New to On Demand: Beauty and The Beast

Beauty and The Beast © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

New to On Demand: Beauty and The Beast

Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast is a classic film. So when I heard that Disney was producing a live-action reimagining of those iconic colorful scenes, I wondered if it could be as magical as the original. I’m here to say that with director Bill Condon at the helm, they did this film justice.

The story is the classic that we know and love. A handsome prince (Dan Stevens) is turned into a ferocious beast, and all of those who have cared for him are frozen into everything from clocks to candlesticks. The curse, which has so intensely impacted the entire castle, could only be broken if someone were to fall in love with the hideous creature.

It has been quite some time since anyone has been inside the walls of Beast’s castle. When Maurice (Kevin Kline) stumbles upon the castle while looking for warmth, he is taken hostage by the Beast, never to leave the castle. Maurice’s daughter Belle (Emma Watson) sets out to find her missing father, only to find herself quickly trading places with him in the castle. Now she is held by Beast and Maurice is allowed to leave. Could she be the one to break his curse? Could she ever love the creature who keeps her captive?

The story is classic, and Disney told it well in the 1991 animated film. So I wondered, quite openly, whether this film could really be crafted without the wonders of animation. I am happy to report that this iteration of Beauty and the Beast is a winner on virtually every level.

Director Bill Condon puts his touches on classic songs and we are gifted with amazing vocals as well as enchanting visuals. I felt like I was whisked inside the magical world of Beast’s castle. His friends come to life through amazing voice work including that of Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.

Emma Watson is magical as Belle, embodying all of the fears, hopes and anguish of a young girl who is trying to stay alive and make a difference in her father’s life. I loved watching and listening to her work as the magical beauty who could slay the beast and his rough edges.

When you combine the amazing voice work and live-action talents with memorable music and a classic story, you get a tale as old as time. I’m happy to share that this retelling is definitely a beauty.

Beauty and The Beast is available On Demand beginning June 6. Check your cable system for availability.