Beauty and the Beast: What to know before you go
Everyone is excited to see how the live-action Beauty and the Beast will be. Will it be good? Will it be faithful to the original? How gay is it?
I rewatched the cartoon with my daughter who was home on spring break to remind myself of the film and the story. I knew I was going to have to compare and admittedly its been easily a decade since I last watched it. So here are the top things to know about this version.
16th century France was not a great place. Beauty and the Beast pulls no punches with its solemn tone, its darker imagery, its stance against educating girls, poverty and the plague. Young children will not be ready for this. Consider this when deciding just how young of a child you want to experience this. Children over age 6 should be okay with this but use your discretion.
The songs are great
Be Our Guest is everything you want it to be and then some. (I’m going to pretend I didn’t see Lumiere dab) The songs are all pretty enjoyable as you remember them. Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) singing flows so well. The music we know and love is there.
LeFou is the same LeFou
Let’s get one thing clear, LeFou (Josh Gad) wasn’t straight in the cartoon. He’s got a thing for Gaston (Luke Evans) but then in the end he moves on because Gaston wasn’t the man for him. The whole gay character controversy? Spoiler alert LeFou gets the guy in the end.
Speaking of romantic events
You won’t have to explain LeFou to your kids. Watching a feather duster groped by a candlestick is going to raise far more questions. Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) and his girlfriend Plumette (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) spend a good amount of time with the romantic overtures to the disgust of young boys everywhere. LeFou, Gaston and the Beast pale in comparison.
In the end, you are going to love it. It looks great, Belle (Emma Watson) is still strong-willed, her father Maurice played by Kevin Kline, has far more depth, and there’s more detail to the curse, its wielder and why the Prince deserved the curse. They even update to explain why the rest of the house was cursed along with him. Those who grew up watching the original will be happy with this version. Lots of adults will be happily watching and singing and swooning. Enjoy it for what it is, its entertaining and a welcome remake of a tale as old as time.