Beauty and the Beast

Rachel Ankers, Copy Editor

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Like many 21-year-olds, I spent the majority of the spring semester looking forward to the ultimate childhood dream-come-true: the live-action rendition of “Beauty and the Beast.”

As cliché as it sounds, “Beauty and the Beast” was my favorite Disney princess movie. The Disney classic features a headstrong, independent, book-loving girl named Belle who finds herself trapped in a no-win situation. When her father becomes the captive of a monster, Belle has to choose between her own freedom and the life of her father. Belle obviously chooses the more noble of the two options and trades places with her ailing father. Throughout the movie, Belle continues to see a different side of the Beast and learns to love him despite his outward appearance.

Through the eyes of a nerdy child obsessed with all things Disney, “Beauty and the Beast” is the perfect movie. With a brave heroine who loves books and happens to save the day while wearing a pretty dress, what more could a girl ask for?

However, through the eyes of an adult who has seen far too many princess movies, there are a lot of holes.

This is where the live action remake comes in. My first thoughts weren’t so great when I first heard that Emma Watson had be cast to portray my all-time favorite Disney princess. While I love Emma Watson in the “Harry Potter” series, picturing Hermione Granger singing with villagers in France was harder than you might think.

But after seeing the new movie on the big screen, I’d have to save that Emma Watson did a great job depicting another innovative and talented young heroine.

In addition to what I now consider to be a phenomenal cast, the new “Beauty and the Beast” sheds light on many questions that the animated classic failed to answer.

For example, one of the most glaring plot holes from the original is the timeline for the curse placed on the Beast and his entire castle. Instead of giving the curse a specific timeline in the remake, the writers adjusted the lyrics to the undeniably timeless “Be Our Guest” to account for the “10 years we’ve been rusting,” which would’ve made the Beast 11 years old when he was cursed.

I am not a fan of changing the classics, but when it comes to answering those plaguing plot holes, I’m all for minor adjustments. The live action rendition also gives plausible explanations for several other gaps in the story, including what happened to Belle’s mother, how an older Mrs. Potts can have such a young son and why none of the villagers seem to remember or even notice the giant castle sitting in the woods just down the road.

While many agree that Disney went above and beyond to answer these and many other pesky questions surrounding the story of Belle and her Beast, there is one cinematic decision that has haunted the new “Beauty and the Beast” since its announcement: the sexual orientation of Lefou.

Leading up to the movie’s release, I found myself wondering exactly what director Bill Condon meant when he said there would be an “exclusively gay moment.” I was expecting to see the classic fairytale I had always loved remade, not rewritten.

But, like many others, I believe that Disney handled it beautifully. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of same-sex relationships, I didn’t see anything in the live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” that detracted from the story as a whole.

If you believe that same-sex relationships are wonderful and should be treated equally, then you should be happy to have a character who relates directly to that portion of the population. If you believe the opposite, then Lefou is just another quirky character courtesy of Josh Gad who finds himself in some hilariously awkward situations.

Lefou’s interest in men, specifically in Gaston, is irrelevant to the story of a young man who realizes that his idol is not as quality a role model as he once believed. Just as Belle learns to see the Beast for the man/creature that he truly is, Lefou takes a similar journey to discover exactly who he’s been looking up to this whole time.

Whether you are a Disney nerd like me who has been waiting for this movie to happen or just someone who enjoys a good story, “Beauty and the Beast” has a little something for everyone: action, bravery, comedy, romance and mostly importantly, a classic happily ever after for a Disney princess.

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Beauty and the Beast