Today the world got to experience the newest live action feature film from Disney, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, opened everywhere. I’m hopeful that the box office reports will convey the magic that the film makers did in the film but in case you’re sitting on the fence, I thought I’d write up my review for you. As usual, I watch these kinds of movies through the lens of a mom. That means I’m paying extra attention to scary scenes, explicit sexual scenes, violence, etc. As with any review that I write I want to disclaim that every child is different and every family is different. What one child can tolerate another may not be able to. You need to use your parental gut when it comes to TV and movies. If you aren’t sure whether or not BEAUTY & THE BEAST is for your child see the movie first. I wasn’t sure if some of the scenes with the wolves would be too intense for my almost six-year-old daughter who is dying to see the movie. When I had the opportunity to screen the film on Monday my husband and I chose to see it first.
Can my child see Disney’s BEAUTY & THE BEAST?
Scary Scenes – Minimal; I would call them intense.
The scenes where Belle’s father Maurice and then later Belle are in the forest fighting off wolves are intense. These scenes were intense in the animated film though. Both of my older children saw THE JUNGLE BOOK last year and I would say that this film is no more intense than some of the animal fight scenes were in THE JUNGLE BOOK. At the end of the film the fight scene between Gaston and the Beast was more tame in the live action movie compared to the animated film. My two oldest kids are going to be seeing the film but I’m going to wait until the film is released on Blu-Ray for my 3-year-old to see it. I want to be able to watch the film at home with her rather than have her scared in a movie theater.
Romantic Scenes – Not wildly inappropriate.
BEAUTY & THE BEAST is a love story. There are going to be hints of romance in the live action film just like there was in the original animated film. Is it inappropriate? Not in my opinion. Again and this is a touchy subject for some parents, you have to go with your gut and when in doubt see the movie first before you bring your child. There’s minimal kissing scenes, certainly no love making happening and the sexual innuendos that are in the film are not something my 8-year-old and 6-year-old would pick up on.
Moral Compass – A surprising twist from the original animated film
One of the most pleasant surprises of the film to me was the relationship between LeFou and Gaston. In the animated film LeFou is Gaston’s shadow, doing pretty much anything Gaston decides to do. That includes lying about Belle’s father’s sanity, going after an enchanted beast with the entire village as well as turning the village against Belle’s father. In the animated film LeFou goes along with Gaston’s plans, even when they’re downright cruel, he’s as much to blame as Gaston when it comes to the damage they inflict on those around them. In the live action film, however, LeFou has a mind of his own. You’ll have to see the film to understand what I’m referring to but it was a welcomed surprise.
…but it’s not the animated film! Ah, but there are things to appreciate about the live-action film.
Have you ever wondered how it was possible that there was this enormous castle located close enough to the village that both Belle and her father ran into yet none of the villagers had any idea it existed? That actually was something that really bothered me as I watched the animated film with my three children months ago. Why did NO ONE know about this huge castle?! Well, that’s explained in the live action film and I so appreciated it. They also dove into the relationship between Belle’s mother and father and gave us a backstory that didn’t exist in the animated film. Why was the Prince so cruel? Yes, you’ll learn as well in the live action film.
So what you’re saying is…
I’m saying that we are taking our older children (again they’re 8-years-old and almost 6-years-old) to see the film in the theater this weekend. Our almost three-year-old is going to stay home and when the film comes out on Blu-Ray we’ll let her watch it from our home. It’s really up to you to know what your child can handle visually as well as emotionally. I couldn’t handle THE HARRY POTTER movies as a young teen but my sister, who is two years younger than me, saw all of them when they originally came out in theaters. Every person is different and every child is different which is why it’s your responsibility to know what you think your kids can see.
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the film. He said he liked it better than both CINDERELLA and THE JUNGLE BOOK. Emma Watson being cast as “Belle” was brilliant and while her voice isn’t Broadway material she can certainly sing better than I can. And Dan Stevens as “The Beast”? The only problem with that was the fact that we didn’t get to gaze at Matthew Crawley the entire film….er, I mean Dan Stevens. The guy can sing and so can the rest of the cast.
Go out and see BEAUTY & THE BEAST this weekend; you won’t regret it!
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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens in theatres everywhere on March 17th, 2017!