Being the age of live action remakes, Disney classic Beauty and the Beast is no exception to the trend. With CGI ever raising its standards, director Bill Condon manages to bring to life all the unrealistic characters we loved as children: Mrs. Potts the teacup, Cogsworth the clock, Lumiere the candelabra and many more.
As the characters sing their way through the film, the special effects seem to overshadow the fact that it is basically a shot by shot copy of the original. Perhaps this being a good thing, though, as many of the audience are probably arriving having grown up watching the original as children.
Emma Watson does a great job at portraying Belle, having an expressive face and the same confidence in standing up to both the beast and Gaston that we all love. Although there has been some controversy with her singing, rumoured to be auto-tuned, I thought it was one of the best aspects of the film. Not only did we get a live action, realistic view of the world we loved when we were younger, we also get a more realistic voice from the actress. Rather than a perfectly sung professional, Watson’s Belle has a charismatically sweet, rather ordinary voice, that somehow fits in with her character and the lyrics of the song.
Clearly a lot of time has gone into perfecting the colouring of each scene, creating a wonderful atmospheric viewing experience full of vibrant colours in contrast to the occasional dark, gloomy scenes of the castle. One scene in particular stands out to me, the ballroom scene, with Belle in her iconic yellow dress. Any fan of Disney princesses will see, it is THE dress. It couldn’t be more perfect if they tried, as she twirls around the room showing off every aspect of the flowing material just as in the original.
All in all it’s a fun, light hearted film that takes you back to your childhood with it’s classic songs, dance and dialogue. And I must admit I almost got slightly emotional with its rendition of Tale As Old As Time. For any Disney fan, it’s a must watch.