A Tale As Old As Time

Beauty and the Beast exceeds expectations, better than anticipated

Camryn Mottl, Features Editor

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A symbolic rose. A beast cursed to remain in his animalistic form forever if time runs out. A beauty who wants to find her way in the world, and finds where she belongs in a run down castle. A story that is as old as time, has come to life by Disney films.

In order to make movies more magical than before, Disney has begun to turn their before animated stories into live-action films. Disney started with Snow White, then continued on with Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and now the ever-famous Beauty and the Beast.

The film kicks off with the iconic Disney sign, labelling it as their own, only instead of the magic going over Cinderella’s castle, it is over Belle’s, setting the scene for what is to come. They did stick to their original tale, of a beautiful girl named Belle finding a castle in the woods while looking for her father, whom she ends up switching places with once she finds him in a cell. Her captor, the Beast, is a cold and angry-tempered animal, but they soon form an intimate relationship after he saves her life from the wolves. In the end, after a long fight with a previously turned-away suitor Gaston, Belle professes her love for the Beast, and the curse on the castle and all who lived there is lifted.

To give it a new feel, Disney added in different aspects for the viewers who have seen the cartoon film before. They answered a lot of questions that were considered plot holes in the 1991 film: How did the beast become so cruel? What happened to Belle’s mother? By adding backstories, the story became easier to follow.

The setting also brought magic into the film. The village still had the iconic fountain that Belle sits at to read, along with the trade and bustling about while singing “Bonjour” in the beginning. The castle, though, was the best part of the entire movie. Each pillar and column had gold decor on it, along with the walls and ceilings. Every scene was so complicated and layered that it was difficult to focus on one item. While it didn’t take away from the story too much, there were moments that I had a headache from being overwhelmed. Still, how they put everything together truly made the film come to life.

But what would a Disney princess film be without the singing? While I am disappointed that they left out the song, “When We’re Human Again,” I was just as proud of Dan Steven’s voice in the Beast’s own song as Belle runs to save her father. Everyone’s voice was beautiful, no matter how small the part was. They all meshed together perfectly.

However, I was a little disappointed in was the reaction of the cast to certain circumstances within the story. While Maurice’s response to Chip’s movement is certainly relatable, by walking right out the castle because he thought he was going crazy from seeing the teacups and clocks come to life, Belle’s reaction to Gaston putting Maurice in jail was not as explosive as expected.

Emma Watson truly made the character Belle bloom, making her more of the strong, independent woman she was. But during the dance she looked almost bored, which I was surprised of. While casting was wonderfully chosen, the actors could’ve done a better job at their character’s reaction to what was taking place.

Magic is something Disney has brought to every household, and with their newest film, they have done it yet again. With the intricacy and grace, keeping with tradition, yet making it modern, it makes everything all the more exciting for their next live-action creation.

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A Tale As Old As Time