Guest Writer Lisa Green ’20
By now, you’ve all heard about Disney’s remake of the classic 1991 movie-musical, Beauty & The Beast. The original film’s enticing characters, whistle-worthy music, and heartwarming storyline captured fans from around the globe, which is why many people are concerned that it was tinkered with in a new re-make. Though I am also a fan of the original, please do yourself a favor, and take a trip to Edgemont, King of Prussia, or whatever theater you prefer, and watch the new, Beauty and the Beast. The live remake of Beauty and the Beast is a truly magical and unforgettable experience not to be missed.
You’ll walk in expecting simply a cartoon acted out by live people, but leave stunned and delighted with the amazing new additions, including new songs and extensive back stories from some of our favorite characters.
Let’s start at the very beginning. Didn’t it always seem strange that the prince/beast is cursed for seemingly no reason? Well, in the new version, his selfishness and lack of compassion are explained much more. In addition, a dreamy ballroom sequence introducing the prince’s castle (including a beautiful original song appropriately titled, “Aria”) pull in any reluctant audience member for more.
I could go on and on about the brilliant new details about Belle, which include her teaching other young girls to read, to her being an inventor herself, to even explaining where the now famous dance scene comes from in a more complete way. But, let’s just talk about the larger changes.
In addition to “Aria,” the next new song we’re introduced to is called, “How Does A Moment Last Forever.” It brings up a new theme we try to adhere to at school, as well- appreciating each moment as it comes. I mean, how often have you been in the meeting room and heard someone talking about being present or in the moment?
If you are still unsure as to whether you can love these new characters as much than their animated counterparts, let me assure you, you can. Another new song, “Days in the Sun,” is my absolute favorite for this very reason. It’s easy to let your guard down and listen, learn, and want only the best and brightest for everyone who passionately sings this song.
The best, and I think the most important change to this film from the original, is that the beast is a better and more complex character with more layers. He shares Belle’s love for literature, his emotions are more transparent even when he is letting his guard down, and you can see how he slowly falls in love with Belle. Unlike the 1991 version, it doesn’t seem to happen all at once. This is showcased beautifully in the beast’s ballad, “Evermore,” toward the end of the film.
The most heartbreaking moment by far comes when the curse is activated and the objects slowly become inanimate. Seeing them say goodbye to each other is heartbreaking and I promise, it will leave you in tears every time. However, this extremely touching transformation makes the ending that much better.
Days after I saw it, it was impossible to stop thinking about every song and special moment that left me with a smile that lasted into the next week. Even after seeing it a third time, it was a truly unique and extraordinary event. So, to see or not to see? A definite to see.