By Danika Miller
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Beauty & the Beast is one of my favorite movies of all time and I went into the live-action hesitantly hopeful. I absolutely loved it. I loved Emma Watson, I loved the update on Belle, the addition of several backstories, the beautiful costumes and castle, and the CGI on the Beast didn’t make me cringe as much as I was worried it would. Every actor really shined and did the original justice; however, I still prefer the animated version. Here are a few reasons why:
Just hearing the opening sequence of the animated movie can give me chills, and I thought a lot of the instrumental work was just as beautiful in the live-action. That said, I was disappointed by how altered some of the vocals were, specifically Emma Watson's. Despite having no professional training or education in music, the auto-tuning was painfully obvious to me. I know Emma Watson isn’t necessarily a singer, but from what I could make out, the unaltered parts sound lovely enough. Certainly a few off-pitch and not-so-perfect notes would have been less distracting than the digital pitch correction that riddled every song of hers.
Beauty & the Beast is a love story, one of the best, about finding love within. I thought the live-action did a good job of showing a friendship and an intellectual connection between Belle and the Beast. I was pleasantly surprised by the Beast’s sense of humor. However, their relationship didn’t quite feel as romantic as it does in the animated film. The live-action held a distance between Belle and the Beast. I empathized and connected with them separately, but together they had no visible chemistry. This could be chalked up to the fact that the Beast was created with CGI. I relied heavily on what I knew from the animated version when it came to their love story.
I wasn’t quite enchanted by the enchanted servants in the live-action remake. I thought the characters they added were rather unnecessary, except for a few funny lines. These characters were really charming in the animated version, and I felt like they didn't add much to the movie's charm. This could be due in part to their CGI nature, resulting in a limited scope of visual emotion.
The Final Transformation Scene
The pinnacle of emotion in this movie is arguably when the Beast dies. Belle is beautifully distraught and professes her love tragically late. But then the Beast magically transforms back into the Prince. This moment always made me cry in the animated film. It was beautiful, emotional, and hopeful. In the original film, there’s a colorful fall of magic and rain around our fallen hero. And then suddenly there’s a handsome prince and you can see all of the emotions Belle feels as the Beast transforms and returns. She has him back, though it’s not in the form she knew him as, and they share the long-awaited kiss. In this live-action remake, it feels almost anticlimactic. Especially as a rather disappointing Dan Stevens appears, and stumbles into a kiss where there are no fireworks, literally and figuratively.