One of my favorite little changes they made to the new beauty and the beast was when the beast realizes that belle has come back. First off, I love how belle grabs the arrows from gaston and breaks them over her knee, “where is he?!” like girl…I love you so much, and then she wrestles with the gun gaston has! That was so great to see because you see how desperate belle is to protect the beast because she knows the type of man gaston is and what he can do.
So at this point the beast is jumping from turret to turret on the castle because he’s trying to get his footing, but everything is falling apart where he lands. That’s when it happens. Belle, who runs to an opening on one of the turrets, looks out and see’s the beast almost fall and she screams “No!” and the beast stops, whispers “belle?” and looks over and there she is. She’s wearing her white under garments and against the darkness, she sticks out, the light of hope and love that the beast thought he had lost.
He then jumps up to another turret and it’s this shot that I adore
“Belle!” he screams and it shoots back to her face and she looks so relived that he’s ok, “You came back!” and EVERY TIME I see this movie (i’ve seen it like…5 times…maybe more) I get goosebumps at that line. The way that Dan delivers his performance as the beast is fantastic. Belle then screams that she tried to stop the villagers from coming, but the beast is all focused on belle. “Stay there! I’m coming!” and he has this focus on belle, he’s completely forgotten about gaston, he just needs to get to belle, to see belle, to be with her again.
Fast forward a bit and the beast has this great line when he’s holding gaston over the edge, “I am NOT a beast” and then it quickly shoots to belle who gets this watery smile on her face, and the beast yells to gaston to leave. And the beast is getting ready to jump over to belle and she’s all panicked, “no! it’s too far!” so worried about him, and he does make the jump, pulling himself up and then they stare at one another and it’s a moment of peace because finally they are back together.
BAM. Gaston shoots the beast and belle quickly runs over to him and is trying so hard to get him out of harms way but he’s too heavy and he’s too hurt to move on his own, and she’s so desperate. Calling for gaston to stop, trying to pull the beast, “come on!” she says at one point (caught this on my 3rd viewing, she sounds so scared and desperate as she tries to get him to safety) and then gaston shoots the beast AGAIN and he tumbles out of belle’s arms and she runs to him.
Yes, the end exchange between them is quick. But, for me, that makes sense. The beast has been shot 3 times in the back and had been hit multiple times. It would make sense that he is dying faster in this version. That was something that always bothered me in the animated version (which i love and adore mind you) because…he gets stabbed in the side. And maybe he gets hit in a vital organ, I don’t know. But he gets stabbed with this little knife (after an arrow to the leg and being hit a few times) and just dies on the spot. It’s an animated movie of course, so things will differ because of our suspension of disbelief.
Am I saying one is better then the other? No, because I love both movies. I love them for all their similarities and their smaller differences. Some tweaks I like more in the live action movie, and some things I like more in the animated. But for me, both these movies are pure magic.