Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Synopsis: Story of girl meets beast, beast kidnaps girl, girl falls for beast, beast falls for girl, another boy tries to kill beast, beast almost dies until a spell is broken, girl and use-to-be-beast live happily ever after.
Would you be able to sit through it?: Disney is continuing to cannibalize their classic animated hits and this one is like the others with real people and more modern CGI effects. Same story, same songs, same suspension of disbelief that a young, highly intelligent woman gets Stockholm syndrome and falls for a circus freak of a creature with a bad temper. So, sure, you could sit through it with the kiddies. This isn’t one of my most favorite Disney classics but I wasn’t that bored by this pointless basically shot-for-shot remake.
Any scary/violent parts?: There’s at least two scenes of wolf attacks. The beast is actually less scary than the cartoon version from 1991. Yeah, they somehow made him more human-looking but at the same time the CGI wasn’t perfect in some scenes (like in daylight for instance) so it took away from the horror of this sort of beast. he did sound like Tim Curry’s Lord of Darkness from Legend though which, considering the story similarities kinda of makes sense in an homage sort of way.
Anything that will screw up your kid’s head?: Whether if they already are accustomed to the 1991 animated classic or not, nothing should ring any alarms.
Any lessons to be learned?: Beauty is only skin deep, Don’t be afraid to be yourself or rather follow your own path. Be kind to old ladies because you never know if they are an enchantress or not. (And speaking of, if an enchantress is powerful enough to horribly disfigure a prince and place a long spell on him and his castle, then what is her purpose pretending to be a bag-lady and crashing cocktail balls?)
Recommended age: 5–6. It’s Disney.
3D?: Probably not. We usually stay away from the 3D because my kids don’t like the glasses.
Rent it, buy it or avoid it?: Rent/Buy. This all depends on your level of love for this particular story and the old animated classic or whether your kids absolutely love it. Like I said, this one is not my favorite (although I liked it more than the live-action Cinderella) but it’s my girls and wife’s favorite so I can see myself picking it up later this year on Blu-Ray. If it were up to me, seeing this once in the theaters would be sufficient. But I’m destined to own it now.
It looks like Disney isn’t stopping this train of the live remakes of the old classics and all of them being borderline mediocre is inevitable. If they don’t change much to the classic then it’s only going to be compared to and most likely pale in comparison to the old classics we grew up on. I can’t say I don’t blame them for the remaking since it’s basically printing gold for the Mouse House but I just wish they tried harder to make these kiddie classics more substantial for adults. Granted, I think they might be doing that in small increments (I’m sure you heard of the hullabaloo about Josh Gad’s LeFou character being less than subtly homosexual and that’s fine by me) but at least make these adult changes substantial to the story. LeFou being gay does nothing to the story arc. It’s not like he saves Gaston in the end or anything. They attempted to have a character arc with Belle and the Beast by discovering that they both lost their mothers at a young age. That’s great although it never really made much of an impact to the plot of them connecting, or maybe it did and I didn’t care since it wasn’t brought up again and I already knew the ending so it was moot really. I have yet to see The Jungle Book so I don’t know how more “grown-up” that story is from the animated classic. Cinderella was more fleshed out and was actually better than the animated classic to me, but I never cared for Cinderella much so it didn’t matter to me. I’m looking forward to Mulan though and I also have no issue with them not making it a musical since it would be a much more mature-themed (war) movie and the music would lessen the tone I think. Time will tell.
However, all-in-all, it was a decent time at the movies with the family and I had zero issue with seeing it.
Score: 8 Enchantress Deus Ex Machinas (out of 10)