Earlier this month, the long awaited live action movie “Beauty and the Beast” premiered in theaters all over the United States, drawing in huge crowds as well as being a box office success.
The film, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, has been long anticipated ever since the first trailers came out in December. Fans had been longing to see if both Watson and Stevens would match up to Paige O’Hara and Robby Benson, the original voices of Belle and the Beast.
“They didn’t necessarily match up because of accents and stuff like that,” said Kennadi Liang, freshman. “But they were very good live action characters, and they are great actors, so I would have chosen them [anyway].”
For many Lynn University students, they have grown up with the classic 1991 animated version of the fairytale, growing accustomed to seeing Belle wearing the beautiful yellow ball gown. According to an official video released by Disney, Belle’s yellow dress had to “…dance beautifully” as well having adornments of Swarovski crystals at the bottom, making it feel more like a dress that could float, compared to the 1991 version.
In this revamped version of the movie, audiences see a whole new side of the story, as well as some questions now answered that were not answered in the original film. Many of these questions are also related to both Belle and the Beast’s back stories, adding in new songs as well.
Both the costumes and even the script were altered to fit a 21 century audience, which most revamps of animated classics fail to do. But the biggest revamp was LeFou, one of the characters and sidekick to the villain Gaston, who was revealed to be gay.
Compared to the 1991 original, it was later revealed though, that this added detail about the character was to commemorate Howard Ashman. The original lyricist for the 1991 film died of AIDS shortly before the animated movie came out.
Audiences also get to see a whole new side of Belle, learning more about her back story and even getting to see a more tomboyish, adventurous side of her in terms of her costumes and attitude. She still gets to wear the gorgeous yellow dress, but there is a practicality to it.
“It is nice to see women depicted in a less narrow way, having a variety of skill sets,” said Sue Kornfeld, academic tutor. “They are less objectified; it sounds like [that is] what they did in this new film.”