Live action Beauty and the Beast creates new take on old tale


Avery Greenaway, Staff Writer

From the introduction of an openly gay character into the Disney franchise, to the sheer excitement of a live-action princess movie featuring a well-known Harry Potter actress, the live action Beauty and the Beast has sparked a lot of conversation.

And the movie is worth the hype.

The story stays within the boundaries that the original ‘90s cartoon set, but adds its own songs and even some plot developments that answer some questions about Princess Belle’s mother. These new twists made it not a complete waste to come to the theater to watch a story that most know already.

Although it was unavoidable to note the similarities to Belle’s character and Emma Watson’s most well known role, Hermione in the Harry Potter series, Watson does a spectacular job of bringing Belle’s character to life. Belle and Hermione are both known for their smarts and their independence, but Watson still manages to showcase her acting range by emphasizing Belle’s more graceful tendencies.

Overall, the singing in the movie is sub-par. No particular voice in the cast stood out from the others, but acting in the film is much better than the singing. Specifically Luke Evans as outrageously vain Gaston and his counterpart and admirer, Josh Gad as LeFou, work fantastically well together.

Gad, who most know previously as Olaf in Disney’s 2013 blockbuster Frozen, takes on a controversial role as Disney’s first openly gay character. Although in the original Beauty and the Beast (1991), LeFou adores Gaston, that film never strictly clarified that this admiration is anything more than platonic. Both Gad and the writing team as a whole do a fantastic job taking LeFou’s character to another level and breaking new grounds in the world of kids’ entertainment. Gad’s portrayal is both accurate and entertaining throughout the film.

It is also notable that Disney does a great job incorporating a diverse cast into this film.

Perhaps the best part of the film, however, are the outstanding costumes. Not only is Belle’s iconic yellow ball gown breathtaking, but the costuming throughout the movie continues to surprise audiences with its extravagance. The glamour of the wardrobes nearly mirrors those of the animated characters, which is impressive.