Beauty and the Beast (2017)

★★½

While viewing Disney’s latest foray into their live action adaptations of their animated films, the only question running through my mind was why? Why did Disney decide to make a live-action version of one of their most acclaimed works? Disney’s live-action remakes of their animated films has up until now been of their weaker films. As both Cinderella (1950) and The Jungle Book (1967) were not as highly regarded as The Little Mermaid (1989) or Aladdin (1992). But Beauty and the Beast (1991) was fine the way the film was. Which is the biggest problem with the movie. It was all done better almost three decades ago.

As far as set design goes, everything looks perfect and grandiose just as expected from Disney. The color is nice and vibrant when needed and dark at the correct times as well. The only glaring issues such as the disturbing CG of Cogsworth (Ian McKellan), Lumière (Ewan McGregor), and the other living objects in The Beast’s castle. All of them are quite beautifully detailed and well voiced but yet the models don’t look necessarily right and come off as just looking odd. Even the soundtrack is exactly the same as the 1991 animated film. No new score or anything, just the exact same music.

And it’s not that anything else is wrong with the movie, people are well cast for their roles. Villans Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) have good chemistry together and Emma Watson does well playing Belle ( but oddly using her natural British accent in a movie set in France).

The low effort to add to anything new or innovative to this live-action remake is worrisome to Disney’s future live-action projects. “Why change things if audiences will watch the same movie with a near-identical script and music?” If this will become the case then these movies are already doomed artistically.

 

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