Before beginning, I must emphasize that Disney's cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast is my favorite movie of all time. Not just my favorite Disney movie—my favorite movie of ALL TIME.
As you can well imagine, I had very, very, very high expectations for this year's remake.
The live action film brought back everyone's favorite characters. I was wary about Emma Watson playing Belle, but she really won me over with her singing and just overall understanding of the character.
The beast, on the other hand, was over-animated and made to look almost more like a human than, well... a beast. Dan Stevens, who plays the beast/Prince Adam, nevertheless did an excellent job portraying this classic character.
My biggest complaint with casting has to be Gaston. Luke Evans is an amazing actor and he really did the best he could with the character of Gaston, but to me he was too old and not nearly as brawny as the character is written. After all, this is the character who sings, "So I'm roughly the size of the barge." Evans is fit but he does not fit that description by any measure.
The biggest controversy surrounding the film was that the character of Lefou, played by Josh Gad, was gay. I hate to break it to everyone, but duh. Lefou has clearly been in love with Gaston since the cartoon version. It’s like people think it's totally appropriate to hold a teenage girl against her will and for her to fall in love with a magical half animal/half man hybrid, but dear god don't let the children see a gay man.
This live action version also made some changes from the original when it should have left well enough alone. They tried adding in a backstory about Belle’s mother but it fell flat and I was left thinking, ‘Did we really need that?’
The film’s original songwriter created new scores for the film, which incorporated all the originals, except “Human Again,” dang it.
Overall, I give this movie an A-. I wasn't a fan of the changes they made to the original version; if it ain't broke don't fix it! However, the film still won me over and I cried before the credits even rolled from how happy it made me. Disney fan or not, it's worth forking over your hard-earned $10 to see Beauty and the Beast on the silver screen.