A tale as old as time told new


Jessica Glaszczak, Print Managing Editor

The new live-action film of Beauty and the Beast is a truly enchanting experience. While keeping to the roots of the original animated film, the new movie spreads out its branches, reaching far beyond expectations.

Although the new movie is  similar to the old movie in soundtrack and scenery, additional features enhanced the experience such as new songs, visual technology improvements and character development.

All the scenery, from the familiar quaint French town where Belle lives to the mysterious, enormous castle, looks more lifelike than ever before, captivating views, due to the innovation in set design in combination with CGI (computer-generated imagery). The scenery is  notably linked to the mood of every scene, sometimes being cold, dark and lonely and other times being light-hearted and bright.

Even though there were many great advances in CGI, some tweaks could still have been made. The Beast, of course, is an animated character and it was noticeable, making it feel less realistic. Although still being an advancement in 3D animation, this form of animation is still a work in progress.

Another downside to this movie is the camera shots. When there is a lot of movement in front of the camera or when the camera is moving, sometimes it is  hard to know where to look because of the business of the scene. On occasion, the whole scene itself became blurry, distracting from what was happening in the scene.

The soundtrack and musical numbers within the movie are a pleasant expectancy because it is strikingly similar to the original movie with slight twists to avoid redundancy.

What makes the movie shine is the character development and individuality of each character.The original movie was not only two-dimensional in its artwork and appearance but also for the majority in its characterization depth. This live-action movie, however, was three-dimensional in both appearance and in the depth of all major characters.

With actors from Emma Watson and Josh Gad to Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellan, there is no doubt that the acting would be magnificent. These admired actors do  not disappoint. They give  each of their characters depth that is  neglected in the original Beauty and the Beast.

One of the most significant changes in characterization is in the Beast. In the original movie, Beast’s character was plainly put, cold-hearted and strong-headed, and Belle had just tamed the Beast. In the new movie, despite Beast still being strong-headed and abrasive, his kinder side is exhibited in a greater sense than in the original. This gives the Beast a much greater depth.

This movie is as much of a reflection of the original animated film as it is a reflection of our culture today.

Belle is a fearless feminist. She is unashamedly intelligent and inventive, she is accepting of who she is and she fights for what she believes to be right, paralleling women in today’s culture.

Although “Beauty and the Beast” is placed in France around 300 years ago, the characters ranged from all types of ethnicities. This, again, reflects not the culture of that time, but of our culture today.

Another impression of today’s current society that is reflected in this movie is the acceptance of homosexuality, which is hinted mildly.

Children of this generation will look at this iconic movie and see the equality in gender and race as it is essentially applicable to this day and age. So, not only will these kids learn to be kind to a beast but also to all people that might be considered different from themselves.

Overall, this movie brings a new perspective to the acclaimed original film with only minor fails, this adaptation will leave its mark on young generations to come. “Beauty and the Beast” deserves a B+.