It’s tricky stuff, remaking a beloved classic, but the head honchos at Disney have done the job. And more importantly, they’ve done it right. The new Beauty and the Beast is brilliant: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Josh Gad drag us into a whirlwind of magic and song and French chateaus and you find yourself never wanting to leave. Eagle-eyed fans will however have noticed that there are some quite a few differences between the original movie and its successor. With the new Beauty and the Beast available on Virgin Movies from 17 July we thought we’d share some of the things we cherish from each.
What we love about the remake:
1. Gaston and LeFou are a total hoot
We’ll put it out there: Gaston and LeFou are the two funniest - and possibly the two best - characters in either film. We’d also argue that their double act comes out in full force in the 2017 movie. Luke Evans and Josh Gad give the characters a witty dynamic missing from the first film. And with Gad’s performance (the actor also voiced Olaf in Frozen) LeFou has a lot more personality, and way better lines.
2. The Beast sings
One of the few disappointments of the 1991 movie is how little we see of the Beast’s good side. Sure, there’s that montage where he and Belle hang out reading books, but the cursed Prince doesn’t get much dialogue, aside from grumping and growling. The new film corrects this by giving him a whole entire SONG which is all about how he feels about Belle. It makes us reach for the tissues Every Single Time. Also, it’s Dan Stevens singing. (And in case you were wondering, yes, we’re swooning too).
3. The plot actually makes more sense
You have to admit that the original Beauty and the Beast was riddled with plot holes (and the internet has obsessed over this over the years). For instance, why does no one in the nearby village know about the Beast’s castle - and his curse? Or how old exactly was the Beast when the mysterious enchantress paid her visit? The new film fixes many of these issues, and gives us a good helping of backstory to top things up. We finally find out what the Prince was like pre-Beast, and what happened to Belle’s mum. All in all, it makes for an even more satisfying story.
4. There’s even more romance
Aside from ballroom dancing and the above-mentioned reading montage (!), the original movie doesn’t show us a lot of interaction between Belle and the Beast. Happily, they have wayyy more scenes together in the 2017 film, which then makes it more obvious as to why the two fall for each other. Aww.
What we love about the original:
1. The spectacular animation
You can make live-action gorgeous - but it’ll never quite beat the fairytale feel of hand-drawn sketches, which yes, is how the 1991 movie was made (with, okay, a little help from computers). You only have to look at the opening sequence to see what we mean: it looks all sorts of magic.
2. There’s nothing like the original Be Our Guest
The Be Our Guest sequence in the remake is lovely and all, but we love the flurry of colours and enthusiasm of the original. Dancing forks on a chandelier! Mrs Pots making tea! Bizarre patterns of dancing plates! The newest interpretation is still rather charming though, in large part thanks to Ewan McGregor’s hilarious French accent.
3. The lyrics to "Gaston"
The 2017 movie changed the lyrics to the song ‘Gaston’, making them less, um, weird. Lines such as “No one’s got a swell cleft in his chin like Gaston,” or “and ev'ry last inch of me’s covered with hair” have been done away with. Sure, the new incarnation of the song is admittedly less - ahem - awkward to sing along to - but we absolutely love the utter ridiculousness of the original.
Beauty and the Beast is available on Virgin Movies from Monday 17 July.
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