I heard about it not long after the release of the live-action “Cinderella,” with which I was enamored.
I love “Harry Potter” and “Downton Abbey,” so my excitement only increased as I learned that Hermione Granger and Matthew Crawley were to be the beauty and the beast, respectively.
I waited eagerly and impatiently for each beautiful snippet released, counting the days until the movie opened.
So imagine my dismay upon exiting the cinema, rather unimpressed.
The movie was very well done. The graphics were beyond amazing, the colors were vivid and clear, and the artwork strikingly realistic.
This all was showcased gorgeously in the sequence for “Be Our Guest,” which contained some of the most impressive computer graphics I have seen.
Similarly, the acting was superb. I don’t believe any of the cast could have performed badly had they tried.
Emma Watson was a wonderful Belle and her singing voice, while perhaps not operatic, is lovely and, in my opinion, perfect for Belle.
Dan Stevens as the Beast was portrayed wonderfully, and I marveled at the emotion conveyed in the facial expressions they allowed to show through the graphics. His singing voice actually was astonishing and, without a doubt, his solo was the highlight of the movie.
The fabrics chosen were stunning, but the costumes themselves were somewhat unusual. While keeping in mind the corset scandal of “Cinderella,” I brought myself to terms with the less-than-traditional princess silhouette in this story. And, of course, Emma Watson would look lovely in nearly anything.
However, I found the pucker of chemise showing at the waist of some of her outfits and the constant tucking-up of her skirt to show her bloomers rather off-putting.
The score was lovely, so long as you enjoy the original “Beauty and the Beast” theme, which is woven into the new score beautifully. And the new songs were as much fun as the well-known and loved classics of the cartoon.
So why did I leave feeling disenchanted? It felt almost as if the creators of this movie spent so much time and energy honoring the cartoon that they failed to make this movie stand on its own.
No one could have wanted this movie to be flawless more than me, but after all the hype and the gorgeous promos that had been released, there seemed to be very little new beauty to see. And while I did buy the DVD, it mainly was just to hear Dan Stevens sing once again as the Beast.
This story was written by Ark City Daily Bytes correspondent Mairi Baker.