Poll: Beauty and the Beast

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Disney’s live-action remake of one of the most perfect animated films of all time will open tomorrow and I can’t decide if I like that or not.

I’m afraid it’ll be too neatly a shot-for-shot remake and will therefore come off wooden and pointless. On the other hand, if they change too much, it could ruin something great. I can’t wait to see it, but I’m more than a little apprehensive.

 

Profile photo of Pete Peterson

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


14 Comments

  1. Misty Krasawski

    All in. As in … ticket bought in advance. For tonight at 10:05, because my husband is working til then. Also IMAX. ❤🥀

  2. Amber

    I’m a little heartbroken over this one. The original is my favorite Disney movie so naturally I had high expectations for the remake. The director, however has decided to add an “exclusively gay moment” to this film. I can’t help but think that, as a director, he has failed to recapture the purity of the original.

  3. The One True Stickman

    There isn’t a really good poll option for me… but I’m closer to all in than anything else – I’m probably not your target audience since I because didn’t grow up on Disney movies, still haven’t seen this one, and am heavily influence by a really great print retelling of which I can remember neither author nor title. I loved what they did with Cinderella and hope this lives up to that benchmark.

  4. Profile photo of Reagan Dregge

    Reagan Dregge

    @rdregge

    I’m loving how that last option is a two-fer. (Could’ve been a three-fer with “Matthew from Downton will rekindle my latent hatred for that show.” But for the record my vote was: The original is perfect.)

  5. Profile photo of Jen Rose Yokel

    Jen Rose Yokel

    @jroseyokel

    I am a big Disney animation fan. When it comes to them remaking my entire childhood I have strong and conflicted feelings. Every time they announce a new one, I feel grumpy, but the ones I’ve actually seen are pretty good. Cinderella took a basic Disneyfied fairy tale and fleshed it out into a beautiful story without a shred of cynicism. Pete’s Dragon completely changed everything and made me cry in the theater and wish I had a furry dragon buddy.

    But Beauty and the Beast? That’s my childhood! That’s my favorite! Belle is forever the bookish princess of my heart! Oh wait, Emma Watson is playing Belle? OKAY DISNEY TAKE MY MONEY.

    The original is perfect, but I’m super excited to see this. I do share the fears of it being a pointless shot-for-shot remake, but whatever, I’ll take that chance. Cause Emma.

    I’m still scared about a live action The Lion King though.

  6. Profile photo of Jonny Jimison

    Jonny Jimison

    @jonnyjimison

    I don’t know if I’d go as far as “The Original Is Perfect” but I pick that middle option. Regardless of what you think of the new Jungle Book film, I love that it operated on its own terms – part source material, part animation remake, part its own thing – and the thing that kills any interest I had in the new Beauty and the Beast film is that it looks so close to the 1991 film that if I want to watch Beauty and the Beast, I’ll just watch the animated version.

    Plus Hermione would never be trapped by a beast. She’d solve the obstacles of the plot like child’s play. “Eat slugs, Gaston!”

  7. Profile photo of Jen Rose Yokel

    Jen Rose Yokel

    @jroseyokel

    @jonnyjimison I still haven’t seen The Jungle Book, but I’ve heard good things. That’s how I felt about Pete’s Dragon… it’s entirely its own thing.

    Theory/Foolish Hope: The trailers look so close to the original to stoke the fires of nostalgia in all the adults that grew up in the 90s Disney Renaissance, but mayyyyyybe it’ll turn out to be its own thing. I’ll know in a couple hours because I’m totally going to see it today. 🙂

  8. Profile photo of Jen Rose Yokel

    Jen Rose Yokel

    @jroseyokel

    @jonnyjimison I still haven’t seen The Jungle Book, but I’ve heard good things. That’s how I felt about Pete’s Dragon… it’s entirely its own thing.

    Theory/Foolish Hope: The trailers look so close to the original to stoke the fires of nostalgia in all the adults that grew up in the 90s Disney Renaissance, but mayyyyyybe it’ll turn out to be its own thing  . I’ll know in a couple hours because I’m totally going to see it today. 🙂

  9. Profile photo of Matt Garner

    Matt Garner

    @mattgarner

    This going to come off as unnecessarily snobbish and mean-spirited, and while the charge of snobbery is probably warranted, the intent to be cruel isn’t. So here it is: Emma Watson is… too protected. As an actor. As in there’s very little vulnerability there. Which means I don’t buy much of what she says/does. There’s a central honesty that’s missing. I haven’t seen the movie and I probably won’t until it’s on Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/Redbox because I have three small children and haven’t been on a date with my wife in a year (source of curmudgeonly opinion?), but just viewing the trailer I’m shown a Belle who with a perpetual arched eyebrow has complete control — comes off kind of smug. Now this may say a lot more about me than her, but then again the audience sees what it sees. To her credit, I think her best work was Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But again… lots of control. I know it’s not fair to demand total openness from an an actor whose character trajectory is to ultimately fall in love with a giant bipedal wildebeest, but ticket prices are ridiculous!

  10. Jill

    They (Disney) must of done something spectacular with this remake, my daughters 18 & 23 years of age have been talking about it for 24 hours since we seen it! They have listened & sang to the new and the old music as well. Granted they are big Disney fans!

  11. Profile photo of Eric Heiden

    Eric Heiden

    @ericheiden

    I still haven’t seen it yet. I dunno. There’s already the stage musical, so the idea of doing a live-action movie never really felt very novel to me.

    @jroseyokel Did you get around to seeing it on the 18th, like you planned? What did you think of it?

  12. Profile photo of Jen Rose Yokel

    Jen Rose Yokel

    @jroseyokel

    @ericheiden I did see it! It’s beautifully done and I enjoyed it while I was watching it, but I’m still trying to figure out what I think overall. It was exactly what I expected (a faithful remake of the animated film, with some extra character development / back story, like the 2015 Cinderella) I kind of wanted to come back here and talk about it, but also wanted to wait until people had time to see it. No spoilers below, but anyone who is excited to see it and hasn’t yet might want to avoid reading my summary, so I don’t accidentally kill your joy. 😉

    Things I loved:
    – Kevin Kline’s Maurice. He had such sadness and warmth and quiet dignity. I love him. And his relationship with Belle.
    – LeFou was surprisingly complex and interesting without taking over the film. Not bad, considering the original character basically existed for visual gags and the Gaston song.
    – Emma Watson was a marvelous Belle. I was very pleased. She’s exactly how I would imagine the character in real life.
    – Little backstory insights that expand the characters and fill in some plot gaps. In the original, you hear about how everyone thinks Belle is weird, but nobody in the village seems too concerned about her. Its more like “haha, look she’s so adorable and nerdy.” But in this one, you can feel the disdain and isolation (the detail that instead of going to a beautiful bookstore she’s getting all the reading material she craves from a tiny church library was meaningful and sad) I appreciated the bit about how Belle and Maurice came to the village too.
    – The Beast loves books and that made me smile.
    – Those sets and costumes are so dang pretty to look at. Most of the musical ensembles are incredibly fun. And as much as I missed the stained glass intro, props to Disney for incorporating some ridiculous old French pageantry in the opening sequence.

    Things I didn’t love:

    – At times, I really did feel like I was watching a shot for shot remake. I saw the original a bajillion times when I was a kid, to the point that I still have most of it memorized, so when a lot of the dialogue is directly lifted from that, it sticks out a lot. Sometimes I was imagining animated scenes while trying to watch this, and that was distracting
    – I didn’t love the look of “Be Our Guest.” 🙁 I don’t know. Visually, something about it bothered me… it felt too dark, too busy.
    – A lot of the supporting enchanted objects cast didn’t feel alive to me. I get that their designs had to be realistic to fit the look of the film, but I missed the energy of the animated version. (this probably explains my problem with “Be Our Guest”… ha.)
    – In the end, I really just wanted to go home and watch the original again…

    If you’re a Disney/Beauty and the Beast fan, then I recommend going for it and enjoying it for what it is. I know MANY of my friends LOVED it, so much that I feel a little bad saying anything negative. 🙂

  13. Carrie

    @jroseyokel I have to agree with basically everything you said. I liked the film but did not LOVE the film (like the other 8 women who were with me) – so it felt sort of sacrilege to say anything negative about it. The biggest hit for me was Kevin Kline’s Maurice. That character is always portrayed as a sort of bumbling fool and I loved how he had depth and tried to protect Belle in multiple ways and was a kind and realistic person. That alone made it worth seeing to me. I would add that Emma Watson did a fine job (besides the singing which sounded digitally mixed/edited) but I couldn’t stop seeing/hearing Hermione. I was not fully swept up into the film (like I was with the original), but it did entertain me and give me something to talk with others about. 🙂

  14. Profile photo of Jen Rose Yokel

    Jen Rose Yokel

    @jroseyokel

    Haha… I know Carrie! When everyone around you is thrilled, it’s kind of hard to be the grumpy one…

    I’m happy so many people loved it! But it’s okay to just like it. 🙂

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