There’s always going to be some trepidation about a new retelling of a

classic story, especially one that turns cartoon into reality. However, never

fear, as Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast beat all my expectations.

 

I, like others, wasn’t totally convinced about Emma Watson’s casting as

Belle. To me, like others, and through no fault of her own, she is

perpetually stuck as Hermione Granger. However, I never once thought of

her as Hermione during Beauty and the Beast (despite her love of books

and ability to control monsters). She was the embodiment of cartoon Belle

from 20-odd years ago.

 

The animation of the furniture-trapped characters like Lumiere and

Cogsworth were a little hard to adjust to at first, because for my five-year-

old Disney-buff past-self who watched the film a hundred times, those

cartoons were how I envisioned those characters, and director Bill Condon

takes liberties to create his own versions.

 

The musical scenes – particularly the ones with a huge cast of villagers –

make you feel as though you’re sitting in a theatre and should clap at the

end of each act. The colours, costumes, choreography, music and sets

give the illusion of a huge West End stage show.

 

Overall, it is a sense of nostalgia that makes Beauty and the Beast work. A

few scenes that reproduce moment-for- moment what happens in the

cartoon are enough to tug at the heartstrings, and the music will leave you

covered in goose bumps.

 

While my reviews usually take on a sarcastic or cynical spin, nothing much

more can be said about Beauty and the Beast except this: go and see it.