Disney’s live action version of Beauty and the Beast is hitting theaters this month with beautiful cinematography, familiar characters, a message of love, adventure, and more than a little controversy (I will address that later). This live action iteration of a familiar fairy tale is pleasantly true to Disney’s animated version and includes songs from the original as well as some news songs (who knew Hermione could sing!).
Belle is different from the other young women in her small village. She loves to read, has an independent spirit, and a drive for more than her “provincial life.” When her father is held by a beast, Belle is more than willing to give up her life and her goals to free him. Beauty and the Beast is a story of love, sacrifice, loyalty, and the power of good. The film is gorgeously done and is truly a feast for the eyes.Now, for the controversy (contains some spoilers). Beauty and the Beast is taking heat due to its inclusion of a gay subplot involving Le Fou, Gaston’s manservant. Le Fou showers Gaston with sycophantic flattery throughout the film, admiring his strength, leadership, and appearance. If I had not heard about the gay subplot controversy, I would never even have thought there was more to this flattery than extreme sidekick admiration. Le Fou, played by Josh gad (voice of Olaf from Frozen), has a falling out with Gaston and ends up fighting against him in the end. The controversial moment comes in the last few minutes of the movie during a ballroom dance scene. During the dance partners are changed as often occurs. Le Fou has danced with many women and somehow ends up being passed a male dance partner instead. Both he and the other man instantly appear to become pleasantly surprised (what some in the press are calling an awakening). The entire scene takes 1-2 seconds. There is no kiss, as has been reported elsewhere.I have been asked by several people whether this movie is appropriate for families. My answer for this movie is the same as it has been for all other reviews I have written. Every family must make the decision on what is appropriate for their family. If your family makes a point to avoid media that has a gay storyline or subplot, I can only say that the significance of the Le Fou scenes will likely be missed by your child. However, that is up to you. I plan to take my children to see this movie. I believe the message of love, loyalty, and the strong female lead make it a must-see movie. The only scenes that might cause concern for younger children involve some terrifying wolves in the forest and the scene where Gaston tries to kill the Beast.
Worth seeing in 3D? Yes. I did not see it in 3D, but there were several scenes where it was obvious that 3D would have been amazing.
Scene after the credits? No. However, there are some fun images during the credits.
Find Beauty and the Beast online.
Disclaimer: I attended a media early screening of the movie to facilitate this review. All opinions are mine.