the film is a bit of a disappointment, failing to have creative licence with the material in the same way some of the studio's other adaptations have and settles on being a practical shot-by-shot update with occasional moments being a little more family-friendly. All the famous songs from the 1991 film are reinvigorated with live action choreography, but it's really just the same song and dance.

The real issue with the film is the casting, particularly Emma Watson, whose performance as Belle is far too preciously smug to make the character enchanting, elegant and overwhelmed by her whole experience. Everyone else from the ensemble is fine, but their characters are underwritten to allow Belle to have the lion's share of the screen-time.

Disney enthusiasts will enjoy this more than Joe Public, but even the most ardent Disneyphile would agree that the animated classic is head and shoulders above this. It just feels a little too corporate and safe.

6/10


Dan Stevens & Emma Watson in Beauty & The Beast
Dan Stevens & Emma Watson in Beauty & The Beast
Did You Know:
Sir Ian McKellen, voicing the character of Cogsworth, turned down the chance to voice the same character in the 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast.