Growing up in the 90’s means that Disney animation movies has penetrated our childhood and princess fairy tales became one of Disney films’ main sale. “Beauty and The Beast” which was based on a French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont was then adapted into an animation movie and released on 1991. It instantly became a hit movie raking up $425million worldwide. The movie which was a musical, also boosted the sales of its original soundtrack which was sung by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson. As Disney keeps releasing animation movies of princess tales throughout the 90’s, the idea to adapt the cartoons into a live action movies are realized later, starting with the successful franchise of “Alice In Wonderland” live action in 2010. Seven years later, the Walt Disney company reveal their latest live action movie which is based on “Beauty and The Beast” starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast, and Luke Evans as Gaston as the main casts.
Released in March 17th with high anticipation from Disney fans, Beauty and The Beast stayed in the 1st place of box office for two weeks, with earnings of US$ 350 million domestically and overseas. The classic fairy tale is about the beautiful Belle, a young woman from a small village of Villeneuve who is confident, smart, and unafraid of asking more of life. With a series of unfortunate events, her dad (Kevin Kline) got caught in a castle owned by the Beast. Slowly, Belle and the Beast’s relationship shift from captivator and prisoner to lovers. In the other hand, Gaston accompanied by his right hand Le Fou (Josh Gad), has his own plan to earn Belle’s acceptance to be his wife. Emma Watson embodies Belle’s image of a feminist perfectly as Watson herself has already been a feminist activist for years. Apart of that, she was really confident in singing musical numbers in the movie. In some part of the movie it seemed like she holds more to her singing than her acting, but it got better as time went by. The movie got more entertaining with the talking households portrayed by senior actors like Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts the teapot, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere the candelabra, and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth the mantel clock. It was a magical and stunning scene when the household welcome Belle in the dinner table with a musical show “Be Our Guest”. It sure becomes one of the highlight of the movie when all the ornaments dance and sing through a digitally enhanced movements.
Directed by Bill Condon, Beauty and The Beast mix live-action film-making with digitally rendered characters. The Beast, for example, was a fully digitized character. Dan Stevans was applied with phosphorescent make up that appeared blue under utraviolet light and cameras tracked every pore of his face as he perfomed; special software then converted his expressions into data to become the furry, horned beast. The expressions of the Beast was surprisingly natural you would think the Beast was real. Though generally Beauty and The Beast earned positive critics, the character Le Fou caused a controversy. The charatecter was noted as the first gay character in the history of Disney movie. This caused the movie to be banned for viewing in some countries, including Russia, Malaysia, Alabama, and Kuwait. Le Fou was showed to have attraction over Gaston in some scenes, one was when he massaged Gaston’s shoulders in an inn. He even danced with a male character in the last 4 minutes of the movie. Disney has stated their refusal to cut the last 4 minutes of the movie as requested by the government of the aforementioned countries. Overall it’s a nice movie that makes us nostalgic, although it still does not top the cartoon version.
Writer: Jatrifia Ramadhani/Editor: Novita Widia