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.