I’m sorry, but here’s every reason the new Beauty and the Beast is worse than the original
I am not supposed to have sexual feelings for Lumière
Beauty and the Beast was probably a pretty formative film for you. It’s a tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme, one of those movies like Mulan or The Lion King or The Little Mermaid which is so seminal it should just be left alone.
Still, you’ve probably heard that they’ve made another one, and you’ve probably heard that it’s good. Which it basically is, in the same way that Coke Zero is “good.”
Here’s a scene-by-scene breakdown of how the new Beauty and the Beast compares to the one you already know and love. Not that it’ll stop you watching it anyway.
The bit where the prince gets cursed
The film opens with the familiar opening monologue, about an arrogant prince living in a huge castle in “the heart of France” where everyone except a fucking candlestick speaks like they’re from Surrey.
The Prince turns away the most obvious witch in the world, and ends up being turned into a super-strong handsome beast with a load of talking furniture, a book which can take you anywhere in the world and a gnarly magic mirror.
It’s a hard life, eh.
The village song
Cut to a “poor provincial town” where we meet Belle, a charming young maiden who can read, sing, scale castle walls and fight snarling wolves with her bare hands.
Over the course of the opening song we learn that everyone in the village thinks that Belle is strange, probably because she spends her entire time trying to teach all the children in the French village to speak English. B is for Bumblebee!
We’re also introduced to Belle’s father, Crazy Old Maurice, who has been changed from a genius inventor to a pensive man who spends his days constructing miniature windmills.
If that isn’t bad enough, this scene is cut entirely:
The bit where Belle gets locked in the castle
As if he wasn’t unlikeable enough already, Crazy Old Maurice gets lost in the woods like a dickhead and ends up turning up uninvited to a castle and telling his horse, Philippe, that he can eat a stranger’s hay.
Despite it being painfully obvious that the giant haunted castle is haunted, Crazy Old Maurice decides to tuck into a dinner which isn’t his and then head outside to steal some foliage.
This leads to a run-in with the Beast, who does what any solitary shut-in would do if they saw a man in their garden and decides to lock Maurice in his house with him forever???
Luckily, Belle comes along and swaps places with her father, meaning that Belle and the Beast are now forced to live under the same roof. I wonder what will happen.
The Gaston song
Gaston is one of the all-time-great Disney villains, so it’s strange that the new version makes him a bit more sympathetic than the bulging-eyed beast of old.
New Gaston is basically bad because he kills animals and tramples Belle’s cabbages, and for that he deserves to be thrown to his death by a cleverer creature with a self-confessed “expensive education.” Hurrah!
Anyway, the hunter’s time to shine takes place about halfway through the film, where he’s feeling dejected in a tavern and LeFou decides to cheer him up by singing the second best Disney song of all time (after that one from Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride).
While Luke Evans is believable as an arrogant bloke who stands on tables sinking pints, some of the lyrics fall flat in the new version. He isn’t, for example, “roughly the size of a barge.” He’s roughly the size of Luke Evans.
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest is obviously up there as one of the best songs in the film – even if you definitely sing the lyrics to the Mr Burns version every time you hear the tune.
Belle, left alone in the castle, is treated to a feast by the talking furniture. There’s Cogsworth, voiced by Gandalf, and Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the most fuckable candlestick you’ll ever see in a PG movie.
The same old questions about the likes of Mrs Potts and Chip still apply, though. Like, why does this woman keep spewing her innards into the top of her son’s head?
And, if the curse was placed on the castle 10 years ago, is Chip a 20-year-old man who speaks and acts like a child?
Qualms aside, they absolutely nail this song. I’m not even gonna lie. Fuck La La Land, give the disco saucers an Oscar.
The part where they fall in love
The new Beast is an unnerving creature, mainly because the CGI is so trashy that he looks like a World of Warcraft character I half-made and then hastily deleted between wanks as a 14-year-old.
While exploring the creepy old staircases of Hogwarts, Hermione discovers the Beast’s enchanted rose. And tell you what, he is not happy.
Still, he gets injured saving Belle from a pack of wolves, and romance blossoms when Belle has the bright idea of making Philippe carry the at-least 400lb Beast back to the castle, because fuck Philippe right?
Still, the old love plot trundles along, revolving mainly around the fact Belle wants to have sex with him because he owns a lot of books and has luscious, well-conditioned hair.
This all culminates in the famous ballroom scene, where Emma Thompson sings the title song as the lead characters twirl around romantically.
But does it really count as a “ball” if there’s only two of you there? Does Emma Watson have any facial expressions beyond “smirk” and “angry smirk?”
And, most importantly, did the Beast own all of these absolutely massive clothes before he became the Beast? He mostly wears rags, but it seems odd for your average prince to own black tie attire and silk pyjamas in what has to be at least a 58in chest.
The bit where Belle touches an enchanted book, teleports to Paris and sings a song about her mum dying of the bubonic plague in a tiny windmill
In hindsight, it really didn’t feel like the original was missing this.
The final battle
After deciding a monster they didn’t know existed 15 minutes ago is out to kidnap their children, an angry mob led by Gaston himself descends on the castle.
They break down the doors, but not before the Beast can sing a new auto-tuned rock opera ballad so woefully cringe it’ll make you wish Gaston would just turn up and shoot him in the back with a blunderbuss already.
Yeah, I know.
After failing to save her father and accidentally revealing the whereabouts of the Beast, Belle delivers a damning verdict just in case anyone in the audience hasn’t yet choked on the point the film keeps shoving in your face: “He’s not a monster, Gaston. You are!”
Cue a furniture brawl and a rooftop battle in which the Beast is mortally wounded, Gaston falls to his death and all of the supporting characters turn back into merchandise, sorry, furniture.
The happily ever after
But yeah, he’s not dead. Obviously. The beast is brought back to life as a painfully handsome Dan Stevens with flaxen locks, which is lucky because he could’ve come back as Steve Buscemi and Belle would basically have to stay with him cos she’d look like a dick otherwise.
The now-lovely Prince comes outside and mingles in some fetching jean-shorts with the rabble of peasants who just tried to murder him, and everyone is invited to a majestic ball where the wardrobe-woman sings the title song again.
This is when we’re also treated to Disney’s much-anticipated “first exclusively gay moment,” which ends up being the fact that LeFou sort-of dances a bit with another man at the end. Which is basically saying this moment in the original was “exclusively gay” as well.
Still, a man kissing another man is apparently too ridiculous for a fantasy film in which a man claims he eats five dozen eggs every morning to help him get large.