People of all ages have been waiting years to see Disney's live-action remake of its beloved 1991 animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” and they can finally witness the magic this weekend.
Along with astounding design and nostalgic (and catchy) songs, the film also has a star-studded cast including Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Kevin Kline.
With mixed reviews, the film is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 67%. Although the cast is spot-on and there's some impressive attention to detail in the costumes and set design, most critics agree that it's not much compared to the original, which is the first animated film to ever get nominated for a best picture Oscar — and that was back in the day when only five films got nominated in that category.
Here's what critics are saying about the live-action “Beauty and the Beast”:
The cast is amazing.
“Bill Condon's take on 'Beauty and the Beast' is almost overwhelmingly lavish, beautifully staged, and performed with exquisite timing and grace by the outstanding cast.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“If you're looking for any great departure from or updating of the animated version, don't bother. This 'Beauty and the Beast' doesn't have that. But it does have Emma Watson, and that's enough.” —San Jose Mercury News
It's a pretty direct adaptation of the 1991 animated film, but with a modern twist.
“Three cheers for director Bill Condon and star Emma Watson for having the courage to make a live-action adaptation with 2017 gender politics.” —Time Out
There’s meticulous attention to detail in effects and design.
“The attention to detail in this film is exquisite, from the gold flakes on Belle's ballroom gown to the 'Fantasia'-like theatrics of the 'Be Our Guest' feast. All of the acting heavy hitters truly bring those inanimate objects to life.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“'Beauty and the Beast's' highlight is its stunning special effects and set pieces, especially that of the anthropomorphic household objects, which glimmer with realistic glee — but this isn't enough to warrant a remake.” —Daily Express UK
The songs are probably the best part of the movie.
“I walked in with trepidation — yet skipped out singing 'Be Our Guest.'” —The Sun UK
“Can't say I loved it, can say it still works — thanks to those unforgettable tunes.” —Movie Nation
Despite all the effort, the animated original is still more magical.
“In the end, 'Beauty and the Beast' still enchants, largely due to the irresistible story and [writer Linda] Woolverton's still-intact touches. The hand-drawn original film, though, remains the real deal.” —Newsday
“This isn't just a remake; it's an act of cinematic upholstery, with all the padding that implies.” —LA Times
“If it ain't broke, don't remake it.” —BBC
It’s the worst out of Disney’s live-action remakes so far.
Jon Favreau’s “The Jungle Book,” which came out in 2016, has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 “Cinderella” — the first of 22 planned live-action remakes— has an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.