la belle et la bete (2014)

I went to see Beauty and the Beast and I enjoyed it a lot. I especially enjoyed this version of the Beast like 100x more than I was expecting. He has a very handsome face and voice and personality, which didn’t really come through in the 1 trailer I watched.

I was charmed that the person who wrote the movie seemed to really know their shit about different versions of the story - there were several nice references/homages to Robin McKinley’s versions, in addition to the refs to the Alan Menken/Disney animated movie. I feel like there was a certain feeling like Howl’s Moving Castle as well at one point - I think it might have been the teleporting magic.

I might go see it again and write a big post about it more detailed.

For those still hungry for more Beauty and The Beast

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your budding Beauty and The Beast obsession while waiting for the new live action Disney film to come to video (in twelve weeks) here are a few things that might tide you over.

First I highly recommend the original 1740 Beauty and the Beast novel La Belle et la Bete by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.  It’s roughly two hundred pages long and there are two unabridged editions available right now on Amazon.  Both are the same translation, they just divide the chapters differently.

This one is soft cover and has more chapter breaks (Otherwise they have the same text)

  And this one is hard cover with less chapter breaks and is also illustrated with “interactive games” built in.

My second recommendation is for the Beauty and The Beast Broadway musical album.  It has songs that don’t appear in the animated film or live action Beauty and The Beast and one song on the album “Home” was used as an instrumental in the 2017 Beauty and The Beast.

There is a 1987 Beauty and the Beast released by Canon.  This one has songs and is very true to the fairy tale adapted from the novel (but not so much the actual novel.)

There is also the 1947 French film, the first film version of Beauty and The Beast (to my knowledge).

There is the 1987 Beauty and The Beast TV series (far superior to the recent one from CW).

There is also the TV series Once Upon a Time which merges the story of Rumplestiltskin with Beauty and The Beast and has Rumplestiltskin as The Beast in his glittering, scaled imp form.   The most blatant Beauty and the Beast aspects are in the season one episode Skin Deep.

My seventh recommendation is the 2014 Beauty and The Beast French movie.

You may have seen this one on display in stores as it was shamelessly released in the US at the same time as the new live action Disney film.  The 2014 Beauty and the Beast movie only recently got an American DVD / Blu Ray Release partly because of the new Disney animated film

You can watch it in French, or with English dub or English subtitles.  

The 2014 Beauty and The Beast is a bit odd but visually very pretty.   It doesn’t quite follow the novel but has elements of the novel and much like the Disney film it kind of does it’s own thing. 

In this version The Prince’s backstory is told in periodic flashbacks.   He was married to a beautiful woman and he became obsessed with hunting a golden hind (a magical deer).  His wife made him promise to stop hunting to animal and he agreed.   However he went back on his word and carried out the hunt anyway, killing the creature with a golden arrow (the only thing that could kill the golden hind).  As she was dying the golden hind transformed into his wife, revealing that she had been a forest nymph all along. 

Her father, the God of the Forest, punished the prince by turning him into a Beast, his companions into statues, and his hunting dogs into strange, large eyed, bunny-like creatures.

In this version Belle is the reincarnation of the wife he accidentally killed.   It’s visually very pretty but I don’t really feel the chemistry between Belle and The Beast in this one and in fact Belle is kind of vicious toward him a few times. 

I have mixed feelings about this one’s writing but it’s visually gorgeous and it has a sort of Gothic ambiance.

camillavirgil replied to your post “Here’s a question I have about this live action Beauty and the Beast:…”

At first I was SUPER excited about it - but the more of it the more my enthusiasm wanes. The aesthetic just seems off and then (imho) the Beast needs to be more menacing, terrifying. Instead he just looks and seems depressed - which could make for a very interesting reading/rendition/performance. On the other hand, it doesn’t frighten me like the original animated one does; I mean, when Belle goes into the west wing in the original that was a delicious childhood terror I’d like to see afresh

katefathers replied to your post

“Here’s a question I have about this live action Beauty and the Beast:…”

Although I didn’t help myself by watching “La belle et la bete” from 2014. It’s a flawed movie, but SO BEAUTIFUL to look at. The costuming is amazing. The beast is amazing. And he turns in to Vincent Cassel, which like…I am totally behind that. :P

katefathers replied to your post

“Here’s a question I have about this live action Beauty and the Beast:…”

I think a big part of it is that the original “Beauty and the Beast” was SO successful that they’re probably too afraid that if they deviate they might lose viewers. The “Disney” stamp gives people certain expectations, and if this movie was, maybe, closer to the French fairytale, it might turn people off. Which, if that IS their reasoning, is hilarious because many people are clearly turned off by the scene-by-scene remake. Including me.

Hi this has been in my drafts forever, my apologies. It’s an interesting conflict–if they veer too far from the animated feature, people expecting something akin to how that felt the first time they saw it will be disappointed; if they hew too closely, they’re inviting comparison, which is the proverbial thief of joy. And either way, there’s an obviously more interesting approach to the story that no one’s offering up under the Disney name. What I really liked about their LA Cinderella was that they took some of the basics (Lady Tremaine and her daughters) and brought more depth of character to those elements. (Cate Blanchett elevates that performance like whoa.) But the original animated film is much more of a blank slate, too, so you have to find a way to enrich some of those relationships to heighten the stakes. And one of the reasons the original B&tB was so well regarded was the care that was taken in developing those archetypal characters, so a remake has to do more or risk being redundant. Fairy tales: thorny as always.