Keep It Reel: ‘Beauty and the Beast

By Marc Woodfork

“Beauty and the Beast” is the live-action remake of one of Disney’s most popular animated films.   Disney took a risk to bring this film to life, considering the lukewarm reception by audiences to their other recent live-action endeavors.  The classic animated “Beauty” has stood the test of time and is still by consensus one of the best Disney has ever made.  The 1991 film won two Academy Awards and was the first

The classic animated “Beauty” has stood the test of time and is still by consensus one of the best Disney has ever made.  The 1991 film won two Academy Awards and was the first full-length animated film to be nominated for Best Picture — a hard act to follow.

This version is very good.  It has everything we love about the animated version.  The cast includes Emma Watson as Belle,  Dan Stevens as the beast/prince and great support work from Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, and Josh Gad.  The entire cast is fantastic.  Thanks to the solid original story, there wasn’t much tweaking that needed to be done.  All of the musical scenes are beautifully choreographed and shot.   The only miscue with the film is the run time.  It’s over two hours in length, and at times it feels long in between the music interludes.

Some moviegoers may think by making a live-action version, it will lack the soul of the animated classic and some might question why would Disney make this version after 26 years. The answer: pure nostalgia.

Disney isn’t re-inventing the wheel here, and did they have to make this film? No.  But why not? The technology exists to make it, it’s fun, and it’s still magical.

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