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Magical.  The live-action version of Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast is simply magical.  For those of you who thought they couldn’t do justice to the original, I would say that this one stands on its own and can be enjoyed without taking anything away from the animated version.

It stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Prince/Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou.  The household accessories include Emma Watson as Mrs. Potts, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth.  All were wonderful.

It’s a faithful adaptation of the original animated film, with a few extra scenes thrown in.  It can’t have been easy to take on a new version of such a beloved classic, but Disney (and director Bill Condon) got it right, and by the estimated $170 million haul it has made so far (and the fact that tickets were selling like hotcakes) I’d say this will go down as a huge success.

There are the original songs as well as some new ones, including one for the Beast called Evermore.  And yes, Dan Stevens really does sing it.  All the cast members did their own singing.  Some of them, like Luke Evans, are old pros at it.  Evans told CinemaBlend they recorded the songs but also sang live on set and he doesn’t know which version they used.

Speaking of sets, if there isn’t an Oscar nomination for set design that would truly be a shame, but let’s have a word about the costumes.  The iconic yellow dress is amazing.  And yes, it is a little odd that the story is set in France, yet the actors are by and large British.  From what I can tell the timeframe is supposed to be mid-1700’s, and the French upper class wore very… umm… over the top (dare I say foppish) clothes.  I would have brought the clothes down just a tad, particularly for the Prince, and had him forego the wig with side curls for a simple ponytail with a ribbon, for instance.  That said, the original story is a French fairy tale published in 1740 (according to Wikipedia), so I suppose Disney was at least being historically accurate.  That is the tiny, and only, complaint I have.

So by all means go if this is at all your kind of thing.  I saw it in 2D, but it’s also out in 3D and IMAX.  I’d rate it well worth a full-price ticket.  Don’t forget to bring the tissues!

Image via imdb.com

#BeautyAndTheBeast

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Disney has released the final trailer for the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a doozy.

The film stars Dan Stevens as the Beast, Emma Watson as Belle, and Luke Evans as Gaston.  It also stars Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth.

They have also released moving posters of the major characters.  Buzzfeed has them all here.  Be aware, though, that the final poster (NOT moving) is of Dan Stevens as the Prince, so if you don’t want to know what he’ll look like when the curse is broken, stop after the Beast one.

The film arrives on March 17th in both the U.S. and the U.K.

#BeautyAndTheBeast #DanStevens #EmmaWatson #LukeEvans

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