I loved the animated version of Beauty and The Beast in 1991 and I absolutely loved the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, which officially opens on Friday. We got to see 8 minutes of the film at the recent Disney Social Media Moms Celebration back in February and then I attended a special preview screening this past Monday night. With a few exceptions, it stayed pretty faithful to the 1991 version. Should you see it? Read on.
You know the story. Smart, bookish girl in France, Belle (played by Emma Watson) fends off the lecherous Gaston (Luke Evans). Then her father tries to steal a rose from the Beast, the Beast wants to keep her father captive forever because of that and she takes his place. There are talking teacups, a clock and a candelabra, all who want Belle to fall in love with the Beast so it ends their spell. Slowly, the Beast and Belle fall in love and Gaston attacks The Beast to get her back for himself. The Beast is injured during this fight and because Belle loves him, he goes back to his human form. Then they live happily after.
Gaston’s best buddy is LeFou (played by Josh Gad) and frankly, he and Lumiere (Ewan McGregor ) steal the show with their quick wit.
Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), Madame Garderobe (Audra McDonald) are delightful. The musical numbers “Be Our Guest” and the “big fight scene” were pretty terrific and yes, Emma Watson can SING!!
Belle’s father is sweet (played by Kevin Kline) and we get a glimpse of his close relationship with Belle. We also learn what happened to Belle’s mother (but you’re not getting that out of me).
Josh Gad is terrific as LeFou and he was as adoring of Gaston as the 1991 animated version. Now about the supposed “controversy.”
Spoiler Alert: All the moments that people have talked about in the film are quick and most kids aren’t going to notice anything. I do support LGBT rights and have family members and friends that are gay — and I think it’s terrific that there’s a gay character in a Disney movie. If it hasn’t been all over the media, I wouldn’t have been aware that LeFou is gay. In the 1991 version, I only remember LeFou as Gaston’s henchman. While LeFou crushes on Gaston in this new movie, kids may think he’s just a huge fan, not that it’s romantic on LeFou’s part. The two tweens I was with didn’t notice anything and didn’t question it afterward. There is a quick part of a scene when a ruffian, Stanley (played by Alexis Loizon), is forcibly dressed in women’s clothes byMadame Garderobe and likes it. He ends up dancing with LeFou at the end and while I was hoping there would be a kiss, there wasn’t one. Why shouldn’t LeFou and Stanley have a romance?
As Anthony Breznican says in EW.com says it perfectly, “Yes, some boys like boys. Some girls like girls. When you’re older, you can love whoever makes you happy. I’ll love you no matter what.” Read the rest of his post here: http://ew.com/movies/2017/03/03/beauty-beast-lefou-gay-character-dad/.
But I’m also going to mention this – instead of being so concerned about a gay character, shouldn’t people be more concerned that Gaston won’t take no for an answer from Belle or that the Beast takes Belle captive and holds her against her will? Luckily the Beast changes his way of looking at things and decides to release Belle because he truly loves her, but still, it’s unlawful imprisonment. And no one is outraged about that?
Are there any scary parts?
Yes, there are two parts where there are wolves attacking. If you have a child that’s frightened easily, wait for this to come out on DVD and fast forward. There is a fight scene at the end that’s mostly funny, however, Gaston shoots the Beast several times.
Go enjoy Beauty and the Beast! I did. I’ll be seeing it again. Disney, take my money!
Here’s a clip of “Something There”, courtesy of Disney.
Are you going to see Beauty and The Beast?
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