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Disney’s Beauty and the Beast dances into theaters

Leah Johnston, Copy Editor

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Disney’s live action film of the classic tale Beauty and the Beast opened in theaters on Friday,  March 17, and it already has many fans swooning. Considering its high budget and amazing cast selections, this new movie is a work of art.

Directed by Bill Condon, the movie revolves around a young woman named Belle, played by Emma Watson, who lives in a small, provincial village in France. The people of the village, and Belle herself, believe she is peculiar different from the rest of the townspeople. She is not only beautiful, which makes sense as her name translates to “beauty” in French, but she is also loving and intelligent.

It is no surprise that Emma Watson was chosen as the role of Belle. Her previous castings in the Harry Potter films (2001-2011) and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) show that she adores playing bright women who dare to be different.

In the live action film, viewers are given a better look at the Beast’s life as a prince before he was cursed. The film began an extravagant ballroom scene full of many characters that later turn into objects, like clocks and candlesticks. Given a peek at the beast’s old life, viewers learn that he was not a kind man and only cared about appearances, which is why he was cursed by the Enchantress, who had been turned away by the prince when disguised as a poor old woman seeking shelter. She turns him into a beast and the only way he can turn back is if someone falls in love with him despite his unappealing exterior.

The Beast is played by Dan Stevens, an English actor who has had previous roles in Downton Abbey (2010-2015) and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014).

Belle’s father, Maurice, played by Kevin Kline, is taken prisoner by the Beast when he is caught picking a rose for Belle in his garden. Belle heroically takes his spot as prisoner out of love for her father, and she is trapped in the Beast’s castle.

Because of her beauty, Belle is placed into a scheme conjure up by the animated objects. Best friends Lumiere, a talking candlestick played by Ewan McGregor, and Cogsworth, a talking clock played by Ian McKellen, lead Belle from the jail to a beautiful bedroom. There, she meets a talking wardrobe, played by Audra McDonald, who dresses Belle up. Their plan for Belle is to make her fall in love with the Beast so that everyone can escape the Enchantress’ curse and become humans again.

Back in the village, Gaston, played by Luke Evans, and LeFou, played by Josh Gad, also have plans for Belle. Gaston wants to marry Belle even though she would never agree.

As for the musical elements of the film, songs like ‘Belle’, ‘Gaston’, ‘Something There’, and ‘Be Our Guest’ are performed with the melodic voices of the cast. The production would not be the same without the amazing music composed by Alan Menken.

The story continues with these plot alterations and additions, and eventually Belle develops feelings for the Beast. They fall in love in the end and the curse is broken. Like in most Disney movies, they lived happily ever after.  

The new film made the 1991 cartoon come to life, although there are a few differences between the original movie and the live action remake.  New songs, like ‘Evermore’ and ‘Days in the Sun’ are added as well as elements to the story, such as Belle discovering the reasoning behhind her mother’s passing and her own childhood. Additionally, there is Emma Watson’s obvious British accent and the introduction of other characters.

The extraordinary film took almost three years to create, but it’s finally here and better than anyone expected. Who knows which Disney princess will have a live action film next?

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Disney’s Beauty and the Beast dances into theaters