Hello Lovelies! I am happy to present to you my first guest post today by my sister from another mister Shea-No-Butter T! She and I bought saw the wonderful anticipated Disney’s Beauty and the Beast! After having a long conversation about this movie, I believed that Shea’s comments were something that ya’ll would enjoy hearing too. So here it is, you’re moment of bookish zen!
Hello, everyone. I’m here to give you a different sort of review…or really just one from a very specific point of view. I am a writer, but not a published one—I don’t have the time to write in between going to school for writing and maintaining a job. *sad face* However, I still think and view things like a writer. And that’s where this post comes in. I’m not a fan of musicals—that’s Lia’s shtick. (Sweeney Todd being my one exception.) In spite of that, I would say that Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast is a great movie…for fans of the animated movie.
No, seriously, it does a great job of giving life to the classic animation that so many of us grew up with and even adds more to it. Still, I was not one of the many people in the theaters sniffling and then applauding at the end. Why? Because, I have what I am going to call a writer’s bias.
A few months ago, I was doing research for a paper on “Disney-fication” or the altering of fairy tales and similar stories to be more “child friendly.” And that meant, I was reading a lot of original versions of classic Disney tales. And I gotta say…the original Beauty and the Beast is…astounding. It was written in the 1700’s by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. (That’s right—a female novelist nearly 300 years ago.) The amount of detail in the original story— which to be honest, is actually a novella if not outright novel—took a huge blow when it was first abridged and altered, because ladies and gentlemen…you only know half the story if you don’t know the original. Now to avoid spoiling it for those who wish to read it, I’m just going to give you a few hints to what you’re missing. Firstly, FAERIES!!! Faeries are HUGE part of this story. Secondly, there’s a lot more development to the romance, not to mention the background of the characters—THERE’S SO MUCH MORE to these characters. Thirdly, Beast in the book is nothing like Beast in the movie…either movie. And lastly…the women hold all the power in this story. This is a story that deserves to be known, not just the incredibly abridged tale that most people are familiar with. As a writer I feel a sort of empathetic anguish that one day my own work may be simplified to the point where all the incredible details I dreamt up just get plucked and tossed to the side and that colors me view of the movie.
So, on that note, let’s talk about the movie now. Here I am with a huge bias against this movie and I haven’t even watched it, yet as the movie went on I begrudgingly had to give it it’s due. Considering that this is a live action version of the Disney tale, it’s great and does just what it set out to do (even with the extra songs that pained me so.) I must say, that while I may never love the film, I can certainly agree that it was well done. I loved that Le Fou was given more characterization and I even loved that one guy who was forcibly cross-dressed, but not at all displeased with the result. I love the attempts at making it historically accurate; as in with the fashion and that super creepy bird like doctor’s mask. I hate that Luke Evans is such a damned charming and attractive Gaston. …its not fair. I liked the glimpse into Belle and Adam/Beast’s past…even if it only made me want to know more. And as someone who has read the original, I did appreciate their attempt to further integrate a bit more from the original. Still, I’ll have to burst your bubble in telling you that the original contains to magical book to teleport you. Instead, the magic mirror is a lot bigger and can show you some pretty interesting things. As for what bothered me about the movie: …I’m more attracted to Beast than I am Adam. O.O
All in all, however, if you’re going to see this film, looking to see your favorite Disney classic live, you’ll get just that. But! If you’re going to see this film with hopes of learning more and seeing something new about this well-known tale, I’d say, just read the book (the original one.)