From being the center of the pop culture for the millennials growing up to a direct live-action reboot, Beauty and the Beast has come a long way, and now holds the record for biggest March opening ever.
The 1991’s Beauty and the Beast was not only the first animated movie from the house of Disney to compete in Oscar’s Best Picture category, but also became a buzz with $100 million box office mark. Fast forward in 2017, this glorious remake of the musical drama, directed by Bill Condon, is estimated to snag over $1.5 billion at the box office, with $400 million mark crossed in less than a week of release. Now that’s the perfect fulsome ode to the tale as old as time, true as it can be… you know the drill!
The Bottom Line
Coming back to the nostalgia of a celebrated love story – featuring the beautiful, independent and a book-worm Belle, played by Emma Watson on one side and a cursed but kind-hearted Prince, played by Dan Steves on the other, the chemistry between the two is just upright that was very important for the movie’s success. Emma is simply flawless with her strong-willed personality and she can sing too (you would want to burst out into a song with Belle’s first scene). As for Steves, well, he is a Beast worth saving. The enchanted servants, who were cursed along with the prince, are voiced by the likes of Ian McKellan (the clock), Emma Thompson (the teapot), Audra McDonalds (the wardrobe) and Ewan McGregor (the candelabra). The new addition, the Harpsichord, is voiced over by Stanley Tucci.
Alongside, the remake solves a lot of mysteries that were not covered or probably ignored in the previous version.
What happened to Prince’s parents after he and his servants were cursed by an enchantress? It turned out Maurice had never revealed to Belle the story behind her mother’s death, and this version puts a wee bit light on this fable as well. Yes, Belle’s mother died of plague which is why Maurice took her into the countryside so she could survive the catastrophe. The movie also implores the deeper relationship between Belle and Maurice.
The Gay Moment
As for the most hyped “exclusive gay moment” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, was nothing but a “blink-and-miss” moment. For all we know, this could be Disney’s attempt to testing waters by making it an “OMG- gay-thing-in-Disney-movie” moment, or probably just a strategy to create online commotion, whatever the purpose it served, it was definitely a tiny surprise for many Disney movie lovers and definitely did not affect the box office. However, this fact has earned the film non grata status in some countries, and thus, had to be coded, which makes it undetectable.
All in all, it is a sweet, harmless and visually sumptuous fairy tale that will enchant all ages. Just a bit more dense and long – perhaps, 45 minutes longer that allows scope for expansion. Menken’s songs are the pulse of this out-and-out musical. In the end, the sugar-rush finale will take you back to the original animated version for refreshment.