So they remade Beauty And The Beast. A lot of people were excited when it was first announced. This was their favorite childhood movie after all, and now it was coming back to life, resurrected in glorious high definition with ample amounts of CGI. This was surely going to be the very pinnacle of nostalgic satisfaction, no? Turns out it wasn’t as good as we thought. A lot of people are coming out of theaters thinking exactly the same thing: Why, oh why did they decide to remake Beauty And The Beast?
Although there were a ton of die-hard Beauty And The Beast fans who couldn’t wait for it to come out, there were another group of people who looked at this remake with much more caution. They were unsure whether this movie was even a good idea. After all, the 1991 version was amazing. Why fix what isn’t broke? There’s also the fact that the original animated version was barely made 25 years ago. Hardly enough time to warrant a remake, especially when compared to other Disney remakes like The Jungle Book and Cinderella.
What fans wanted was nostalgia, but they got something else entirely. While not all fans hated it, some even loved it, what pretty much everyone experienced was a muddled attempt at matching the previous iteration word for word, step by step, in a hopelessly vain attempt to recapture its charm. But that was never going to happen. The film in 1991 was unique, and nothing will ever be like it again. What ended up reaching the theaters was a movie with one foot in the unattainable past and one foot in the gimmicky future, leaving itself lost in a completely unremarkable no-man’s land.
15. The Original Should Have Been Respected
The first reason why this movie should have never been made is that there was no need to make it. The original is perfectly fine. The 1991 version captured the hearts of many children and adults alike. And guess what? It still is! Nothing has changed to make the older version any less appealing, and if anything the slightly outdated animation style gives it a retro vibe that makes it even more interesting. Angela Lansbury, the now 91-year-old actress who voiced Mrs. Potts in the original film, summed it up better than I ever could when she said:
“I can’t understand what they’re going to do with it that will be better than what we’ve already done. And how they’re doing it live — it may turn out to be very entertaining and wonderful. It won’t be like the cartoon that we did, but it’s a good story — it’s one of the famous fairy stories that is known worldwide by children. Therefore, why not? I don’t blame them for doing it. But, I’m sorry, they’re not really on our territory. We did it as cartoon characters, and that is quite different from live actors.”
14. It’s Live Action And Not Animation
A live action version of Beauty And The Beast sounds cool at first, but there are some major downfalls of this choice that should have been considered before this film was made. There seems to be a trend right now with Disney wanting to make old animated films into live action versions. It worked well with Jungle Book, but that’s about the only example I can think of. Cinderella was okay, but it wasn’t extraordinary by any stretch of the imagination. So why take such a huge risk with Beauty And The Beast when such a technique wasn’t tried and tested? The answer is pretty simple. They needed an excuse to remake it – so that it would be distinct enough from the original to warrant a remake. So in the end, the choice to make it a live action film was something they were forced into. It wasn’t really an artistic choice. This means that no one on the team was actually passionate about incorporating a live action element into the film; it was just something handed down from head office – instructions that people dutifully followed.
13. The “Beast” Doesn’t Even Look Ugly
Okay, the whole point of the Beast is that he’s supposed to look like a beast. As in, a wild animal, a scary, untamed monster. Does this look like a “monster” to you? Someone really screwed up when they decided to make the Beast look like a supermodel version of Chewy from Star Wars. He’s cute for god’s sake! Look at those full, pouting lips, those beautiful, shiny blue eyes, and that flowing mane and beard. He looks like he’s used some seriously high end shampoo and conditioner on his hair to make it full-bodied and shiny. You get the point.
Why is this such a big deal? It ruins the entire point of the story. Belle is supposed to be the polar opposite of this beast. It’s Beauty and the Beast. As in, beauty and the polar opposite of beauty, which is ugliness. The whole story is about a girl not caring about what someone looks like on the outside, choosing to care about their inner beauty instead. But it’s very easy to see how Belle could see this creature as attractive, which is all wrong.
12. The Story Is Outdated And Politically Incorrect
Back in 1991, feminism and social justice were nowhere near as huge as they are now. Back then, movies didn’t really have to worry about including minorities and depicting powerful women in every other scene. And not many films were dissected by liberals, trying desperately to find some flaw, some hidden racism, or a way in which in symbolized the patriarchy. That’s all changed in today’s world. But the people behind the 2017 version of Beauty And The Beast clearly didn’t recognize the reality of today’s world, because they dug up and resurrected a tale which has some seriously questionable political correctness.
Think about it: A young, barely legal girl gets forced to live with a strange, older, physically stronger man against her will. This man is prone to emotional instability and violent rages. And eventually, she falls in love with him. In all honesty, that sounds like some kind of kinky sex slave story, rather than a tale that should be told to children. In fact, it sounds a lot like 50 Shades Of Grey.
11. Just Another Remake
I guess Hollywood is really not getting the memo that we are sick of these constant, never-ending, substandard remakes. This is just another example of the lack of creativity in Hollywood today. Can they seriously not come up with anything new? Do they have to keep searching the archives for more and more movies to dig up from the past? The movies that have been remade in the last few years is staggering. What happens when they run out of movies to remake? Are they then going to start remaking the remakes? Will we be left with a set of about 12 films that get remade each year, time and time again? Because that’s where we’re headed. They shouldn’t have tried to shove yet another remake down our throats with Beauty And The Beast. But they did, and when you think about it, it’s pretty obvious why they made this choice. More on that later…
10. The Beast Is Too Civilized
The Beast was always supposed to be more human than initially meets the eye, but in this latest iteration, he becomes even more civilized. Coupled with his stunning good looks, this makes the Beast even less believable as a slightly unstable man, and his very important role in the story is thereby diminished.
In the 2017 version of Beauty And The Beast, the Beast is much more literate. This is actually a focal point of the story altogether, the magic of reading so to speak. The Beast in this version is actually incredibly interested in reading Shakespeare. This is a nice touch but again, I think there needs to be a little more of a wild side to the Beast for him to truly serve his role in the story as a foil to Belle. And it’s not just the fact that he’s a Shakespeare buff, it’s his whole personality as a whole. It’s way too effeminate and doesn’t do the original movie justice.
9. Belle Is Too Similar To Hermione
For Emma Watson, a movie like this should really be something that shows her range. It should have been a movie that showcases her ability to play other roles than just the beautiful, smart, young leading lady. But the character of Belle is so similar to Hermione, it’s a little frustrating. It’s like you’re not watching Beauty And The Beast, you’re watching “Hermione And The Beast” instead. It’s a shame because this might lead Emma to be type-casted in these roles for the rest of her career. I’m not sure she was the right actress for the part for this reason. It might be the fault of casting, but it might also be Emma Watson’s fault for not making the role different enough from Hermione, but I think the main fault lies on the casting of the role from the production side. I would have much rather they found someone who was a little less known. But Emma Watson had brand appeal, I guess.
8. CGI Ruins It
This is a major gripe with many of the critics who reviewed this film. The CGI added in did not add to the charm of this movie. In fact, it really took away from it. It seems somehow more cold and distant than its previous iteration. And this is a major detriment to a film that’s trying so hard to mimic the original 1991 version, as the animation in that earlier film was what made it so warm and inviting. And it wasn’t just the fact that they decided to add in CGI that made it destined for failure, it was the manner in which the CGI was executed. Numerous well-respected critics complained loudly that the CGI was “murky,” with details being lost to a mass of undefined objects. Some objects are well done, but the background especially sometimes seems a little rushed and outdated. And that’s really the key here. In 20 years, this CGI is going to look completely outdated. Meanwhile, the original 90s version of the film is still going to be every bit as enjoyable as a cartoon. Yet another reason why this movie should never have been made.
7. They Offered Nothing New
This was a film that basically set out right from the get go to stick to the “script” of the first film almost religiously. That was a very dangerous trap to fall into, because when you’re so concerned about replicating something that’s already been done, the artistic creativity behind the project gets inevitably stifled. Not only that, but the audience doesn’t get to see anything new. The story really should have been presented in a new and interesting way. I’m not saying it needs to be set in the future or anything drastic like that, I’m just saying it would have been cool to see someone else’s take on it. While the outer appearance of the film has most certainly changed with the addition of live action and CGI elements, the story remains essentially untouched. The end result is a film brimming with sparkles but lacking noticeably in substance. And this a very cruel way to prey upon fans who love the story of Beauty And The Beast. More on that later.
6. Emma Watson Is Not A Singer
As much as I love Emma Watson as an actress, she’s not a singer. It was announced quite early on that Emma Watson would be singing all of the musical numbers in the film, as well as being the actress. That’s right, that voice you hear during the movie is actually Emma Watson herself. Emma has never done any actual professional singing in her life, but Emma Watson vaguely referred to herself as a “singer.” I guess that means she does it in her spare time or something? Like in the shower? A lot of the critics were really harsh on Emma Watson about her singing voice, and I have to admit, they have good reason. One critic compared Watson’s voice to a screeching cat. And those were the kinder reviews. This is another reason why it might not have been a great idea to cast Emma Watson in the leading role. Perhaps they should have gotten a woman who could both sing and act professionally to play the part? They could have gotten Emma Watson to lip sync as well, but they chose not to.
5. The Gay Character Seems Forced
There was tons of hype about how LeFou was going to be “Disney’s first ever openly gay character” in the months leading up to the release of 2017’s Beauty And The Beast. I want to make it clear that I’m totally for the inclusion of gay and minority characters in mainstream productions like Disney films. But I’m a little on the fence if those minorities are portrayed as total caricatures of themselves, and not actual believable people.
I understand that a lot of characters in Disney films are caricatures, gay or not. But LeFou’s character seems like the idea of a bunch of producers sitting around a table, trying to figure out ways to market this film. I wonder if this wasn’t something specifically intended to hype up the film and give it an edgy vibe, rather than a heartfelt and genuine attempt to represent gay people. And many of the critics revealed that they found LeFou to be one of the most annoying Disney characters of all time, so I’m not sure they’re doing gay people many favors by making him their token gay character. Because that’s all he is, a token.
4. Emma Watson’s Acting
Time to get mean about Emma Watson. Sorry Emma, I’ll always love you, but I’m not sure you were cut out for this film. And don’t get mad, because it’s not just me saying it. A lot of critics have pointed out that Watson’s performance throughout the movie was totally flat. One critic pointed out that there was no difference in her character emotionally between the start of the film and the end, when she had finally found her true love. It was pretty much exactly the same facial expression.
There’s also the fact that her acting made it painfully obvious that she was not used to working with a green screen. We’ve seen talented actors like Ian McKellen make it work in Lord Of The Rings, even though it nearly drove him completely insane. But Emma Watson looks as if she’s looking at nothing most of the time, because, well… She is looking at nothing. It’s weird because you’d think an actor with so much experience with Harry Potter would be familiar with working with a green screen. If she does have green screen experience, it certainly doesn’t show in this film.
3. They Added Pointless Scenes
So remember before when I said the movie tried to be a word for word re-enactment of the original 90’s version? They actually did try to break away from the original script with a few added scenes. But these scenes push the film deeper into the mud of failure rather than providing it with any kind of saving grace.
The added scenes don’t serve any real purpose. It’s almost as if they were added for the sole reason of letting the director say, “Look! See! It wasn’t exactly the same! HA!” All they do is add to the length of the film. There were numerous critics that pointed out that these scenes really broke up the momentum of the film as well. The critics said that while they were watching the added scenes, they just wanted them to be over so they could get to the musical number that they knew was coming up next. I’d say this was a poor decision right from the get go, because if you’re going to completely re-enact a film, you might as well just go all out and repeat the movie word for word. They tried to have the best of both worlds by adding in a few barely noticeable differences, while mimicking it exactly the rest of the time. In the end, they were left with something that was neither unique nor an accurate copy.
2. It’s All About The Money
When we’re talking about Disney, when is it not about the money? To give them some credit, they’re a corporation and that’s what corporations do, they try to make as much money as possible. But this might be a new low, even for Disney. We all know that the reason there are so many remakes right now is because it’s pretty much a guaranteed way to ensure the movie will be a hit at the box office. Big movie studios don’t want to take risks anymore. And why should they when they can just keep regurgitating the same films over and over, drawing in the same loyal fanbases over and over again.
But the thing is, this is basically preying on people’s love for classics like 1991’s Beauty And The Beast, and turning that love into guaranteed mega bucks. It’s the same trick they use in all industries: “How can we repackage the same garbage in such a way that people will think it’s something new?” And of course people will still flock to cinemas in droves to see Beauty And The Beast, even if it gets a rating of zero from critics. It doesn’t matter to them, because they just want to relive those cherished memories they had as children. And that is what Disney is counting on and uses against people. And that is why I think it’s disgusting.
1. The Talking Furniture Pieces Have Lost Their Charm
One of the main charms of the original movie was those adorable talking teapots, plates, candles, and a manor of other random pieces of furniture and household objects. But in the newer iteration, these iconic characters have completely lost their charm. Again, this is due to the decision to use CGI, but it’s also more than that. It’s the overall shape of the characters. You can hardly see their faces and their human qualities. Just try to make out the face of the candle in the above picture. You can’t because it’s way too small. Compare that to the original versions, which were animated with huge faces that were extremely expressive and conveyed real human emotions. The newer furniture characters fail completely in that regard. I will say one thing for these characters though – they are voiced extremely well. Both Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor do an excellent job in voicing these character. Ewan McGregor does well at mimicking the voice of the original Lumiere, and Ian McKellen does very well with the voice of Cogsworth, in which he really makes the character his own – one of the few positive changes from the original.
Sources: movieweb.com, rottentomatoes.com, upi.com