It is the tale as old as time and the song as old as rhyme. Yep. It is Beauty and the Beast!
My favourite movie as a child was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (it still is, to be honest) so you can imagine how excited I have been for the release of the new live-action film, which was yesterday where I am. Of course, this leads me to impulse buying Beauty and the Beast themed items that I could not really afford, including the beautiful book you see in the image here as well as the other gorgeous items.
Honestly, how adorable are the Belle and Beast Funko Pop! Vinyls? I also have Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Chip, and Belle in the celebration dress, all of which are the incredibly awesome live-action versions. I also want to mention the gorgeous woodmark from Ink & Wonder! It is so amazing to look at and it works as both a bookmark and a beautiful shelf decoration.
Now for the book. Well, it looks magical based on the cover alone, right? Yes, well, that is part of the reason I lost $30 that particular day… Where was I? Oh yes, magical. Well, opening up the book only exposes the reader to pages that will either make your heart race or stop completely. It is breathtakingly beautiful with the gorgeous illustrations by MinaLima, some of which are interactive. These illustrations made the book even more special, though the book also holds the original tale as old as time, which is pretty darn special on its own. It is a beautiful story and I kind of wish this version of the story was made into a movie. Do not get me wrong, I love both Disney versions, but it would be nice to see the original story on the big screen. Speaking of Beauty and the Beast on the big screen, there is another book that made it into my collection with the words Book of the Film on it.
For just $8 this was a bargain in comparison to the previous book, though, while beautiful, it does not compare to the previous book in looks. The story the pages contained was familiar yet different as it mimicked the original Disney movie, but it was clear in the first few pages this would be different in many little ways. All the characters were a little more fleshed out, had more depth, and seemed more connected to the overall story rather than just being there. Before seeing the movie, this book is enough to prove that everyone put their thinking caps on to make sure that this movie honoured its predecessor while still developing the story and the characters.
On Goodreads I gave the original story 5 stars and the book of the film 4 stars.
Now, how about we talk about my new favourite movie, yeah?
For many future booklovers born in the mid to late 80’s and onwards, Beauty and the Beast was a truly magical fairytale we wished would happen to us. Do not deny it, even if it was only for the library (cries because that library still is not mine) we all wanted to be Belle. While I am beyond jealous Emma Watson got to become play Belle, I also cannot imagine a better actress to portray my most loved Disney princess. I do not think anyone can deny that Emma is basically a real life version of Belle, except, to my knowledge, she has not fallen in love with a big beastly cursed prince that is in possession of an epic library… Though Emma, if you have, does he have a brother? I would love some more shelf space.
While on the topic of Beast, how bloody perfect was Dan Stevens for that role? In all seriousness, I would probably have fallen in love with him based solely on his voice; beast or not, he sounds dreamy. Though let’s be honest, he doesn’t look all that bad covered in fur and I have to agree with Belle at the end (winks to everyone who knows what I am talking about).
Let’s just face it, all the casting for this film was spot on! All the secondary characters from the original just got an upgrade.
I was actually worried about Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson not living up to my expectations of my beloved Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs Potts, but they portrayed their characters so beautifully I almost want to cry at the perfection. All of them had stories of their own and all of them were brilliant in their own little ways.
Josh Gad makes a brilliant LeFou, one I actually feel for rather than just thinking he is a useless git, and he became one of my favourite characters.
Gaston becomes attractive when portrayed by Luke Evans, just as desirable as the character thinks he is with that voice and that face *sighs*. Seriously, this made me understand swooning over the bad guy, well, until he went really bad. After that I kind of snapped back to reality and wanted to smack myself for falling for the pretty face with a heart of coal.
I also love all the detailing that was put into the costumes, sets, and animations. It would have taken many skilled human beings to create such a masterpiece but it most definitely payed off. The additions to the script and storyline, adding more to the original Disney version as well as drawing from the original story of Beauty and the Beast, made this movie more perfect than I could have ever dreamed of. And the songs, especially the new ones, had me tearing up at their beautiful perfection.
One complaint. The song Beauty and the Beast, sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson for the original film, has a special place in my heart, always has always will. My question is why did they got Ariana Grande and John Legend to sing it? Do not get me wrong, a few of my favourite songs are sung by John, but I do not think his voice was right for this song. As for Ariana, I have never liked her high pitched squealing voice and I can never understand what she is actually saying, so I obviously did not like that they chose her. I know there will be people who disagree with me, but Emma Thompson and Audra McDonald did a far better job.
Although I doubt anyone that was part of putting this movie together will read my silly little blog post, I still want to say thank you.
Thank you for respecting the original version but still transforming it into something new and more magical.
Thank you for renewing my love for these characters and thier story.
Thank you for creating a grown up version of the fairytale I loved so much as a child.
And thank you for reminding me to open my heart. It has been closed for quite some time now.
Seeing this film made me one exceptionally happy girl and I do not see myself being quite as happy until I get to watch it again. The day the DVD makes its way into my hands I will probably watch it on repeat for a week, and then only every other day…
So what is everyone else’s thoughts on both of the above books and the new live action film of Beauty and the Beast?
What did you like?
What did you dislike?
Would anyone like to take me to see the movie agian? Yes, I am serious. Oh, come on, please? I really really really really want to see it again!! Yeah, I am pushing my luck, I know… does not hurt to try though.
Well, until next time bibliophiles!