10 Reasons Why ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Was AWESOME

So, I just went to see Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Let me tell you, it was fantastic for so many reasons. If you’ve seen it, you probably have your own reasons for why you love the new remake. If you haven’t, well, I do have to warn you that this blog is not spoiler free. But, if you’re like me and you couldn’t resist rushing out to see Disney’s newest live-action princess film in theaters, popcorn and soda in hand, then these reasons will definitely resonate with you. Here’s why Beauty and the Beast was awesome:

1. Emma Watson

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I mean, Emma Watson. Need I say more? Her performance was on-point, her smirk was out, and she was just the right kind of pretty. You know what I’m talking about. Not the classic, squishy, “disney-pretty”, but the kind of pretty that can beat you at any trivia game and out-read you and fend off a pack of wolves. Emma Watson was the perfect choice for Belle.

2. The Accuracy To The Original Film

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Fans of Disney pride themselves on extensive, obsessive knowledge about the company’s classic films. The first thing I noticed about the remake was just how frame-for-frame accurate it was to the original. Many of the shots are exactly the same. The characters are dressed the same, the sets (the sets!), the music, and the voice-types were all matched so it felt like you were watching the same film you enjoyed watching as a kid – just a little more grown-up and intense.

3. The Music

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Not only did the filmmakers nail the original music from the first Beauty and the Beast film, they even added some new pieces that felt completely organic. The new music fleshes out the original story and adds so much depth and beauty to the film. It was great to feel as if I could sing along to old classics while also getting to hear something new.

4. The Depth

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Speaking of depth, can we just talk about how much the filmmakers added to the film to create a sense of a fully fleshed-out, grownup story? The remake fills in both Belle and Adam’s backstories, as well as adding some new characters to the tale. Beyond that, the film finally answers the age-old question “what the heck was up with that enchantress, and where did she go?”

5. Gaston

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I would need about seven pages in order to write all of the things I loved about the remake’s portrayal of Gaston. Luke Evan’s portrayal was so incredibly amusing and terrifying at the same time. He makes Gaston out to be a little bit dull, quite a bit of a bully, and truly dangerous – which is exactly what Gaston should be.

6. The Historical Setting

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One of my favorite aspects about the new Beauty and the Beast film was how the filmmakers chose to remain, at least in part, true to the original setting of the story: France, somewhere during the late 1700s to the 1800s. The story is set against this provincial backdrop, but beneath it lies the fabric of a country ruled by despots, obsessed with opulence, cruelty, and excess. This part of the story becomes especially apparent in Adam’s backstory.

The story also doesn’t shy away from the sexism that was rampant during this period in history. We see young boys going to school while a girl of their age (the schoolmaster’s daughter!) is left outside to wash clothes. Belle is discouraged from reading because she’s intelligent, and gets in trouble for teaching the schoolmaster’s daughter how to read. The film portrays these less-disney-esque parts of its setting with grace and boldness, making the tale seem that much more real to its grownup viewers.

7. The LGBTQ+ Representation

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It’s about time that Disney started portraying LGBTQ+ characters. The new film expounds on relationships that were hidden beneath the fabric of the original, doesn’t dance around the subject or queerbait, and gives viewers a strong queer character who eventually chooses his own path and finds happiness.

8. Belle’s Inventing Skills

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In this retelling of the old story, Belle’s the inventor, and that’s awesome. Disney is increasingly creating princesses that little girls truly can look up to: girls who do a whole lot more than just waiting around for their prince. Belle’s intelligent, sharp as a whip, and creates all sorts of inventions to get her out of scrapes. That’s just plain awesome.

9. Maurice’s Character Development

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One thing I never really liked about the original 1991 film was that Maurice, Belle’s father, seemed to be a bit of a bumbling, eccentric oaf. He doesn’t seem all that bright, and he doesn’t seem all that capable. The new film remedies that. Kevin Kline’s Maurice is a humble, quiet, sweet man. His Maurice is deeply sensitive, loves his daughter fiercely, and will do anything to see her safe. The bond he shares with Belle is a strong one, unbreakable by any hardship. It’s clear that he’s the one that encourages her to invent new things, and despite everyone thinking that he shouldn’t, he’s the one that taught her to read. It’s a beautiful relationship to watch unfold on screen. This is a Maurice that I want to root for.

10. The Messages Behind the Film

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I’ve touched on this a bit in previous points, but I strongly believe that the messages presented in this film are messages worth repeating. The film deals with underlying themes like parental abuse, bitterness, unhealthy infatuation, sexism, and hatred. It also lands on several more positive themes, like inner strength, determination, creativity, and flexibility.

At it’s heart, though, Beauty and the Beast is a tale about bullies and those that society “others”. Both Belle and the Beast are outcasts. Belle is ostracized because of her intelligence, and the Beast because of his looks. Gaston, though he truly is a monstrous person, is upheld by society merely because he’s attractive. This is the sort of story that’s important to remember: society often chooses wrong. Being different isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Fitting in isn’t necessarily good. One’s outer looks don’t always reflect who a person is on the inside. Above all, though, you should always give people a chance: because people can change…often a lot more than you might think.

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Written by

Elizabeth is a Portland-based freelance writer, who spends her time playing with her cat, blogging, working on the three-billion writing projects she has bouncing around in her brain, tutoring kids in writing and reading, and perusing the streets of Portland, looking for the best coffee shops and book shops.

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